Posted on November 24, 2010 at 8:49 AM
Your personal security is just as important away from home as at home. When you travel, stay alert for situations that can compromise the safety of you and your family.
Here are a few travel tips to review.
1. Make copies of all your information. You never know when luggage will get lost or stolen. Have a second copy of passports, birth certificates, travel tickets, hotel confirmations and credit cards on your person just in case. Keep current photos of everyone in the family.
2. Stay together. It seems like a good idea to split up and meet back up later but it’s not especially if one person goes alone. You are safer in large numbers against “snatch and grab” attacks or other criminals.
3. Don’t give out personal information about yourself to strangers. It is nice to ask for directions from native people when you are a tourist, but don’t tell them too much.
4. Don’t let purses dangle. A dangling handbag is easier to grab off your arm or off the arm of a chair. Also, carrying too many bags means you are not paying attention to your purse and it can be easily stolen.
5. Avoid the elevator if you are alone. Maybe you are tired and meeting the rest of the group later for dinner. Getting into the elevator alone, especially if you are a woman could make you an easy target for thieves or rapists.
6. Lock up personal items. Leaving credit cards and valuables lying around your room is a recipe for disaster. Lock them up in the hotel safe or keep them on your person when leaving the room.
7. Use valet parking with a car. This is especially helpful when coming back from dinner or sightseeing at night. You might have to park far from the hotel entrance in a dimly lit area. If valet service is offered, use it. It is safer for you.
8. Stick to popular tourist attractions. Many tourists have been mugged or killed by going down back alleys or trying to “soak up the local atmosphere.” Stay on the beaten path to be safe.
The key here is not to be afraid to travel. Traveling is fun. Remember to be as street smart away from home as you are at home.