Vacation Safety: What Experts Say You Need to Know Before You Go
Pack your swimsuit, sunscreen and these safety tips for your summer vacation.
Summer vacation season is in full swing. But with stories of tourists getting sick, injured or even dying while on vacation, your vacay vibes might be replaced with panic. Whether your bags are packed or you're still searching for someplace to spend your precious vacation time, here’s what experts say you need to do to stay safe on vacation.
- Before you leave, be sure to make copies of your passport, important travel documents and itinerary. Email those to yourself as well as a family member or friend. That way, if your original documents get lost or stolen, you can still access that information.
- Everyone wants to save money on vacation, but a budget hotel, resort or home share could put you into a questionable neighborhood. Do your research, look for reviews in multiple places, and try using Google Earth to check out the surrounding areas.
- Opt for a daytime arrival. This way you aren’t traveling at night or when it’s dark outside. Check in with family members back home when you arrive at your destination and when you check into your hotel or resort.
- Before you head out to explore, write down the address and phone number of where you are staying and keep it in on you. If your phone dies while you’re out, you’ll be happy you took this extra step to get back safely.
- Leave your valuables at home. Vacation is not the time to break out the expensive jewelry. Less is more and wearing fewer valuables—smart watches, rings, necklaces—will make you less of a target. The same goes for your camera: Don’t wear it around your neck because it screams “tourist!” and will attract attention to you and everyone you are with.
- Consider a purse that you can wear across your body rather than on your side or back. This will help deter pickpockets. Never keep all your money or credit cards in one place. If you are robbed, this will ensure you still have access to cash or cards.
- When checking in or charging food or drinks to your room, do not loudly announce your room number.
- If using an ATM, try to do so at a secure place, like the airport or bank. Be aware of your surroundings when you are using and leaving the ATM.
- If you are hailing a cab or using a ride share service, make sure you don’t just hop in to the first car that stops in front of you. Confirm the ride share is intended for you—ask them the name of the person they are waiting for and confirm their license plate. Never get into an unmarked cab. If your hotel or resort offers shuttle services, be sure to get the phone number, times of the shuttle and how to confirm you are getting into the correct shuttle.
- Using your credit card to pay for activities and tours is safer than carrying around large amounts of cash. If your cash is stolen, you are out of luck, but if you credit cards are stolen, your banks can help you.
Last but not least, use common sense! Vacation is a time to kick back and relax but don’t forget common safety tips while you indulge.