Tips for Safe Traveling
Nothing can take the joy out of traveling like having something happen to ruin your trip. If you are traveling abroad, or domestically, for business or for pleasure, here are some travel tips you can use to help ensure your trip goes smoothly.
Watch out for Common Travel Scams
Even frequent travelers can be scammed. Learn what to watch out for while traveling and help protect yourself from being scammed. Here are some common scams to watch out for:
· Broken Meter – This common taxi scam involves the driver telling you that the meter is broken and overcharges you for the ride. If you get into a taxi and they tell you that the meter is broken, or that they’ll charge you less than what it would cost with the meter running, do not take that taxi and use a different taxi.
· Hotel Wakeup Call Scam – Scammers will call hotel rooms, pretending to be the front desk clerk, telling you that they need to confirm your credit card details. If you ever receive a call from the front desk, always go to the desk to confirm or give information, never over the phone.
· Free items – While you are out playing tourist, you are approached and somebody hands you something for free, like a bracelet. Once you take it, they will loudly demand money and unless you pay, they will loudly argue and make a scene. When approached and offered a free item or token while out on the street, just politely decline.
Before you go
Before you go on vacation, there are some things that you can do to ensure your trip goes smoothly and that your home is protected.
We all love social media, but if you are posting about your upcoming travel, it just alerts people that your house will be empty and unprotected. Let friends and family that you trust know that you are going to be traveling, but keep it off social media until you get back. Same with posting photos while on vacation, it just alerts people that you are not home.
Stop your mail and your newspaper for the duration of your vacation. Piled up newspapers and mail alerts anybody driving by that you are not home and it makes your home a target. If you have reoccurring delivery set up, notify the companies to delay any deliveries scheduled while you are gone to until you are back.
Notify neighbors that you trust to keep an eye on your home. If you have somebody coming over to feed pets or water plants, make sure the neighbors know that somebody is coming over so they know that they are allowed there.
Give your itinerary to friends and family. It should include your flight information, hotel information and what you plan on doing on your trip. In the event that something has happened, and you do not come home when you are supposed to, your family and friends can alert the authorities.
Hotel Safety Tips
· If possible, avoid ground floor rooms because they are easier to break into.
· Never set your credit card on the counter when checking in. Savvy thieves can quickly snap a photo of the front of the card.
· Take business cards from the hotel and write your room number on them. Keep one with you and place the other by the room phone so if you need to make an emergency call, you have the information easily at hand.
· A simple door wedge can be used to secure your door while you are in the room at night or while taking a bath or shower.
· Use the room safe to lock any jewelry, credit cards, laptops or tablets that you are not carrying with you inside. If your hotel does not have a room safe, ask if there is a hotel safe and get a receipt for any items stored there.
Stay Safe While Travelling
· Password protect your phone and add or turn on tracking tools such as the ability to track your location. Use a program that can remotely wipe or lock your phone if it is lost or stolen.
· Choose only a few credit cards to bring instead of carrying them all with you.
· Write down emergency contact and medical information and keep one in your wallet and/or in the hotel safe or in your luggage.
· Keep valuables in the room safe and not stored in the drawers or in your luggage at the hotel.
· Avoid grab and run robberies by using a bag that can be worn across your body, not just slung over your shoulder. Never leave your purse slung over the back of a chair in the restaurant, that just makes it easier for thieves.