Protect Yourself When You Are on Vacation

When you take a well-earned vacation, especially after months of hard work, you and your family want to focus on enjoying the food, experiences, and sites of your chosen destination rather than worrying about your personal safety. Following these simple tips can help you protect yourself when you are on vacation.

Preparation is the key to preventing any potential emergency. Make digital and/or printed copies of all your important vacation documents, such as airline tickets, hotel reservations, schedules, credit cards, passports, and visas. Leave the hard copies with trusted friends, relatives, or your personal lawyer, and deposit the digital versions on easily accessible Internet storage sites, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If you lose the originals during your trip, such as during a robbery, you can easily restore your necessary documents by accessing your digital storage or asking your trusted people to send you the copies.

It’s easy to relax your guard on vacation because you’re having a good time. This can potentially be a problem. Maintain the same level of caution at your destination that you would at home. Always keep an eye on your possessions, such as luggage and cameras, and never leave them unattended. Make sure you have locks on all your bags, even carry-ons, so if you leave them in your room, you can lock them as an extra security measure. Learn about areas to avoid from your hotel concierge.

Dress simply, conservatively, and like a local, which you can easily research on the Internet by 'Googling' pictures of the population at your destination. Avoid expensive jewelry or baggage, since this will scream “tourist” to the locals. Reduce the electronics that you bring to one or two devices, and put them securely on your person, such as in an ordinary-looking purse, in an interior jacket pocket that is zipped, or a hidden pouch that you wear around your neck. Do not bring loads of cash. Use your ATM card instead and withdraw money as needed from local cash machines.

Locate alternatives to any actions that you take, so you can avoid dangerous situations and personal injury. Know where the emergency exits are on airlines or other travel vehicles as well as in hotels. Research any emergency numbers that you can use at your destination, such as English-speaking doctors, police, ambulance services, accident attorneys, and American consulates and embassies. When you’re planning to take local roads or public transports, have alternate routes or different transportation in mind, in case the road is blocked or transportation is unavailable.