Travel Safety: 4 Ways to Plan Ahead for Worry-free Trips
Traveling can be stressful. Why make it harder than it has to be? Whether traveling domestically or internationally, being prepared for situations you may encounter helps ensure a safer experience. Before taking flight or hitting the road, think past packing the essentials and consider other critical factors to improve your chances of returning home safely.
1. At the airport: Stay safe and alert.
Luggage tips – Never leave your bags unattended, and only entrust your bags to uniformed airline personnel.
Avoid pickpocketing – Pickpocketing can happen anywhere. Carry your purse and wallet close to your body and avoid flashing expensive items, like cameras and jewelry.
Take notes – Keep a record of the contents of your luggage, and try to keep your most valuable items in carry-on luggage. Don’t forget to attach identification tags to all your bags, including your laptop computer.
2. On the road: Prevent unnecessary dilemmas.
Look ahead – Become familiar with your route by studying a map before you depart, and make sure that your car or rental car is in good operating condition.
Take precautions – Be sure to park in well-lit areas at night, the closer to entrances and walkways the better, and have your keys ready.
Have a plan – Store a disaster supply kit in your trunk equipped with the essentials, and pay attention to the weather forecasts for your destination. Weather apps can help you avoid storms or other challenges that might jeopardize your safety.
3. At the hotel: Notice your surroundings.
Avoid theft – Instruct your hotel concierge to write down your room number rather than saying it aloud, and avoid leaving the room key clearly displayed or unattended.
Protect your assets – Keep your hotel doors and windows locked, and check to make sure they’re locked properly. Keep valuables, like jewelry and cash, in the hotel safe.
Plan ahead – Learn the location of fire exits in case of an emergency. Ask the hotel attendant for two copies of the hotel’s business cards. Keep one in your room and one with you in case you get lost.
4. Traveling Abroad: Use your international resources.
If you face an emergency situation and require assistance, the U.S. Department of State operates a Citizens’ Emergency Center (202.647.0900) that offers support and notice of advisories for travelers.
For airport alerts, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a Travel Advisory and Airport Safety Hotline (800.221.0673). For up-to-date information about safe and unsafe areas of your destination, consult the hotel manager or a local tourist information manager.