Now that school is back in session and the height of the busy travel season is all but over it is easy to put travel safety on the back burner. However, I probably don’t have to remind you (have you been to the greeting card store lately) that the busy holiday travel season is set to kick off in just a couple of months. With that in mind, here are a few safety tips to have on hand prior to the holiday rush. (Consider printing these tips out and keeping them in a file until you are ready to head out on your family vacation.)
Forget about convenience—safety should be your first priority. Request a hotel room that opens onto an interior hallway, rather than to the outside. Sure, it’s easier to unload the car when it’s parked right outside the door, but a room that opens directly into the parking lot makes it easier for thieves to monitor your whereabouts. A thief can time a break in very easily if he sees you getting in your car and driving to the amusement park.
Prior to making a room reservation ask if the hotel offers electronic key cards, instead of regular room keys. Electronic cards tend to be a safer alternative as they are reprogrammed for each new guest.
Watch your bags. Studies show baggage theft at airports is on the rise. Most thefts occur simply because the bag’s owner leaves his/her luggage unattended. Thieves know that carry-on bags are where people carry their valuables and cash so make sure you keep yours at your side at all times. Never leave your bags unattended, especially when you are outside the airport, especially in countries like Europe and Asia.
Watch your pockets. It’s one of the oldest tricks out there. A thief will “accidentally” bump into you and then walk off with your wallet. In addition, be mindful of where your valuables are when you speak to people. Someone asking you questions could be diverting your attention while an accomplice grabs your bag. You may want to consider purchasing a money belt or moneybag that you wear inside your clothing. Also, safety experts recommend only carrying enough cash for a day, and only one credit card.