TRAVEL SMARTER : Personal Safety While Traveling

Before you leave on your trip, share your itinerary with friends and family.

WHETHER TRAVELING DOMESTICALLY OR ABROAD, you can take steps to ensure your personal safety. With proper planning, self-awareness, and some common sense, you can enjoy your destination with relative ease by implementing some of the following personal safety practices. 

Before you leave home, check the local news at your destination. Knowing about inclement weather, utility outages, or civil unrest will allow you to adjust your travel plans accordingly. 

Be sure your accommodations meet your personal safety standards. Familiarize yourself with multiple entrances and exits from the main building as well as from your personal quarters. Motivated thieves can use a stolen or fabricated keycard to bypass digital room locks, so use the secondary latch or deadbolt lock on your room door at night. If your room door has no additional locking features, put a chair or luggage against the door as an additional deterrent to someone trying to enter your room while you are inside. 

Documentation is not only necessary to get into another country, but it’s also something you need to get home. Make both digital and printed paper copies of all documents required for the trip so you have a physical backup to the original as well as photos on your phone, and share a copy with someone who is not on the trip with you. Should anything be stolen or misplaced, you need a positive way to identify yourself and shouldn’t rely solely on your phone in the event it disappears as well.

Whatever mode of transportation you use, select companies that are reputable (or at least known) businesses with online reviews. If you are using an app service, verify that your driver’s information matches what is reserved on the app. Before you get into a vehicle, don’t be shy about taking a picture of its license plate and sharing the photo with a friend. 

When in public, try not to stand out as someone who doesn’t belong or who is obviously a traveler to avoid being an easy target for pickpockets, thieves, and scammers. Instead, do your best to blend in by knowing where you’re going and walking with a purpose. 

Before you leave on your trip, share your itinerary with friends and family. Include the sites you plan to visit and where you will be staying. Research and make a note of the local phone numbers for police, fire, and emergency medical services for the places you will be visiting. Consider carrying a piece of paper with friends’ and family members’ contact information in the event you lose your phone and need to reach someone or in case you have a medical emergency and need to provide personnel with contacts to inform of your condition. AD

© Alert Diver — Q2 2023