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Travel Safety and Crime Prevention

There are so many times travelers neglect to consider one of the most important things about traveling, which is SAFETY. Vacationers are usually more focused on having fun and a good time. People on Business Trips are usually thinking more about their project or assignment. Travel Safety is either way on the back burner or completely ignored.

There are several different safety precautions that should be taken when you decide to travel. Before you leave on a trip, protect your home. The house should never look like nobody there. Make sure it looks like someone is living in your home when you are traveling. Keep the blinds and curtains in the same position. Stop your mail and newspapers or make sure that a friend or neighbor will pick them up every day. Set lights on timers to go on at appropriate times. Make sure the grass is cut and snow is shoveled at the regular times. Lock all doors and windows. Activate your alarm. Put a radio and / or a television on a timer and turned up loud. Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are gone.

Plan ahead of time where you are going to stay, how you are going to get there and what you will take with you. Make sure that you have all of the maps and tour books that you need before you leave home.

Money issues are very important when traveling. Clean out your wallet or purse. Get rid of all of the junk. Only take with you what you need. Use credit cards and traveler's checks as much as possible. Keep credit card numbers and traveler's check numbers in a safe place. (Also, while you are doing that, it would be a good time to make note of your passport number so if it is lost there will be fewer problems getting a new passport.) Avoid carrying around large amounts of cash. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a money pouch (money belt) or an ankle wallet or a fanny pack so that your money is in the front of your body, not the back. If you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the top closed and keep it on the front of your body.

Travelers should protect themselves against Identity Theft which is one of the fastest growing crimes of the 21st Century. If you become a victim, it can turn your life into a total disaster. Eventhough anybody can become an Identity Theft victim, travelers are more like huge walking targets with flashing neon light all around them which makes it very easy for them to become Identity Theft victims. Travelers often neglect to take the very basic common sense steps to protect themselves and their families.

As an innocent consumer, it is better to concentrate on PREVENTION rather than risk having to go through the entire stressful, very time consuming and sometimes expensive procedures to recover by clearing your name, correcting your credit report, and trying to recover form someone who has stolen your identity. It is very rare that criminals ever get caught and convicted. According to Federal Trade Commission most cases of Identity Theft cases occur offline. So if their statistics are correct, then you are more at risk of becoming an Identity Theft victim while you are running around form city to city traveling than you do when you are sitting at home using you computer to shop on the internet.

If you book your airline, hotel, car rental or cruise reservations or anything else on the internet (like shopping etc.) and / or especially if you travel around from place to place using your laptop / notebook online, it is extremely important for you to make sure that you have a Firewall on your computer to protect yourself against becoming a victim of Identity Theft.

Pack light. Carrying around large, heavy bulky bags will slow you down and make your more vulnerable to getting robbed. Expensive designer luggage can draw unneeded attention to your belongings. Pack your things in inconspicuous bags. Keep a separate list of all of the contents of your luggage with you. You should put your valuables such as medicine and jewelry in a carry-on bag so they stay with you.

Soft sided luggage is better than hard sided for carry-on because it is easier to squeeze into the tight crammed spaces. Big hard cases will have to be checked in which increases the chances of your luggage being lost. Put a unique marker on your luggage so you can recognize it easily when it comes around on the baggage carousel.

Remove all of your old flight tags. Old flight tags can cause your luggage to be misdirected and lost. Put your identification on the inside and on the outside of all of your luggage. If you are going on a long extended vacation, consider mailing large bulky bags back to your home. If you purchase items from a merchant, ask if they can ship your new purchases back to your home. Never leave your luggage unattended even for a brief moment. Make sure all of your luggage is in plain view.

Take some sanitary wipes with you. You will always need

to clean or disinfect something when traveling. Always carry with you at least one bottle of your own drinking water. If you are traveling with a companion, you could consider Cross-Packing just in case the airline looses your luggage, then both of you will still have ½ of the clothes and items you need instead of one person having nothing.

Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid being pickpocketed. Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2's or 3's. One of them will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your valuables and walk away.

Try to blend in with the crowd. Do not go out walking around looking like a tourist because it makes you an easy target to be a crime victim. Tourists carry cameras, plane tickets, money, and other valuables. Check maps before you go so you know the directions and you do not look like you are lost. Never discuss your sightseeing schedule in the presence of strangers. When ever possible travel with other people to sightsee and to go shopping. Stick to well lighted areas. Avoid using short cuts in unfamiliar places.

Lock your car - even for short stops. Take your keys with you. Never leave your vehicle running with the keys in the ignition. Close all of the windows. Keep valuables, maps and guidebooks in the trunk or glove compartment so they are out of sight. Do not leave expensive valuables in plain view. Keep them locked in the trunk. Never leave your wallet, credit cards or driver's license in your vehicle. Always be thinking about protecting yourself against Identity Theft. Take your parking ticket with you. Do not leave the parking ticket in your car. Car thieves know that if they do not have a ticket, then the parking attendant will want to see proof of ownership before allowing them to exit the parking lot. Always check your vehicle before you enter to make sure that nobody is hiding inside.

Write down the year, make, model, color and license number of your car and keep it in a safe place to assist locating your vehicle if it is lost, stolen or impounded. Keep your house and car keys separated in case you have to use valet parking.

Before you leave your car, write down on a note to yourself as to where you are parked. Memory often fails when you are in a different city, that is like a strange place with unusual surroundings OR when returning to your car at the airport in your own city after a long trip.

Do not leave valuables in your hotel room. Use the safe deposit security boxes in the hotel vault. Usually this is either a free or very cheap service. When you are not wearing your jewelry, put it in the hotel vault. When you get to your hotel room, determine the most direct routes to the elevator, stairs and fire escapes.

Use the interior locking device when inside your hotel room for added security. Never automatically open the door. Use the peephole. If it is a hotel employee, ask to see identification. If you are suspicious or have any questions or doubts then call the front desk for verification. Never invite strangers in your room no matter how helpful they may seem.

Always lock you room when you leave, even if just for a minute to go down the hall to get ice. Always pull the door shut by hand. Make sure it is locked. Double check it. If you leave in the evening, turn the lights on and turn on either the radio or television so the room appears to be occupied.

Before you travel, make sure that you have Travel Insurance that meets the needs for you and your family (and / or employees). It should include Emergency Medical Treatment along with other travel protections.

Be sure to take all of the necessary precautions to prevent DVT (blood clots). Deep Vein Thrombosis is a very serious medical condition that can be fatal to travelers. Even young health travelers may be at risks. According to the website, "Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year in the United States which is more than AIDS and breast cancer combined!" Do not just "plant" yourself in your seat for several hours. Move around and stretch. Drink a sufficient amount of water. If possible, stand up and walk around to keep your blood circulating. If you travel with your family, stick together. Keep an eye on the kids at all times. Make sure your kids know where you are staying and what they should do if you get separated. Agree on a meeting place if anybody gets lost. Tell your kids not to accept rides or advice from any strangers.

Finally, have fun and enjoy your trip.

About the author:

Stephanie Gibbs created to educate people about Travel Safety for crime prevention and provide solutions with a FREE Travel Safety List available to be printed right off the website. It also promotes fun & amazing offers for people with low limited budgets.