How To Stay Safe and Prevent Theft While Traveling
Traveling to a new state or country can be very exciting and relaxing at the same time. However, there are some vacation safety tips you need to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your finances.
Here are a few ideas on how to stay safe while traveling abroad or even during a simple weekend getaway:
Before You Leave, Protect Your Home
Safety while traveling begins at home before you ever leave town. To ensure your belongings stay secure while away, make sure no one posts on social media about your trip and how long you’ll be away.
Also, contact the post office about holding your mail and deliveries until you return so it won’t be obvious that no one is home. Finally, ask a trusted neighbor to keep watch over your property to ensure no one enters your property.
Monitor Credit Cards and Credit Reports
It’s quite common to have your credit card number or identity stolen while traveling. Make sure to monitor your credit card statements and credit reports for several months after returning home. If you see any suspicious or unauthorized activity, report it to the credit bureaus and card companies immediately.
Technology for Travel Safety
There are several handy gadgets available for traveling safely. Wallets that act as a safe, GPS tracking for luggage as well as travel companions, and even silent or audible personal safety alarms are available from several retailers.
If you plan on traveling alone or must be out at night, a personal alarm is an absolute must. This device will automatically dispatch local authorities and notify your loved ones if you become distressed and trigger the alarm.
Managing Your Money Safely
Traveling with cash is never a good idea, especially in a foreign country. Use credit when you can and only carry a small amount of cash on you while out and about.
Most restaurants and stores abroad take credit cards. That can make it easier for you to track your expenses and make sure nothing is awry when you return.
The risk of being targeted by pickpockets is also higher while traveling as most tourists are quite obvious to locals. Having your credit cards and identification taken is one thing, but a pile of cash is another and you can never get that back.
Watch Out for Scams
Scam artists are constantly trying to take advantage of tourists. They can offer something for free but then demand a ridiculous price for it. Some scammers may appear to be friendly locals looking to help you avoid ATM fees by utilizing their machine. The truth, however, is that the machine being offered is really a skimmer that will steal your card information right in front of your eyes.
Cab drivers may claim a broken meter and demand high rates for short distances or tell you the hotel or attraction you were headed to has been closed. That way, they can take you to a much more expensive location where they receive a kickback.
If you suspect that you were taken advantage of by one of these scammers, report it to the police right away.
Saving Emergency Numbers
Carrying credit cards, identification, and copies of passports and emergency numbers is always a good idea if they are well-hidden.
Travel bags that you wear around your neck and under your shirt are easily accessible to you. Additionally, they can keep your most important belongings safe from pickpockets. If you are involved in an accident or have a medical emergency, this also makes it easier for first responders to identify you and contact your loved ones.
Before leaving home, print out phone numbers for your credit card companies and any emergency contacts you have back home. You should always have a copy of these numbers with you all the time. If you have any medical conditions or allergies, these should also be included in your notes.
With a little extra attention and preparedness, staying safe while you’re traveling is rather easy. If you simply notify appropriate parties, document and save your personal details, and avoid making yourself a target for pickpockets and scam artists, your travels will always result in an adventure to remember.