Travel safety begins before you leave your home
FBI statistics show that property theft crime rates rise by 10 percent in June, July, and August, the peak summer vacation months. Thieves know this, so it is imperative to take steps to help protect your home while you are away. Secure your home by making it look occupied, even while you are traveling, to deter potential burglars.
Before you Leave for Vacation
- Tell a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend your travel itinerary and ask them to keep an eye on your property and alert the police of any suspicious activity.
- Have mail and newspaper delivery paused. A clear sign that nobody’s home is a stack of mail, as well as garbage cans left at the curb. You can temporarily stop delivery by contacting your newspaper carrier and the United States Post Office and have a neighbor bring in your garbage bins so that it isn’t obvious you are away.
At the Airport
Once at the airport keep a close eye on your luggage at all times
- Do not leave your luggage unattended, especially in bathrooms, restaurants or kiosks.
- When going through security, put your laptop on the x-ray belt last, as you don't want it in the open too long. This way, your laptop will come out after your carry-on luggage and hopefully around the time you are cleared.
- During flight, place your luggage in the overhead bin across the aisle from you, enabling you to keep an eye on your bag during the flight to ensure nobody is opening it
While on Vacation
As you arrive at your destination, whether it is a theme park or a fancy resort, there are a few safety precautions you can take:
- Stay off social media. While it is tempting to post about your vacation, refrain from posting photos, status updates, or “checking in” during your trip. This can tip criminals off that you are away, regardless of your security settings on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
- Keep cash and credit cards in separate places. Never carry your credit cards, cash, and passport simultaneously. You’ll want to keep enough cash in your wallet for the day, and stash the rest away in your hotel room safe.
- Make copies of your passport. Be sure to make two copies of your passport. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and take the other copy with you. When you go out sightseeing, take the copy with you and leave the original in your hotel safe.
- Do a security sweep of your hotel room. Always keep your hotel door locked and never answer it for someone you don’t know. If any security device (door lock, room key, window lock) isn’t functioning, notify hotel management and ask to be moved to another room.
You can never be too careful when it comes to traveling. Have peace of mind by ensuring your home is secure while you are away and be vigilant along your journey.