Planning a vacation is more than just making a hotel reservation and packing your suitcase. You also want to take some basic steps to make sure you are safe and protected while you are on vacation. Taking a few minutes before you leave home to plan for the unexpected can mean the difference between an amazing vacation and a week or more of travel nightmares. Here is the ultimate guide to staying safe while you’re out on an amazing travel adventure.
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Ultimate Guide to Vacation Safety
Whether you are planning a trip to a brand new city or heading out on a lengthy road trip, be smart, make some preparations and be ready to stay safe. Vacations are supposed to be time to get away from the ordinary routines of life, and you want to do your part to prevent any unsafe experiences.
Check for Safe Areas
One of the first things I do when planning a trip to a new area is to call the tourism office. I want to make sure I don’t book a hotel in a shady part of town or plan to explore an area that is not safe for tourists. The people who work in the tourism offices know the city far better than I do and they want to ensure that my trip to their area is a great experience.
Ask them about the best places to book a hotel, the safest spots for exploring on foot and of course if there are any specific guidelines or places that should be off limits.
Click here to access the Visitors Bureau/Tourism Office for each of the 50 states!
Bring Medicines and Prescriptions
Think about the medicines you routinely take and make sure you have everything you need. You should carry at least enough of your daily medicines to cover the days you will be traveling, but should also be prepared for any travel delays or extensions. Some people choose to travel with actual copies of their medications in their wallet as well as luggage so they will have the medication names and dosage amounts ready in case of emergencies. If you use a smart phone, there are several apps that will let you input your medications so they can be accessed easily if you are unable to remember what you are taking.
Read full details about traveling on planes with your medications.
Secure your Valuables
When you are exploring a new city or out on a long family adventure, you may not want to wear your most expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of cash in your wallet. Keep small bills and change available in your wallet for everyday expenses like admission fees, snacks or bus fare. Most travelers like to divide the money you are traveling with and distribute it among several pockets or places in your luggage. That way if you lose your wallet or get robbed you won't lose everything.
Travel in Groups
Whether you are exploring a new city or simply going on adventure, it is typically best to travel in groups when possible. We've all heard that there is safety in numbers, so make yourself less of a target by moving in groups.
If you do find yourself out alone, be smart and stay aware. Keep your head moving so you don't get surprised by someone with harmful intentions.
Tell Someone Where You Are Going
When you are going out on an unfamiliar hiking trail or simply going into a major city to spend the day exploring, make sure someone knows your general itinerary. Let them know when you expect to return so they can alert authorities if needed. This does not mean that you have to abandon spontaneous activities, but just be mindful of your surroundings and have a general plan when possible.
Know Where to Get Help
When we visit a new area, we make a point of spotting the closest medical facilities. This is not something that stays on top of our mind, but we do want a plan in place in case there is a medical emergency. If you have someone in your group with specific health issues, this becomes even more important.
Most GPS devices have an option to choose hospitals or medical facilities. This will allow you to find the closest option for treatment if you have an emergency.
Check your Insurance
If you are traveling out of state, check with your insurance to see if there is anything specific you need to know about the area you are traveling. Some insurance companies have an app that will help you find the closest in-network medical facility no matter where you are. Check before you travel so you will be prepared in case of an emergency.
Staying safe is not something that should worry you or keep you from enjoying your vacation. But our personal safety should stay top of mind so we can all make memories and come home safe. What are your best tips for staying safe when you are on a road trip or vacation? I'd love to hear!