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Ways To Travel Safely

Updated on October 9, 2009

Protecting Yourself Is Key

Planning ahead can help to make your travel plans safer.  Be aware of your surroundings and what people in the area are doing.  Take charge of your safety and avoid potentially dangerous situations.  Most thieves have nothing more on their minds than taking valuables without getting caught.  They look for easy targets, such as people that might be preoccupied and are not paying attention to their wallets, purses, or laptops.  Crimes and violent acts are rarely targeted to a specific person or place.

Criminals seek out vulnerable subjects.  People who walk or run singularly, attend to personal business in their unlocked parked cars, or exit a bar after a few drinks.

Some tips to remove yourself and family from a thief's target list are:

  1. Always maintain your vehicle and keep it in good running condition can significantly decrease breakdowns if you're out on the road by yourself.

  2. Install a CB radio or satellite tracking device in your vehicle.  If you need help, police or emergency services can be notified quickly.

  3. If you need to stay away from home for a night or extended stay, let friends, family or co-workers know about your itinerary.  Provide them with the phone number and address of your hotel, routes you plan to travel, and approximate arrival and departure times.

  4. Plan your travel carefully.  Weather and driving conditions must be considered. Carry maps and get familiar with the route(s) you plan to use to get to your destination.

  5. Always carry an emergency kit, a working flashlight, jumper cables, and bottled water with you in your vehicle.  A First-aid kit, collapsible shovel or other small tools, snacks, and a blanket.

Traveling alone increases risks and can involve threatening situations.  Always keep your vehicle doors locked while traveling, never sit for extended times reading or working on business needs in an unlocked vehicle, and when you get out of your vehicle, be sure to lock the doors.

Keep shopping bags, wrapped presents, and computer equipment out of view when stored in your car.  Try to keep most, if not all, shopping bags, suitcases and other valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.

Try not to be distracted by scenery or other tourist attractions. Complacency  and letting your guard down invites and advertises that you could be an easy target because you are unaware and unfamiliar about your surroundings. Always be alert and pay attention to your surroundings.

If adequate parking is not provided or available, and you must walk a distance to your destination, be aware of what or who is in between you and the entrance to the building. Don't walk between parked vans that block you and your view of who's inside the vehicles. Don't load your arms with suitcases or business necessities. Use the hotel parking valet service to avoid having to walk to or from your destination alone.

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