6 Safety Tips That Can Help Keep You Safe When Traveling
August 04, 2016 | General
Whether you plan to travel within your own country or abroad, you should keep safety foremost in mind as you make plans and prepare for your trip. Criminals all too often monitor and target tourists, vacationers, out-of-town event-goers and business travellers.
The following six tips offer you the means to take control of your safety when away from home:
1. Research Regions Before Visiting
Government, academic and medical websites provide detailed travel warnings about regions around the world where instability from environmental catastrophes and/or political unrest has caused safety concerns. The only way you can prepare for any safety challenges is by determining if war, animal attacks, kidnappings, muggings, diseases, severe weather or other safety issues might affect you when you reach your destination. These websites, along with travel agencies, often outline in detail the threats and the steps you need to take to limit danger.
2. Ensure Your Home is Secure Before Leaving
The excitement of traveling somewhere new can make you forgetful. That nagging feeling of forgetting something when you’re on the road or at the airport doesn’t always need to exist. There are a lot of to-do’s to remember when you are heading out the door; double checking the lights are off, locking doors and asking a trusted neighbour or friend to take your mail inside if you’ll be gone for a long time. Making a list of things to do, and checking them off as completed, will help you ensure everything is secure and you can relax while you are away. If you have an Interactive Security Solution, you can triple check that your house is safe by logging into the mobile monitoring app, and even close your garage door on the way to the airport (if you happened to leave it open).
3. Think About Your Car
If you are planning on leaving your car parked somewhere while you’re gone, whether it be at the airport, on the street or wherever, if it’s going to be parked for a while, there’s some things to keep in mind – Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car. This is a common mistake people make and is one of the most common things thieves look for in parked cars. By simply finding a piece of mail or a document with your address on it in your car, thieves can take the garage door opener and have access to your home. If you are planning on driving your car for a long distance, ensure your vehicle is prepared for the journey, and consider what your plan will be if you run into car trouble along the way.
4. Study Safe Routes and Locations
Always ask travel agents, trusted locals and other travelers for tips about well-traveled routes and secure locations. For example, if you like to go on a morning run or ride a bike, you might ask about camera-monitored walking and bike paths or routes where criminal activities happen infrequently. Most cities have one or more unsafe neighbourhoods. Ask about safe alternative routes around them. Lastly, always find out where locals go to feel safe when any type of unsafe situation occurs, such as law enforcement centres and public spots that offer sanctuary.
5. Improve Your Situational Awareness
Many tourists fail to maintain awareness of what is happening in their surroundings or listen to their instincts as they marvel at the sights. Go to public places that offer a lot of people and traffic distractions and practice the lessons you’ve learned, such as the art of observation. For example, learn to notice things more in your peripheral vision and pay closer attention to sounds. Keeping to well-lit areas, and travelling in a group can also offer safety in numbers, and help you avoid situations that could pose a risk to your safety.
6. Carry Your Phone at All Times
The easiest way to report a safety-related emergency while traveling is via mobile phone. Pre-program your travel phone with “In Case of Emergency” or ICE speed dial numbers like the numbers for the local Consular Affairs office or emergency services. If something happens, you then simply press a single button to reach assistance. Contacting your cell phone provider to set up a Travel Plan will help to limit additional costs for use while travelling. Having your phone handy will also allow you access your Smart Home Security System to check on activity at the house while you are away. You can find a lot of peace of mind in knowing that the house sitter has been by to check on things and locked the door and armed the system when he or she was on their way out.