July is one of the biggest months for family travel. There is lots to do in planning and packing but you also need to prepare to be safe while away from home. Here are a few of the things I do to have a safe trip.
Research the area. Are there particularly unsafe areas of town? Are there known tourist scams in the area? Are there locations that are known as places to avoid? When traveling internationally, it’s also especially important to know what to do in an emergency! Is there a special number to phone for an ambulance or police?
Make sure someone knows my plans. It’s smart to have someone know what time you left point A or when you’re supposed to be in point B and what route you’re taking. I don’t always have definite plans when I’m on a road trip, but I usually have plans for a couple of days ahead. I can text my daughter or sister those plans. I try to leave a hard copy of my itinerary and the numbers and locations of hotels, rental companies, anyone I am meeting on the trip with my daughter or sister. I just fill in the blanks as I go.
Scan & copy my important documents. I don’t leave home (especially to go overseas) without copies of my credit card, bank card, driver’s license, and passport. I keep those copies in a separate place from my actual documents in case something gets stolen. This trip I am taking a technology leap into the 21st century. I scanned and uploaded copies of these documents to my secure Drop Box account. Now I’ll be able to access my information from any computer.
Have a card with emergency information. On the card I have listed the name, phone number, and relationship of someone to contact in case of emergency. I also have my health insurance information, my prescription list, and allergies list on the same card.
Be aware. The simple act of being aware of your surroundings can cut down on so many potential dangers. Take inventory of the area – what’s around and who’s around? What’s close? What are others doing? I love to talk to strangers but I am skeptical of people being too nice or overly helpful. I NEVER provide personal information (such as credit card information, hotel room number, etc.) to anyone no matter how nice they seem.
Bring a selfie stick! Everyone is doing it—including the President. There are, however, certain iconic photos that are must-have. For example, on my last trip—me standing in front of the Grand Canyon, me standing in front in front of Graceland in Memphis, me standing in front of Paula Dean’s Restaurant in Savannah. You get the picture! And with my selfie stick so did I (without having to hand my new cell phone over to a total stranger!) One thing to check out is that some attractions such as Disneyland, Disney World don’t allow selfie sticks.
Have an emergency card on you. Name, phone number, and relationship of someone to contact in case of emergency. I also include my health insurance information, my prescription list, and my allergy list. I check this information right before every trip to be sure it is up-to-date.
My favorite way to travel is the good old-fashioned American road trip. It is always an exciting adventure for me but I want it to a good one and safety is a big concern.
These tips are by no means the only ways to remain safe while traveling. What do you do to remain safe?