Safety First!

Traveling the world is a wonderful experience; we can all learn so much from other cultures. That being said, it is important to be cautious, especially in areas you are unfamiliar with. The following tips can help you stay safe on your next trip.

Copy your passport, license, insurance card, social security card, credit and debit cards, and any other important documents before you leave. We recommend keeping one copy at home and taking another with you in a separate bag from the originals. You can also scan and email a copy so that you can access your information from any computer.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Avoid looking like a foreigner by dressing and behaving according to local norms. That way, you are less of an easy target. This is especially true for pickpockets. Tourists are distracted, off guard, and usually carry more cash and electronics. By blending in, and using bags that close fully and have cross-body straps, you can deter robbers.

Consider your safety when choosing a hotel. Large, luxurious hotel chains generally maintain better hotel security than smaller ones. They also tend to be located in safer areas and use key cards that provide more security than old-fashioned keys. Ask your concierge if you are unsure what sites you should see and what you may want to avoid. However, if you decide to stay in a motel, try to find one with interior hallways.

Leave your “do not disturb sign” out whenever you leave your room to discourage anyone from entering while you are away. When you return, make sure to lock and bolt your door. If there is no bolt, consider packing a rubber doorstop that you can wedge under your door to help keep it shut.

If you are ever uncomfortable walking alone, you can ask security to escort you to your room. They will be happy to do so, especially if you are staying far from elevators or at the end of corridors. To further avoid walking alone, try to use valet parking services. If that is not an option, then park as close to the entrance as possible.

You should always keep your valuables, especially cash, cards, and your passport/license, with you. If you choose to leave anything important in your room, then lock it in a safe.

Never agree to meet anyone you do not know in a hotel room. Instead, make use of public rooms like restaurants or lounges.