No matter where your excursions take you, these tips will help keep you safe so that you can enjoy your summer travels with your family and friends.
Check for travel advisories. Before you make any international travel plans, do some homework on the country you plan to visit. Never board a plane without checking the State Department’s travel advisories posted for countries all around the world at travel.state.gov.
Beware of local scams. Stay savvy about what local scams are common (if any) at your vacation destination with a quick Google search.
- Stay off the roads at night. When traveling to remote locations or countries, it is smart to avoid driving at night, as it may be dangerous to drive after dark.
- Know your US Embassy & the local 911. Before hopping on a plane, find out where the US Embassy (usembassy.gov) is located for your intended destination. If there is any type of emergency, that is where you would want to go. It’s also important to know a country’s version of 911 when you are traveling overseas. Don’t assume every place has a local emergency service. travel.state.gov/content/dam/students-abroad/ pdfs/911_ABROAD.pdf
- Safe road tripping. Long road trips are a great way to see the world, but they also leave you vulnerable when passing through rural or desolate areas. Use a driver protection plan such as Life360’s Driver Protect. It oɛ ers crash detection, emergency response and roadside assistance.
- Use reputable agencies. If you’re going overseas to participate in any type of local tour or excursion such as a safari – make sure you are working with a reputable agency. Sometimes employees can tip oɛ locals letting them know unsuspecting tourists are in town – so be cautious. If any person or situation feels untrustworthy – listen to your instincts and walk away. To check if an agency is reputable or not, you can ask your embassy or a credible hotel chain’s concierge.
- Stay connected. It’s important to have someone know where you are. Use a reliable location-sharing app like Life360 (it even works internationally!) – this way loved ones can stay in touch and keep an eye out.
- Wait to post. Be careful not to advertise to everyone that you’re out of town, which leaves your home and other belongings vulnerable. Wait to post your vacation photos until after you’ve returned from your trip.
- Deter pickpocketers. Wrap your wallet in a light scarf to make it harder for someone to reach into your bag and grab it. Another good rule of thumb is to always keep your bag on your hip in front of you. And don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi. It opens you up to hackers and puts all your personal information at risk. Use only trustworthy networks with a passcode.
This information provided by Deputy MaKenzie Kreiner, Senior Safety Coordinator. Deputy Kreiner promotes safety and protection of older adults through the COA and Cass County Sheriff’s Offfice.