August is National Travel and Safety Awareness Month August 23 2014
When planning to travel out of state or out of country, it is important to maintain a strong sense of travel safety awareness. Here are some tips to help you remain safe, secure and comfortable on your travels.
Be aware of any alerts or warnings for the area you intend to travel to. If you are going overseas, particularly to more volatile regions, it is important to be aware of warnings issued by travel authorities, particularly in regions such as the Middle East, Israel, and Russia.
If you plan to fly, don’t check anything you can’t afford to lose. There is always a risk when you fly that your checked baggage may become permanently separated from you – don’t check credit cards, money, passports, or social security information.
Some travel safety awareness applies just as much too international travel as it does to home: don’t project affluence, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
If you choose to stay in a hotel, maintain an awareness of your surroundings and take safety precautions. If staying on an upper level of a hotel, request to be located near the stairwell. Never attempt to use an elevator in an emergency.
Maintain discretion during your travels, particularly involving money. An important factor of maintaining travel safety awareness is making sure that others don’t target you. Have tips for services ready in advance, be discreet when showing your passport to officials, and when exchanging currency, do so discreetly and only from reputable exchange agents.
Be aware of special accommodations that you may need in advance, including wheelchair accessibility. Also, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or prescriptions, familiarize yourself with medical care in the area. Keep contact information for your regular doctor and pharmacy with you, as well, in the event that you lose your prescriptions.
Maintain knowledge of local events, customs, cultures, scams, and volatile situations. When traveling, the worst thing you can do is call attention to yourself as a foreigner, or at very least, not a local. It makes you an easier target.
Make sure you are prepared for an emergency. Whether you are traveling overseas or across town, disaster can strike anywhere, from fire to tornadoes, accidents to robbery. Have a backup plan for unexpected events.
The most important factor to maintaining financial and security while traveling is to be alert and aware at all times. Travel safety awareness involves just that: the ability to maintain an alert mindset and remain observant to potential threats, scams, safety hazards, and even frustrating inconveniences.