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Staying Safe On The Road: Tips For Traveling
Warren Chang, Vice President and General Manager of Fly.com, has helped us develop this list of travel precautions.
- Read State Department travel alerts and warnings. Remember that alerts relate to short-term events and warnings are more long-term concerns. While warnings and alerts are issued countrywide, it may not necessarily mean that an entire area is unsafe for travel.
- Inform the State Department of your travel itinerary via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program when you are traveling internationally.
- Consider planning your trip with a travel agency or tour company if you are visiting a foreign country where you do not speak the language or if your travel has many destinations.
- Remember to refill your prescriptions and other medical necessities pre-trip.
- Activate your phone for international calling and data, or purchase a pre-paid phone for travel.
- Consider travel or medical insurance for overseas visits, if necessary.
- Make a copy of your passport and travel documents, leaving them in your hotel room or a reliable party back home.
During Your Trip:
- Keep one ATM and one credit card in the hotel safe in case robbery occurs while out and about.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewels or designer clothing, or clothing that overtly brands you as an American traveling overseas.
- Keep money in a safe place - back pockets and dangling purses are easy targets for pickpockets.
- Abide by all local customs and traditions, as appropriate.
- Know where the local consulate or embassy is, and have a plan for a meeting place in case of an emergency.
- Arrange tours and activities through the hotel concierge. These vendors are vetted for guaranteed pricing and can at times be more reliable than on-the-street finds.
- Chang suggests avoiding use of the "do not disturb" light on your hotel room door in dangerous areas. "This may sound a bit paranoid (if not neurotic), but I chose not to use the 'Do Not Disturb' sign at night so that in the event that terrorists are looking to capture hostages, I would not have an LED light or big sign on the doorknob indicating that the room was occupied."
[Image Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office]
Filed under: Travel Security