Traveling is one of my absolute favorite things. Prior to having kids, I had the pleasure of traveling to 9 countries in Europe, Mexico, Australia, as well as about half of the United States. As a family with young kids, we still travel whenever we can! This summer we’ve enjoyed trips to Nebraska, California, and Tucson. And, we can’t wait for our first international family trip this fall to the Caribbean!! Travel can be so fun, but it’s important to think about safety any time you’re traveling. So as part of a sponsored campaign with Lifelock, I’m sharing 10 travel safety tips to help keep you safe:
1. Make sure someone knows your plans. Share your itinerary with other family or a friend. They don’t need to know “all your business”, but it’s smart to have someone that knows what time you left point A or when you’re supposed to be in point B. If you’re in any kind of danger, having someone that knows your plans can make all the difference.
2. Scan & Copy Your Important Documents. We don’t leave home (especially overseas) with copies of our driver’s license and passports. We keep those copies in a separate place from our actual documents in case something gets stolen. Additionally, you could photograph/scan this items & store in something like a dropbox file or Google drive account where you can online. In the event that your travel documents are lost or stolen, this can really be helpful!
3. Research the area before you leave. 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? Find out what it is & write it down. Also, always know where the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate is.
4. Leave the wallet extras at home. When traveling I only carry 1 credit card, my bank card, my AAA card, and my driver’s license. Everything else stays at home. In the event that your wallet were stolen, this saves you a HUGE headache of having to remember the entire contents of your wallet. Instead of dealing with potentially multiple credit cards as well as any membership cards you might have in there.
5. Carry money & documents ON your person. I tend to be more careful about this when I’m traveling overseas with my passport. In those cases, my passport is ON my person – in a hidden security waist belt (NOT the same as a fanny pack – don’t use that! 😉 ) or leg wallet. I don’t recommend the neck versions as they can be uncomfortable, visible, and give would-be thieves a reason to grab something at your neck.
6. Separate your cards and money. Never, ever carry all of your cards and money in one place. If you need it all with you, separate it between your hidden security belt, your bag, and your wallet. If you’re traveling with a partner, split up your items. Share the cash between you and consider swapping 1 card with the other person. If you need to leave something behind in the room – use the hotel safe!
7. Have an emergency card on you. Include two sets of information on this card (especially when traveling overseas) – Name, phone number, and relationship of someone to contact in case of emergency. Plus, when traveling internationally, list the emergency numbers (for police, ambulance, etc) and the US Embassy/Consulate.
8. Be aware of your surroundings. The simple act of being aware 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? Be skeptical of people being too nice or overly helpful…and NEVER provide personal information (credit card numbers, hotel room numbers, etc) to anyone without proper identification (like please don’t give your credit card number over the phone at the hotel).
9. Consider extra insurance. Consider your family’s needs, the destination(s) where you’re heading, and what your current policies are. Travel insurance definitely might be worth purchasing – as well as possibly travel health insurance. No matter what, it’s smart to check your current policies (health & car) to help make a decision on whether or not you should purchase something extra.
10. Protect your identity with Lifelock. With identity theft being one of the most widespread and fastest-evolving crimes, this is really something important to consider. If you do lose important documents or fall victim to a theft while traveling, you can at least have extra piece of mind with Lifelock. Even though Lifelock is sponsoring this post, as a paying Lifelock customer, I can genuinely say that I think their services are important. LifeLock is there to help ensure that all of your information is safe & secure. They pledge to protect your information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! For even more information on identity theft & staying safe, you can check out the book: Stolen Identity: What Anyone with a Name, Birthdate and Social Security Number Needs to Know Now .