Vacation can take weeks, if not months, of preparation: where to visit, what city to stay in, the best restaurants to try and the most beautiful sites to see. But are you really that prepared?
Before you leave on vacation ...
There are countless items to check off your list before leaving for vacation, especially if it’s out of the country:
- Be sure to alert your banks and credit card companies, including how long you’ll be gone and where you’ll be.
- Make a copy of your passport and a photocopy of return tickets, just in case anything happens while you’re traveling. Keep the originals and copies in separate places.
- Check with your health plan’s out-of-area coverage in case of an accident.
- Fill any prescription medications to have enough to last the entire trip. Pack medication in a carry-on bag instead of checking them in your luggage, and keep the original labeling to avoid issues in security.
- A written itinerary can give relief to friends and family so they know your plans. Consider using a travel app to keep your iteninary (while also getting some great steals and deals).
- Leave your valuables, such as expensive jewelry, technology and belongings at home.
Do your research!
Whether it’s in-state, in-country or out-of-country travel, you should learn about your destination and what you’ll need in order to get there. Dig deeper to avoid being scammed into a low-cost or even free vacation. Usually, there is no such thing and a crook could be at fault. A little planning now means more fun later.
Is what you leave behind safe?
Many travelers who leave for weeks at a time will likely ask a relative or friend to watch their property and/or pets. It’s nice to rely on your neighbors if you’re gone for a few days, but a two-week trip is a different story. If no one is available to keep guard, set your house lights on a timer and be sure to lock all doors.
While you’re away ...
Whether you’re traveling alone or with others, it’s important to blend in and “live like a local” to avoid becoming a potential target:
- Once you’re at your destination, don’t get distracted. Know where you are, where your money and cell phone are located and have a plan.
- Securing luggage, cash and credit cards is vital. Do not keep all of them in one location. For example, secure your passport and credit cards in a locked safe if you plan on using cash that day or vice versa.
- Stay off social media until your return. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or other sources, unwanted interest can be completely avoided if you aren’t drawing the attention. According to the FBI, home burglaries account for more than 70% of burglaries in the U.S. with $2,316 in property loss per break-in.
Before you come home ...
Double check your hotel room or rental space to make sure none of your belongings permanently stay on vacation.
While keeping safety in mind, it’s also important to enjoy yourself. Getting off the beaten path has its advantages as long as you can get home.
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