After this past year, people are eager to get back on the road and see new places. Traveling with friends and family is what we do during the summer! And people are excited that travel options are returning to normal.
As you explore new ground, we at CPI Security want to make sure you do so in the safest way possible.
To help, we’ve compiled our top safety tips so you and your travel buddies can make the most out of your next adventure.
Travel Safety Tips Before You Go
Tip 1: Do your research.
When preparing for a trip, first learn as much as you can about your destination. Dig into traveler reviews and, when possible, ask locals for information about the safest places to explore and high-crime areas to avoid.
If traveling abroad, the Department of State recommends studying up on visa requirements, local laws and customs, and medical care in your destination. Also, be sure to check for any issued travel advisories.
Tip 2: Share your plans strategically.
Whether you're planning a long European vacation or quick weekend getaway, updating your contacts is an important part of preparing for a trip. Avoid posting detailed information on Facebook or other social media. Instead, let a trusted friend or family member know where you plan to go and when you plan to return.
Share a copy of your itinerary and check in often, especially if anything changes. If you have a trusted house sitter or neighbor, consider giving them their own key or alarm system code before you leave.
Traveling abroad? Log your travels with the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Consider enrolling with the U.S. Department of State's free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. When you register, the embassy at your destination can send you travel safety information, and it helps the U.S. Embassy (and those back home) know how to reach you in case of an emergency.
Tip 3: Have an emergency plan.
Follow the adage: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Even if you heed travel safety tips, plans can go awry.
That's why it's recommended to have an emergency plan. When preparing for a trip, jot down your destination's police and other important emergency service phone numbers and store them in an easily accessible location (like the Notes app on your phone).
Keep a printed copy (laminated is best) in your wallet or purse, too, and carry it with you at all times. That way, you'll be ready—quickly—in the event of an emergency.
Tip 4: Heed the CDC's travel safety guidelines.
Travel in 2021 means it's always wise to have a face mask (and, if you'd like, hand sanitizer) so you're prepared to follow local guidelines and prevent the spread of deadly viruses.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises delaying all travel until you are fully vaccinated to reduce your chances of getting and spreading the virus.
If you are not yet fully vaccinated, follow CDC guidelines for traveling internationally or domestically.
Tip 5: Alert your bank to your travels.
These days, most banks make it easy to create a travel alert, so you can quickly notify them of where you plan to be.
A couple of clicks, or a phone call, before you hit the road can ensure that your accounts won't get frozen if your bank suspects suspicious purchases, saving you time and hassle while traveling.
Tips While Traveling
Tip 6: Look like a local.
Looking down at your phone while walking through the streets or wearing certain clothes can make it obvious that you're a tourist, making you more susceptible as a crime target.
Instead, try to blend in. Be discreet when looking at maps, and consider purchasing clothing and gear that will make it more difficult for pickpockets to steal money and other personal items.
Tip 7: Lock up your valuables.
The safest way to travel is without any valuables that can't be replaced. But if you have valuables you travel with, like cameras or other necessary equipment, make sure the places you plan to stay have secure storage options.
Don't rely on secure backpacks. According to travel experts, even the most expensive travel bags can be cut open or easily unlocked—or simply grabbed out from under you if you get distracted for a moment.
Tip 8: Beware of public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi is everywhere these days: coffee shops, airports, museums, and more. But when you're logged on to a public Wi-Fi network, hackers can access your data, including bank information and Social Security numbers.
One of the easiest travel tips: set up an affordable Virtual Private Network, or VPN, with a service like ExpressVPN, which makes it much more difficult for trolling thieves to access your private information.
Follow these simple travel safety tips, and you'll avoid many unwanted headaches, ensuring a safer, more enjoyable trip. Our mission is to help you feel safe and have peace of mind in all you do. Security is our last name, after all. For tips like these, visit our blog to learn more.