You have been working hard all year, and now it’s time to start planning that exciting summer getaway. Maybe you’ll take a Hawaiian cruise, or perhaps a romantic trip to Paris. Whatever destination you choose, make sure to bring plenty of sunblock, take lots of photos, and most importantly, be mindful of your security needs. The excitement of an exotic retreat tends to distract us from the important practical matters of safety and security, so before you race to the terminal shouting “Au Revoir,” consider a few important preparative tips.
Be Mindful of Social Media
The excitement and anticipation of an upcoming getaway can be hazardous to the health of your home. After all, you don’t want to keep the magic to yourself. You want to share your enthusiasm with the world. Tweets, status updates, insta-whatevers…it’s very important that the people in your life be made aware of your eagerness and good fortune. There’s just one problem. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of burglars use social media to scope out potential victims. So if you use Cyberspace to boast of your big trip to Idaho (hey, there are plenty of things to see in Idaho), you may just attract an unwanted element to your home while you’re away. Wait until you return, and then you can post all of the photos, brags and hashtags you want.
Set Your Alarm
And while we’re talking about the home, let’s not forget the importance of having a quality home security system. If you don’t already have one, and you plan to leave your home completely unattended, now would be a good time to start shopping around for an alarm system. Vacant homes are three times more likely to be invaded if they lack a quality alarm system, so don’t underestimate the extraordinary value of this oft-overlooked household essential.
If you’re just heading from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for a few days, you can ignore this section for the most part, but if you’re planning to travel abroad, you now have some very important preparations to make. First, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website to learn important information about your destination, complete with travel alerts and safety tips. Then visit the CDC Travelers’ Health web page for valuable information relating to important vaccines and medicines. Make sure to remember your passport, visas, medications and first aid, and determine whether you’ll need health insurance to cover your time overseas.
Lock up Your Valuables
Ideally, you’ll want to leave your valuables at home, but if you do travel with certain desirable goods like jewelry or electronics, make sure to lock them up whenever they’re not on your person. If your hotel room, cabin or timeshare property doesn’t have a safe, you can use affordable diversion safes to conceal your property. It’s important to be proactive about protecting what’s yours, because American tourists are viewed as optimal targets by thieves in many parts of the world. Many of these thieves associate Americans with wealth, and that’s just one more reason while you’re better off leaving your valuables at home. By flaunting your extravagances (no matter how meager they may seem to you), you may attract criminals like a magnet.
Exercise Common Sense
Finally, a few words about personal safety. Hopefully, much of this will sound like common sense, but it’s certainly important to emphasize. Don’t travel alone if you can avoid it, take time to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your destination, heed any safety warnings provided to you by the Department of State or the local tourism authority, and only use authorized public transportation and officially marked taxi cabs. Most importantly, have a great time and try to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets – unless, of course, you’re visiting Seattle, in which case, enjoy the coffee.