Planning Your Next Vacation with Safety in Mind

You’re going on vacation in a couple of weeks. Oh, how you can’t wait to dip your toes into the water or to sip on a mint julep in the Louisiana Bayou. The closer you get to leaving, the more likely your travel fantasies are to get away from you.

However, before embarking on your trip, you need to do some serious planning, especially where your safety is concerned. Knowing what issues you could encounter ahead of time allows you to plan for them before they happen. If they don’t come to pass, great! You get a great adventure. If they do, then at least you know you’re not going to panic: You’ve already got a plan in place. You only need to implement it.

Here are some tips for planning your vacation with safety in mind.

Plan for Accidents

No one goes on vacation with the goal of having an accident, but accidents can and do happen on vacation. You’re in strange territory when you’re on vacation. You just aren’t going to know all the danger areas of a new terrain. You face additional challenges because of this.

For example, if you and your spouse plan on taking a motorcycle trip in Virginia, and you’re from GA, you might want to do a quick Google search for terms like “motorcycle accident law firm Manassas, VA” or something similar, depending on where you’re going.

Once you find what you’re looking for, keep the information tucked away in a safe spot. Chances are, you’ll never need to call an attorney during your trip. However, in the hours after an accident, it’ll be the thing you least want to do but will probably need to do the most.

Make similar plans for all types of travel, including car, train, and air.

Get Your Documents Together

If your travel plans involve foreign travel, make copies of your paperwork. My Little Nomads suggests making digital copies of your passport and other important documents. Send yourself copies of these documents via email. A word of caution, however. Make sure you’ve selected the strongest password for your email that you can. All the safety precautions in the world won’t help if you’re hacked.

You may also want to give copies your plans and paperwork to your home attorney, who could be acting in your stead if you’re traveling for an extended period.

Additionally, the Department of State has a drop-down menu on its website that allows you to find an American embassy in the country you’re visiting. Here’s that website.

You may also want to review the State Department’s checklist/s to follow during times of a crisis.

Don’t Stand Out

According to the Huffington Post, standing out can be bad when you’re traveling. The “ugly American” has become so common in the realm of travel, it has become a cliché. However, it’s good advice, cliché or not. Avoid doing things that might draw the attention of thieves like pulling out a brand new, $2,000 camera or diamond necklace. Or by being loud.

Find ways before you leave to alleviate this risk or to eliminate it all together. If you can get by without the expensive jewelry, do so. Same with the camera. Is there a cheaper one? If not, do you have a carry system that allows you to stay safe, keep your hands mostly free, and that hides it from plain view unless you’re using it?

You also want to be aware of chaos. Often, street thieves will create a commotion to divert your attention from your daypack or wallet. If someone is standing too close, watching or following you too closely, or behaving in a way that raises your internal flags, pay attention. Keep your possessions close and know where the local police stations are. Or at least how to get a hold of them.

Here are some additional resources for protecting yourself as you travel:

Travel Safety Tips From a Former Agent

5 Tips for Traveling With Money

13 Tips to Roaming Freely and Safely

Last Thoughts About Keeping Safe on Vacation

The key to traveling safely is to plan for emergencies before you go. If you know you’re going to be traveling by motorcycle, take precautions before you ever put on your helmet. The same could be said for travel by car, train, plane, or boat.

Let someone know where you’re going, including your attorney. Also, make sure you make copies of your travel documents and that you find the embassy in the country you’re visiting.

Finally, ensure that you’re not inadvertently doing things to make yourself stand out to street thieves. Although some adventure on vacation is to be expected, actively doing things that court trouble should not be.