SAFE TRAVEL TIPS
1. Stop mail/paper deliveries. Catalogs and newspapers cluttering your doorstep are a sure sign that nobody is home.
2. Make your home look inhabited. Recruit a trusted friend or family member to house-sit or stop by to turn on lights, water plants and pick up loose mail and papers. Or put lights on timers to go on and off at regular hours.
3. Delete, delete. Empty your wallet of extra cards and IDs. Never travel with your Social Security card or checkbook. Only put your name/phone on luggage tags, not an address. (Bring a spare credit card in case yours is lost.)
4. Copy important documents. Make paper copies of your passport, plane tickets, hotel reservations, health insurance card, etc.; keep separate from originals but not in checked luggage. Or scan copies, then save on an encrypted thumb drive or email to yourself.
5. Sign up for STEP. The U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program lets you set up an account when traveling overseas. In a financial, legal or medical emergency, the local U.S. embassy can help you more efficiently. STEP also offers travel alerts, embassy contacts and visa/vaccination rules. Go to step.state.gov.
6. Watch your pockets. Be alert for pickpockets. Carry your wallet in a front pocket. Wear your purse strap across your torso. Split money into small amounts in different zipped pockets or on your body. Use cash inconspicuously; avoid pulling out a wad and fumbling with bills.
7. Go online with caution. On your laptop, tablet or smartphone, never check personal websites – email, banking or credit card accounts – on public computers or Wi-Fi systems. Update security software and be sure you’ve got strong passwords on all devices. Only go online using encrypted Internet connections.
8. Use the hotel safe. It may not look secure, but it’s safer than leaving your laptop, passport, extra cash or credit cards exposed in your room. Even if you’re only running down to the lobby or heading out for an errand, use your room or hotel safe.
9. Don’t post on social media. Wait until you get home to share travel posts/photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If your entire network knows you’re traveling, someone could use that info to burglarize your home.
10. Alert your bank/credit card companies. Before leaving town, notify your banks and credit card companies where you’ll be traveling and for how long. Use credit cards, which generally have more fraud protections than debit cards. Try to use ATMs only inside banks, not in busy, touristy spots.
©2013 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at www.sacbee.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
- Why the CEO of the Container Store pays...
- Top 10 insurance myths that people think are...
- 6 ways to jump-start your savings account
- Most popular Halloween costumes
- 9 things we routinely overpay for
- How to take the scare out of the cost of...
- Most popular Halloween costumes
- 14 frivolous lawsuits against Disney, James...
- Why the CEO of the Container Store pays... 9
- Americans still prefer male bosses 8
- Landlords may be charging pet fees just... 7
- Employers and job seekers might as well... 5
- 9 things we routinely overpay for 5
- Pay raises are more rare despite strong... 4
- Facebook is now helping its female... 4
- Egg freezing is now a perk of the... 4