Monday, September 30, 2013

Travel Security - Just Think Ahead!

In this article I will discuss security when traveling outside the United States. Being aware of your surroundings is going to be the number one thing that you can do to protect yourself. Here are some suggestions that can help you stay secure and safe. Consider your passport, hotel, how you dress, money, jewelry and cell phone.
Your passport should have at least 6 months before it expires and it should have enough blank pages to handle the customs stamps for the countries you intend to visit. You should check the countries web sites to see if you will need a visa, if so, be sure to apply early. There are many webs sites that can do this for you. If you are traveling by cruise ship they will have visa and passport services. Before you leave, make at least three color copies of your passport and leave one at home, when arriving at your hotel or cruise ship lock your original passport in the safe. Carry a color passport with you. Always protect your original passport and keep it locked up as much as practical.

Hotel or Cruise Ship:
When arriving at your hotel or cruise ship always lock the door when you are in your room. Put your valuables in the safe. If you are in a hotel be aware of your surroundings. Ask the front desk for a card with the hotel address and phone number in the language of that country, show that card to a cab driver to get back to your hotel. If you are on a cruise ship take the name and address of the cruise line agent for that city and country with you so that if you get separated from your tour or need help you have a contact number.
How to Dress:
When overseas you should dress so that you do not attract attention. It's best not to wear T-shirts that may be offensive to another culture. In some churches shirts must cover the shoulders, and shorts, if allowed, must come to the knee. Women may need some type of head covering, a scarf works great. The take away here is do not wear clothes that scream "I'm a Tourist".
Cell Phone:
Most people have smartphones these days. In those smart phones are passwords, bank accounts and other personal information. The bad guys know this, so protect your cell phone, and don't lay it down, keep it on your person at all times. If lost or stolen make sure you have a way to lock it down and to wipe all information.
Money and Jewelry:
Leave all your expensive jewelry at home, do not advertise. Carry only the cash that you think you will need for that day. Use credit cards not debit cards, leave your debit cards at home, you have more protection with credit cards.
If you a just become more aware of these things you will have a much safer and happier vacation.

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