Be Prepared: Summer Vacation Tips!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


According to AAA, 8 million people will be hitting the road this summer on vacation. Before you set out on your journey, there are a couple of things that you need to consider in order to plan your trip safely and efficiently.  As the Scout troops say, “Be Prepared”.  Analyzing the particulars of where you are traveling is the first step in being prepared.  What I mean by that is: Are there potentially dangerous aspects of the location that you are visiting?  If it is a big city, possible dangers can be pickpockets; if it is a foreign country, potential hazards can be kidnapping and terrorism. You need to research where you are going first and be prepared. For example, when traveling overseas, you can contact government agencies to find out current political climates of potentially hostile countries.

If your destination is a big city, how to pack, what to pack and how to handle your bags are very important when you’re in a city such as New York or Chicago. Thieves love large cities with lots of people. It is easy for them to blend in with the crowd as they go about their business robbing the unprepared and unaware. Whether you’re traveling in this country or abroad, transportation is another area that can be potentially hazardous. Taxicabs, subways, even renting a car can become dangerous if you’re not paying attention.  When you are aware of your surroundings and listening to your Intuition, criminals are not likely to rear their ugly heads.

If you are a scuba diver, you know the phrase “Plan your dive, dive your plan”.  What that means is, know where you are going and what you are doing: have a plan.  Do not arrive in a city without hotel reservations. Do check the weather (You don’t want to be driving around an unfamiliar town in a blizzard or heat wave). And Do get a map of the city and various places you’re going to visit before you leave, so you can become familiar with the area before you arrive.  Get on the Internet, call a travel agency or a tourism board to get all the information you need for the places you will be visiting. Be sure to visit the Department of State website BEFORE you leave to get up to the minute information on the country you are visiting. Don’t become another tourist crime statistic: be prepared.

Packing Tips

  1. Always tuck a flashlight in your suitcase (make sure it has fresh batteries)…you never know when the power might go out in your hotel or you need to read a road map.
  2. Remember to bring all your medication. Keep it with you, not in your suitcase. (You do not want to become separated from vital medication, especially if you can become incapacitated or ill without it.)
  3. Bring a first aid kit (Band aids, aspirin, antibiotic ointment, etc.)—You don’t want to have to make a drug store run in the middle of the night in a strange city.
  4. Pack a container of SABRE Pepper Spray in your suitcase, having a defense spray with you is a SMART personal safety choice if you find yourself face to face with a criminal.  Purchase a 2 oz. size or less and pack it in your checked luggage.  You cannot carry aboard the plane.  The SABRE RED Spitfire Pepper Spray is a perfect option - compact, easy to carry and easy to use.  Visit Spitfire Pepper Spray
  5. Be sure to pack a Door Wedge alarm in your bag, perfect for hotel rooms. Makes the door hard to open and 120 decibel alarm will go off if someone tries to open the door, alerting you someone is trying to break in.  Visit Gate Keeper Door Alarm
  6. Don’t forget a list of emergency contacts. (Keep this along with all your important business and personal documents in the hotel safe.  In case anything should to happen to you, hotel personnel or the police could contact your family or your doctor.)
  7. Have a copy of your itinerary along with your emergency information stored in your purse or briefcase and leave a copy for your family at home. (In an emergency, people will know where you are, or where you should be).
  8. Make sure you have an extra copy of your passport and an extra passport picture (you know, the one that looks like a mug shot). If you lose your passport, this can help expedite the replacement process.
  9. Bring a copy of your driver’s license, insurance information, and a copy of your credit card numbers (boy, does this help if your wallet gets stolen).

I know this sounds like a lot to do, but trust me--it’s not that big a deal. If you have ever had your wallet stolen or lost your bags, you know what a pain in the you-know-what it can be to replace everything, especially when you’re not at home. Many a vacation has been ruined by the loss of a wallet or a passport. By taking these extra steps, you can make sure you’re enjoying a fruity beverage by the pool, not stuck in your hotel room on the phone to every credit card company or passport office. 

Enjoy your summer and BE PREPARED!