Holiday travel safety tips

Safety is always a priority for the smart traveller, but holiday trips demand extra precautions. With airports, train stations and highways jammed this time of year, there are simply a lot more opportunities for mishaps ranging from pickpockets to roadside incidents. Here’s a good list of safety tips for the holiday traveller:

Before you go:

  • Make two copies of your passport, travel documents, travellers cheques serial numbers and airline tickets. Leave one with family at home; tuck the second in your suitcase.
  • Take only the charge cards you really need and a driver’s license with photo for identification.
  • Bring some “safe money” in the form of travellers cheques, just in case the local ATM doesn’t work or your money is lost or stolen.
  • Don’t forget to take extra prescription drugs and other medical “basics,” as well as a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

At The Airport/Train Station:

  • Don’t bring expensive jewellery or even expensive-looking jewellery.
  • Never leave luggage unattended.
  • Be wary of impostor porters who may offer to help with your luggage.
  • D’t share a taxi with anyone you don’t know.

At Your Hotel:

  • Keep all valuables in the hotel’s main safety deposit box.
  • Don’t display the sign requesting room cleaning services — it identifies the room as unoccupied.
  • Don’t let strangers overhear your sightseeing plans or other schedules.

On the Street:

  • Carry only the cash and travellers cheques you need.
  • Carry wallets in front pockets or keep pockets securely fastened with a pin or velcro. If your carryall has a zipper, consider tying the ends together with a trash bag tie for added protection.
  • Avoid ATMs which are not well-lit and secure, and quickly put cash out of sight.
  • Be aware of “distraction thefts” by criminals working in twos and threes.
  • Don’t look or act like a ‘ready’ victim.

Remember, thieves don’t care that it’s Christmas, and often take advantage of all the distractions of the holiday season to prey on people. It’s sad, but true.