You’re about to embark on a great adventure. Maybe by plane, train, car or cruise ship. Might be in your own country, or maybe internationally. The smart thing to do would be to make a checklist called ‘travel safety’, and list all the things you can think of to protect yourself while traveling.
If you do, (and you should), your list won’t be as complete as the one now offered in a free, 24 page booklet from The USAA Educational Foundation.
Their booklet, Travel Security, breaks down any potential trip into many aspects, and is designed to remind you of the ‘little things’ that might pass you by. They include not only the trip itself, but items like securing your home before leaving, items to be done while planning your trip, tips for packing, passport issues and even traveling with children.
After the preliminary items, the booklet delves into many more aspects of travel, including things to do in the airport, on the airplane, items for business travelers, train travel, traveling by vehicle, using an RV and public transportation.
There is also a section regarding your hotel, and going out in an unfamiliar town.
As for your cruise vacation, the pamphlet makes the following recommendations:
- Check for health and safety issues pertaining to cruise ships of interest prior to making reservations. (Editors note: Read about preventing norovirus here)
- Know your surroundings and avoid darkened hallways. Notify the Purser’s Office of any suspicious activity.
- Protect valuables. Keep your cabin door locked at all times. Use the cabin safe deposit box for small, everyday items such as your address book or cash. Use the ship’s safe deposit box for expensive jewelry, passports and other travel documents.
- Avoid over consumption of alcohol as it may impair your judgment and increase the likelihood you will be victimized or injured. Do not accept drinks from individuals who are not well known to you. If a bartender is preparing a drink, watch closely. Do not leave drinks out of view.
- Be cautious in casinos. Take large winnings directly to the ship’s safe deposit box. Do not draw attention to yourself. Consider asking for an escort. (Editors note: You can ask for major winnings to be awarded to you in private.)
- Stay with other passengers. Never agree to accompany a member of the crew to a “crew only” section of the ship.
- Be careful on your shore excursions. The cruise lines’ organized shore trips offer some assurance of quality and security.
- Subscribe to our examiner cruise articles! (OK, we added that one.)
This booklet is a gem. There are even sections aimed at women traveling alone, maintaining a low profile, use of foreign ATMs, and handling personal crises while abroad.
The USAA will send your their travel safety book free by mail, or you can download a PDF copy. (Click on the ‘safety’ tab when you reach the index) This is just one of a number of publications provided by the organization.
What is the USAA? According to their pamphlet, ‘The mission of the USAA Educational Foundation is to help consumers make informed decisions by providing information on financial management, safety concerns and significant life events.’ The foundation is a nonprofit group, and doesn’t promote commercial suppliers, products or services.
If you’re traveling on a cruise and are concerned about Caribbean crime rates, be sure and check our article ranking the islands.
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