Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, it’s never a bad idea to review safe travel behaviors before you leave. Travel experts agree common sense is the most important thing to bring on your trip. Below are just a few helpful reminders to ensure your next travel experience is as seamless as possible.
- Make an ID card for yourself with your name, age, blood group and other important information such as allergies and medical conditions (and do the same for children) in the event that someone in your group should require emergency treatment.
- Be aware of pre-travel vaccinations and health precautions recommended by health professionals. The Center for Disease Control has a website travelers will find to be useful.
- Make copies of your itinerary and/or passport information and leave copies at home with friends or family. Additionally, take a photo of your passport information and keep it in a secure location on your smartphone.
- Consider using your work address and phone number for luggage tags, as opposed to your home information.
- If traveling internationally, review country-specific information and travel alerts at the State Department’s website travel.state.gov.
- Register your international trip with the State Department via their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Pack all prescription medications in original, labeled containers to expedite the airport security process. Pack extra medications in case you are away longer than expected. See this guide to international travel with medication from Travel and Transport partner WorldAware.
- Be aware of local laws and customs of your travel destination, as you will be subject to the local laws.
- Take a picture of your traveling companion and any children first thing in the morning. In the event of an emergency, you can remember what they were wearing and can give the picture to police to quickly distribute to help in the search.
- Do not wear expensive jewelry. Keep valuables in the hotel safe or do not travel with jewelry.
- Be wary of pickpockets in heavily congested areas. Women should wear cross-body purses with the strap across the chest. Men should avoid putting their wallet in a back pocket and instead, carry it in a front pocket or a jacket pocket.
- If confronted, do not fight. Give up your valuables.
- Keep a business card of the hotel to show cab drivers.
- Match your apparel with locals. Dress to blend in, and avoid carrying money in a fanny pack.
- Identify fire exits in your hotel and have an emergency plan and meeting place for all traveling companions.
- Pack a small flashlight/solar charger in the event that power is lost.
- Avoid political demonstrations, rallies and large crowds that may become violent.
- In the event you find yourself in an emergency situation, the US Department of State’s emergency website can be used as a resource to locate the nearest embassy or consulate, report a lost or stolen passport or contact overseas citizens services.
Traveling can be a wonderful experience, but it is important to remember these details in order to have a safe trip. Please share additional travel tips that you feel are beneficial for the traveling public!