Vacations are for reducing stress, not adding to it. Before you hit the road, here are a few simple precautions to help you choose – and share – your adventures safely.
#1: Make copies of your ID and passport
Photocopy your license or passport in case either is lost or stolen. Bring a copy and store it separately from your original, and leave another with a friend or relative. The U.S. Government also offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad. It allows you to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and can assist you in case of an emergency, such as if you lose your passport or if it is stolen while you are abroad.
#2: Streamline your wallet
Lost wallets are the leading cause of identity theft. Only carry the card(s) you plan to use on your trip. Leave your checkbook and the rest of your cards at home. If you decide to bring more than one credit card, consider stashing the extra, along with account information and customer service numbers for the cards you have with you, in a hotel safe or other secure location, in case you lose your original.
#3: Check out guides before you book
Look into online reviews before you book that zip-lining, parasailing, or river rafting trip. Seeing what others have to say about the company can help you choose a safe and well-run adventure.
#4: Travel like a local
Know your surroundings and plan your route in advance. Be aware of how the locals talk and dress, and consider whether certain actions will make you stand out as a tourist.
#5: Check the weather
Take steps to protect yourself from lightning, hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes by monitoring the local weather and packing the appropriate gear on your outdoor adventures. Keep tabs on the weather at home to make sure your property is protected.
#6: Avoid oversharing online
Posting photos or checking in on social media sites advertises your absence from home. Real-time updates can be tempting, but wait until you return safely home before sharing your adventures.