Vacation Safety By Alina Lopez
As we slowly recover from the COVID19 pandemic and things are starting to get back to normal with more restrictions being lifted and more people getting vaccinated, we will be seeing an increased movement in travel and vacations. Summer is right around the corner and it’s a time when many families will be heading out on vacation. While busy with the excitement, planning, and packing, we may overlook being a victim of crime. Appropriate crime prevention measures should be followed to deter criminal activity while you’re away.
Secure Your Residence:
- Double check that locks on doors and windows function properly.
- Make sure your residence looks lived in and not empty.
- Ask trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your residence while you are gone and make sure they have your contact information in the event they need to reach you.
- Have a neighbor pick up mail, deliveries, and newspaper.
- Also have someone take out the garbage and recycling bins for normal pickup and put them away once pickup has been made.
- Place timers for lights, televisions, and radios so that they turn on and off at appropriate times to make it seem as if someone is home. It is not recommended to keep a light on or television or radio at all times as this defeats the purpose of the illusion that someone is home.
- Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re away.
- Do an inspection of your smoke detectors and burglar alarm and test that they’re functioning properly.
- Place valuables in a safety deposit box.
- Contact your local police department to inform them that you’ll be away and set up a vacation watch. This service provided by the police department has patrol officers drive by your residence during their shifts to asses nothing is out of place. Keep in mind that there is still nothing like having your neighbors look out for your residence while you’re away, but vacation watches add an extra layer of security.
While Traveling and on the Road:
- Never advertise your plans to strangers, including travel routes. As tempting as it may be, avoid posting travel plans on social media.
- Men are advised to carry wallets in a front pant pocket. Women should use crossbody bags or keep their purse close to the body.
- Place extra cash, jewelry, and other valuables in a hotel safe.
- Use the door viewer to identify anyone trying to enter your room. Do not open the door unless there’s a legitimate reason for being in the room.
- Use hotel locks and other security devices even when you’re in the room.
- Guard your hotel room keys.
- If traveling by air, keep an eye on your luggage at all times until they’re checked in and don’t leave carry-ons unattended.
- Only put minimal personal information on luggage tags. Name, cell number, and email address should suffice.
- If you need to take a taxi, call for one instead of hailing one off the street. Use legitimate taxi companies and avoid sharing rides with strangers.
- Uber and Lyft are great alternatives, but it’s important to stay safe when using these services. Verify the car and driver and have the driver tell you your name.
As always, be aware of your surroundings and watch for suspicious people or vehicles. Go with your gut instinct at all times.
Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and stay safe!
To contact our office, call 305-470-1670 or visit our website at www.citizenscrimewatch.org.
Written by: Alina Lopez