Travel Tips on Safe Travel
- Be aware that you will not be able to access your checked
bags after they are screened. Therefore, you should remove everything
that you want to take on the plane with you before handing over
your checked bag for screening.
Click here to
read more about the changes in airport screening procedures.
- WTA offers a wealth of information about security while
traveling within the U.S. or abroad.
Click here for articles to read
or download on hotel security, special issues for female travelers,
- WTA members can get 10% off a wide variety of travel safety
products through Citizens Against Crime, Inc. Call Citizens
Against Crime at 1-800-466-1010 and identify yourself as a WTA
- Don't alert would-be thieves to the fact that you're away
from home. Hire someone to do outside maintenance (mowing, snow
removal) while you're gone.
- Although you probably suspend your mail and newspaper delivery
while you're away, you know that sometimes the process breaks
down and it arrives anyway! Ask a friend to check for papers
and mail if you will be away for more than a few days. They
can also pick up any 'complimentary' papers whose presence could
indicate an empty home.
- Do a quick check before leaving home to make sure all the
door and window locks work properly. Also check all your smoke
detectors to make sure they are working and have fresh batteries.
- If you leave your seat during a flight, donít leave important
or valuable items in the seatback pocket.
- Carry a current photograph of your child when traveling.
If he or she becomes lost, having a recent picture will make
the search easier. This is a good tip for your pets as well.
- Street performances give pickpockets an abundance of people
focused on the show and not on protecting their belongings.
Enjoy the show, but remain vigilant about your belongings. Keep
your hands on your pocketbook and wallet, and keep shopping
bags closed and in full view.
- If you are traveling to a high-crime area, be sure to book
a room at a vertical, business-oriented hotel rather than one
that has several buildings spread out over the property.
- Hotel parking lots can have dark areas surrounded by trees,
dumpster's, etc. Park in a spot that is well lit, close to the
main entrance, and away from an attackerís potential hiding
place. If in doubt, park at the check in spot and ask someone
from the hotel to accompany you while you park your car.
- Professional thieves are trained to spotóand victimize--tourists
who are even slightly intoxicated. Be wary of possible assault
and robbery after leaving a nightclub or bar in a foreign country.
It is much safer to travel in groups. In some countries, some
drinking establishments themselves have been known to contaminate
or drug the drinks to gain control over the patron (and their
ATM card, credit cardÖ).
- When leaving on vacation, do not change your home answering
machine greeting telling callers when youíll return. Thatís
an invitation to thieves. Instead, call in and check your messages,
or let people know ahead of time by calling them individually.
- Take advice from the locals you meet (hotel staff is a good
resource) as to the safety of various areas in the city. Avoid
areas they say arenít safe.
- Fanny packs and backpacks mark you immediately as a tourist.
If you must carry one, be aware of your surroundings and watch
for those who may snip off the pack or slit a hole in the bottom
of your backpack. Donít carry money or important documents in
these external packs. Use them only for extra clothes, raingear,
maps, and other replaceable items.
- Leave your taxi door ajar while you get your luggage out
of the trunk, (if the driver isnít doing it for you). The taxi
driver then cannot drive away with your bags.
- Itís a good idea, when traveling with a group, to designate
a specific spot to meet in case the group gets separated.
- Worried about losing each other in a crowd? Have everyone
in your family wear a bright colored shirt (the same color if
possible) and remember what each person is wearing. Another
idea is to each carry a bright umbrella, and open it above the
crowd if you get separated. (This works better for adults, who
are less apt to lose the umbrella.)
- Theft of ATM and calling card numbers is big business. Someone
doesnít have to be right behind you to steal your number. With
binoculars, they can get the number from almost any angle. Block
the view of the phone and ATM number pads with your hands and
body while dialing/entering, especially in airports and large
- Donít flash fancy jewelry or cash when traveling. Store
cash in a money belt or inner pocket. Keep expensive jewelry
at home. However, single women should consider wearing a wedding
ring when traveling to make themselves less of a target.
- Keep your credit card account numbers and the banksí toll-free
numbers in a safe place while traveling (not in your wallet
or purse). Leave a copy to a friend or family member at home
as well. Call immediately if your wallet is stolen. Also be
sure to call the following credit agencies to file a fraud alert
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW): 1-800-301-7195
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
- Social Security Administration Fraud Line: 1-800-269-0271
- Check your homeowners insurance to see if it covers losses
incurred away from home. This can help you reclaim money for
lost luggage or materials stolen from hotel rooms. Check the
airline's policy on reimbursing for lost luggage. If the maximum
amount is too low, you may be able to purchase "excess valuation"
coverage when you check in.