Let’s be real. Traveling is on (almost) everyone’s bucket list. See the world, visit all 50 US states, or just generally getting out and experiencing a place you’ve never been before whether it’s 5 minutes away or 5 hours away. It’s just in our nature; we weren’t put on this earth to stay at home and sob about how much our life sucks. Life is too short to listen to your excuses on why you can’t travel, Susan. You have kids? Great, take them with. They don’t deserve to stay cooped up in the house (unless little billy doesn’t know when to stop throwing temper tantrums.) You should be helping grow their interest of exploring before they grow up to be a hermit, just like you did. That’s the cold hard truth.
For those of you who learned to stop making excuses, you should know by now that travelling comes with plenty of responsibilities. Yes, you’re supposed to have fun, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have rules that you need to follow. Travel right, stay safe and have fun.
Do: Take Pictures. Even if you’re just at the beach 10 miles away from home, you should always take pictures. Memories fade but pictures will last a lifetime. One day in your future you’ll be looking back at your old pictures and you’ll be reliving the moment thinking about how special it was.
Don’t: Travel unprepared. Before you travel remember to map out your visit. Although it may sound dumb now, make an itinerary before you go. This is such a key tip because it will ensure you that you will be able to see everything you wanted to. Map out your visit completely. Check the weather, check out reservations, parking and any other obstacle that might get in your way.
Do: Be aware of your surroundings. If you think about it, you’re most vulnerable when you’re travelling, especially if you’re travelling alone. You don’t know anyone, you don’t know where you are and you don’t have anyone to call that can come to your rescue. Stay alert for suspicious vehicles and people; take note of staged distractions. This can be a series of things such as someone bumping into you, spilling a drink on you, dropping something in front of you, or causing a loud commotion around you. An accomplice can take your valuables and walk away while you’re distracted.
Don’t: Visit dangerous or unfamiliar locations. As said before, always map out your visits. Stay away from areas that look dangerous and stay away from dimly lit areas. At night time always park under a light when you can, especially when arriving back at your hotel.
Do: Use cash substitutes. While this may not sound like your cup of tea, stop flexing your money and carry around as little cash as possible. Try to stick to carrying only the amount of cash you immediately need and don’t flash big bundles of cash around. Try paying for a hotel using a card so that way if anything happens you have proof of payment.
Don’t: Store valuables in your luggage. Luggage theft is more common than you think and it can most certainly happen to you. Keep any valuables that you may have, in your carry on luggage so you can have an eye on it at all times.
Do: Lock up your valuables. Take advantage of the hotel safes. Only you have access to those safes, it is a lot better than keeping your valuables in sight for the housekeeper to see.
Don’t: Leave bags unattended. It’s just common sense in this day and age to never take eyes off of your bags. Don’t leave them unattended whether you’re just going to the bathroom or going less than a foot away. Keep your bags on you at all times.
Do: Keep note of passport numbers and credit card numbers, You may think that you’re extra careful and this won’t happen to you but just incase. Make note of your passport numbers and credit card numbers so if one or the other get’s stolen you can properly report it to authority and they can safely get it back to you.
Don’t: Give out your info to strangers. This is a big tip for college kids on spring break. I don’t care if Timmy is super hot and you want to meet up sometime down the road, don’t give your info to strangers. 21 year old timmy could actually be 45 year old rodger. 23 year old sarah could actually be 43 year old Karen. You never know. Stay safe and don’t trust anyone.
Do: Travel in groups. Don’t travel alone. Always travel in groups when you can because this will give you someone to call or run to incase of an emergency. You are most vulnerable when you are alone.
Don’t: attach your hotel keys to your car keys. If you think about it, this is a terrible choice. You lose one set of keys, you lose the other. Always keep your keys separate unless you want to be stuck on the streets without a hotel or car to return to.
Although that is a lot of rules that you SHOULD follow, it’s just common sense to keep you safe. Don’t forget to have fun while you are on vacation and don’t be too much of a stickler or a worry-wart. You don’t want to take away from the fun for the rest of your crew. Stay safe, have fun and travel lots!