Tips for you and your emergency contact before you travel:

  • Let your family and friends know where you will be in case they are contacted for an emergency.
  • Take your insurance card and leave a copy with your family or friends.
  • Take a list of the medicines that you take and leave a copy with your family or friends.
  • Take a list of your allergies and leave a copy with your family or friends.
  • Save the air ambulance numbers.
  • Leave a copy of your ID with family and friends.
  • Leave a signed power of attorney with your family doctor and family.
  • Let your credit card company know where and how long you will be out of town.
  • Let your medical insurance know where and how long you will be out of town.
  • Check your international medical coverage and emergency medical transport coverage.

Before You Travel

  • Leave a detailed itinerary, a copy of your airline ticket, passport number, travel documents and travelers checks with your emergency contact person and keep another copy for yourself.
  • Keep a photo ID with you and the names, phone numbers and addresses of the people to contact in the event of serious injury or other emergency.
  • Acquire a detailed map of the area where you will be traveling. Get directions from the airport to the hotel where you will be staying. Study map and directions prior to the trip.
  • If circumstances allow, it is safer to plan your trip to leave and arrive during daylight hours. If you have to travel at night, exercise extreme caution. If possible, travel with a companion.
  • Pack lightly to avoid the burden of dealing with unnecessary baggage. Never leave your baggage unattended or ask a stranger to watch it for you.
  • Do not display expensive jewelry or other valuables. Leave unnecessary items at home. Use hotel safety deposit boxes for important documents (passport, airline ticket) and valuables.
  • Should you have allergies or a medical condition, wear a medical alert badge and carry additional information describing condition, recommended treatment and a list of all medications you are using.
  • Carry minimal amounts of cash. Bring travelers checks instead of cash or use credits for major expenses. Do not display cash when paying for an item.

When you arrive at your destination

  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight. For example if you leave valuables in your car or in your hotel room store them away.
  • Check bags and luggage that are too heavy and cumbersome for carrying onto the airplane. Ensure to attach an ID tag on luggage and lock it up.
  • When using a phone in public be careful of others seeing credit card numbers or watching you key in numbers.
  • Always maintain possession of your wallet and purse when paying for things. If paying with a credit card keep your receipt and request carbons if applicable.
  • Be cautious and use common sense when talking to strangers and do not discuss personal information that may be used against you. Do not discuss plans with strangers.
  • Avoid sitting next to people who appear ill or appear suspicious.
  • Secure your luggage upon arrival at the airport, then take care of other arrangements.

Things to keep in mind if you rent a car

  • Ensure you rent a late model vehicle that is in good condition. If your car breaks down, raise the hood and lock your doors. If anyone offers to help ask them to call the police. Only open your door for the police and emergency vehicles.
  • Inspect the vehicle before leaving parking lot. Always look inside the car before getting in or opening the door. Always check fuel gauge and mileage on the car prior to leaving. Lock car when en route to and from destination.
  • Verify directions to main thoroughfares and hotel. Secure a map of the area.
  • When walking through parking lot, be aware of what is going on around you. If you are not comfortable walking alone, the area is dark, or appears unsafe, request an escort to your car whenever possible.
  • Have your key out and ready as you approach your vehicle. Ensure that the immediate area appears safe and that no one is waiting or watching you. Promptly put luggage, valuable, or packages in trunk or back seat.
  • Do not leave rental car materials visible from the outside of the car that will clearly identify the vehicle as a rental or you as a traveler.
  • When en route to and from your destination do not stop for hitchhikers, strangers or pull over to render assistance to anyone.
  • If you must stop en route to your destination, park in a well-lit area near the entrance to the building and in sight of the attendant.
  • When shopping, do not leave packages, luggage, purses, cameras, or other valuables in view. Lock them in the trunk of the vehicle.
  • Do not ask strangers for directions. Only ask gas station attendants, store clerks, or police for directions.
  • If another car begins to follow you, pull over at a well-lit and occupied business establishment and honk your horn for attention. If a police car attempts to pull you over, it is recommended that you do likewise.
  • Do not drink and drive. Keep your beverage in sight (to avoid tampering) and exercise sound judgment if drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Upon arrival at the hotel, use valet parking service if available; if not, park in a well-lit area after depositing your luggage with the attendant or bell captain.

During your stay at the hotel

  • When you are checking in at the hotel, be careful to not reveal your room number, credit card numbers, etc. As previously mentioned if you have jewelry or other valuables use the hotel vault. Never reveal your number or discuss plans for leaving the hotel where the conversation can be overheard.
  • Read and abide by the security instructions provided by the hotel. Normally available in your room.
  • Call all contacts to advise them of your safe arrival.
  • When entering or exiting elevators, be cautious and alert. In the elevator stand near the control panel and if accosted, push all buttons and the alarm. If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit immediately. Quickly scan the corridors before proceeding.
  • Ensure that your wallet/purse and room keys are easily accessible in the event that you must evacuate your room or the hotel.

Entertainment and evening activities

  • If at all possible, do not walk alone at night. Even if you are within walking distance of your destination, take a taxi or a shuttle.
  • Be visible and conspicuous if you must walk alone. If the area is poorly lit, walk in the middle of the street if traffic permits.
  • Do not carry loose totes or purses on shoulder straps. Grasp the top of the purse and carry it in your hand. If you must carry a purse, leave excess valuables at home or in your room.
  • Pickpockets prefer rear trouser pockets so keep wallets in your inside jacket pocket.
  • Do not leave restaurants with strangers, accompany strangers to another destination, or meet strangers in secluded areas.
  • Avoid panhandlers, persons requesting food/money, persons asking for directions, or persons trying to sell you an item.
  • Walk briskly and with a purpose. Watch where you are going and keep your head up. Keep your keys in your hand for possible use as a weapon. Never take shortcuts through alleys or yards.
  • A tourist is a prime attraction for a thief, so do not wear your convention badge or carry materials when you leave your hotel.
  • Thieves also travel in pairs. Be aware of people traveling in pairs to avoid a potential situation.
  • Run the other way to a well lit area if a car follows you or its occupants begin to make cat calls or whistles.