Make sure you and your family have a safe trip, work with us to get as much information as possible about the destination, especially if you will be traveling alone.
>> HOTELS – Stay in hotels on well-traveled streets in safer areas of any city. The more expensive hotels usually have better security. Stay on lower level floors in case of fire or need to evacuate quickly, acquaint yourself with the emergency exits. Avoid the first floor, as it may not be safe from burglars. When returning to your hotel at night, use the main entrance. Be observant before entering parking lots. Lock your hotel room door at all times. Do not answer your hotel room door without verifying who it is. If someone claims to be a hotel employee, call the front desk to verify. If you see suspicious activity or suspicious object, contact someone in authority immediately.
>> TRANSPORTATION – Transfers from the airport or port, can be arranged for you in advance, if necessary. Taxis or private car hires are recommended, as you are more insulated. Most airports, ports and train stations have areas clearly marked for taxis and car service pick-up. Do not enter any vehicle that does not have a proper license or does not pick you up from the designated area. If you rent a car, get maps in advance and clearly write out the directions from the airport to your hotel. If you need to stop for directions, go to well-lit public areas. Keep the phone numbers of your destinations with you. Lock your car doors while driving. Do not pick up strangers or stop for people you don’t know. Police cars will have blue and red lights; do not stop for cars flashing their high-beams.
>> KEEP A LOW PROFILE – Do not discuss your travel plans publicly. Maintain a low profile. Dress down, try and leave the expensive items at home. Do not display large amounts of cash. Do not leave your itinerary or other sensitive business information in your hotel room. Be alert for surveillance, especially in high-risk countries. Kidnappers and extortionists identify their targets and then watch their potential victims to determine daily patterns. Avoid disturbances and civil demonstrations. Seek safe shelter away from the disturbance as quickly as possible. Americans traveling abroad are usually identified by their white sneakers, blend in!
>> OUT & ABOUT – Keep your valuables, including passports, etc., in a money belt concealed under your clothes. Or, use the hotel safe to store valuables. Keep a copy of your passport with you, but separate from where you are carrying your passport. In high-risk countries, it is a good idea to check in with the American Embassy and provide them with a copy of your passport in case you need to have it replaced. Be aware of pickpockets especially near tourist attractions. When using your credit card, keep an eye on it and be sure it’s your credit card before storing it again. Ask for a card or matchbook with your hotel’s name and address. You can show the card or matchbook to a cab driver or police officer if you get lost. Before your trip, make up a list with key phrases in the local language. Going out at night, watch your drinks being poured and never accept a drink from a stranger. Ask your hotel concierge about reputable restaurants. Avoid being out on the streets late at night. Have your hotel arrange for car service or taxi service and know the addresses and directions before getting in the car.
Stay alert and have a safe trip. Ask us about travel insurance.