Safety Savvy Travelers

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Schools Out and Summer is In.  This is when our attention turns to vacations, getaways,  and adventures.  Whether your plans are local, international or perhaps even exotic, becoming more safety savvy can help to create treasured travel memories rather than regrettable recollections.

The more informed and aware you are, the less likely you can fall victim to problems.

A Few Tips For A Safer Vacation:


  • Arrange for a trusted neighbor or friend to check your house regularly, park in front of your home occasionally, and collect your mail and papers each day. Make sure they have your emergency contact information.
  • Set up timers to turn your lights on and off to reflect your regular routine at home. Some window blinds can be connected to a timer as well.
  • Unplug electronic devices and small appliances.

Currency and Cards

  • Make sure you have enough local currency with you to cover local transportation and small purchases. Only use trusted financial outlets to exchange your money:

o   Currency Exchange –local ATMs can be a good option and usually charge the spot rate and a small foreign transaction fee.  Check to see if there is an additional per transaction fee.

o   Currency Exchange Kiosks at airports usually offer a combination of the exchange rate plus a commission, or a less attractive exchange rate and no commission — compare options and final costs.

o   Your own domestic bank will also charge exchange fees — so don’t assume they are the least expensive option — especially for currency outside of North America.

  • Check to see if your credit card charges a foreign transaction fee — some don’t and this could be a good purchase option for you.


  • Avoid the first floor (more easily accessible by a burglar) and ask for a room between the 2nd-6th floor so that rescue ladders can reach your room in the event of a fire.
  • Consider traveling with an additional custom lock for the hotel safe and an additional hotel door lock.
  • If someone knocks on your door claiming to be hotel staff — call to the front desk to confirm before opening the door.
  • Be aware that many hotel Wi-Fi services are open networks and are not protected. Do not send personal and sensitive information over the internet while using these services. 


  • Before you leave home, research the names and numbers of registered cab companies and legitimate driver options.
  • Check ahead of time (internet search, airport information, hotel staff) what the estimated cab fare will be to your designation. Confirm this understanding with the cab driver before you get in.
  • Never get into a cab where a stranger is already sitting in the cab, or where a stranger approaches you to share the cab fare to the same destination.

Pickpockets and Identity Thieves

  • Leave your bling at home! Do not advertise that you have money and expensive watches and jewelry.
  • Pickpockets blend it! Be especially alert in crowded tourist areas where you are likely to be distracted and jostled.
  • Keep your passport and wallet in a locked zippered compartment within a pouch.
  • Use wallets and pouches that block Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) to minimize the chance of criminals scanning personal information from your passport or credit cards.

These are just a few tips to help create a more positive vacation experience.  We have an additional  short lesson with even more helpful tips for you

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO, Age-Friendly Business®

Medical Precautions While on the Road

While on the road be sure to take proper medical precautions such as eating and drinking only in safe conditions, staying hydrated (bottled water is the safest), and getting enough rest. If you are flying or driving for long distances ensure that you move around to prevent blood clots from forming.

Source:  Age-Friendly Business, Tip Series:  Travel

Travel-The Gift of Perspective

Travel can open our minds and our hearts to the gift of unique cultures and perspectives.  To quote John F. Kennedy:

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can now make the world safe for diversity.”

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