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Travel Safety Information

Travel safety issues are important to consider during your planning. While you may not like to consider this aspect of traveling, it is essential to insuring a safe and rewarding journey for you and your family.

First, it is important not to dwell on the negative nor become overly anxious. By following some practical tips from travel professions, you can take your trip with total tranquility. To begin with, let's examine 8 Key Travel Safety Tips for Your Next Business Trip or Vacation by Tony Skerritt of Official Lost Stolen, a database for people to list their stolen and lost property, pets and people, including lost passports.

Overseas and local travel can be disheartning experience for the casual traveler. Observing some basic rules can save a lot of heartache and problems.

Personal security when traveling is important but should not get in the way of a person's trip or vacation and, more importantly, enjoyment. Knowledge is power here as a pseron can then just do the things naturally to ensure that he or she and his or her possessions are safe and secure.

Many security companies and people thrive on creating a dangerous environment. By this, I mean that they promote the dangers rather than the simple positive things you can do to protect yourself and be able to confidently put the security issues in the background. After all, we travel and vacation for relaxation and enjoyment and having attention tied up in how dangerous it may all be defeats the purpose of going in the first place.

So do what you need to be safe and be confident in your actions. Some helpful hints that you can put to use are:

1. Use your credit card when you travel. A lot of the card companies protect you and your purchases when your use their card. If you should have the card lost or stolen, then a phone call will cancel the card and get another one sent to you immediately. Talk to your card company before traveling and find out how to deal with this situation and how fast they can get you a new card. Also, paying for all or as much of the trip before you leave will prevent you from being stranded somewhere or not having a hotel to stay at. The less you have to pay for once on the “road,” the easier it will be in an emergency.

A little knowledge here will save a heap of worry and upset, not to mention being stuck somewhere with no money. It is a good idea to stash a couple of days' funds somewhere so you have it until a replacement card arrives. You can still get travelers checks -- these have some measure of security built in as you need ID to cash them. Do not keep this in the same place as a credit card. No money at all is very unpleasant in a foreign land, or anywhere else for that matter. Believe it or not, there are still some countries that have credit card hassles.

2. Do not carry more documents and personal information around with you than you actually need. For example, you are probably never going to need your birth certificate when you travel. Take only two credit cards and keep only one on you at any one time. Most hotels have security safes where you can lock up the things you do not need to be carrying around. You should not need more than one credit card, a passport and a driver’s license if you are going to be driving. Leave the rest at home or locked up in your hotel.

A good plan is to make Xerox copies of all your valuable travel documents, including your passport. If you are unfortunate enough to have it stolen, then you have an actual copy and this will be a huge help in getting a replacement and will act as ID in an emergency. Carrying valuables in a fanny pack round your waist just labels you as a tourist and tells people where your valuables are. Keep them in inside pockets or button down pockets where they can’t be easily picked.

3. Do not give out personal information over the phone when traveling, particularly in countries with older phone systems that can still be used for eves dropping. If you have to send things like social security numbers, ask if you can fax it to them or better still, ask if they have a secure web site where you can enter the information. Look for the little padlock symbol on the page. That will show you it is encrypted and secure.

4. Make sure trusted friends and/or relatives know your itinerary. Should the worst happen at least someone will have the knowledge of where you were and what you were doing. This may save the police days of work should an emergency arise.

5. If carrying a computer with you, make sure you have all passwords set so it is secure even if it does get stolen. Use a password with a combination of letters and numbers that are not related to you in any way. Do not use your initials and the year of your birth, for example. The longer it is, the less chance someone is going to break it. Make sure you have it well memorized before you set it or you will also be locked out and that is guaranteed to ruin your trip before you even start.

6. When going through the airport security screening, watch what is happening at the other end of the x-ray machine. Make sure there is no unauthorized people hanging around, tying their shoe laces etc just waiting for your computer or other baggage to come through ahead of you while you are trying to get your body through the system. A thief can grab your computer or bag and be gone without you even realizing it. Use your eyes here and know what is happening around you.

7. Learn to use the Internet. There is a lot of great information here that can help you and a lot that can hurt you. If it does not sound right, then it probably isn’t. Trust your gut on stuff. You will be right a lot more than wrong. When filling out forms for travel and purchases or whatever, only fill in the minimal ammount of information. The less you have to send, the better. In reality there is not much that you really have to disclose your social security number for. If a form asks for a social security number, ask why it is needed, and if it is not vital, then do not enter it.

Remember that your social security number is the mother load to a thief. Once he has that and your name, your life is an open book for him. Your identity has been stolen, and you have heard the horror stories on this disaster. Use only trustworthy companies to purchase from on the Internet. Ones you know are safest. If you are not sure of a company, check their site and see which other companies advertise there. An unknown company site that runs ads for a well-known bank or software company, for example, will in all likelihood be quite Ok to deal with.

8. Above all this, educate yourself. Remember, I said above that knowledge is power. Go online and search for identity theft data (try www.idtheftcenter.org) or search for personal security, travel security etc and educate you. http://www.online-passports.com/ will help you replace a lost or stolen passport very fast. Also do not forget to report a lost or stolen passport to your countries embassy if you are overseas.

Do not buy into the media hype where they continually paint a gloomy picture of the security situation. However, a touch of reality here, if your identity is stolen it has been reported that you will probably spend over 100 hours and a minimum of 6 months handling it and even then, your credit report will still have derogatory information on it that will take years to remove.

Our roads kill and hurt more people a year than any bad security situations, home or overseas. Just learn how to handle it and it will become second nature to you and not ruin your trip.

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