Tips: Taking Crime Prevention on the Road

Whether you take to the road for business or pleasure, it is critical that you take your crime prevention instincts with you. Being aware of the threat of crime -- and what you can do to prevent it -- will go a long way toward making your trip safe and successful. The National Crime Prevention Council offers travel safety tips.

At the Airport

  • Stay alert and watch your bags and computer carefully at all times. Don’t let anyone but uniformed airline personnel handle or watch your bags.
  • Always carry proper identification such as a state issued driver’s license or passport.
  • Keep your airline ticket and identification close to you at all times.
  • Do not bring anything on board for another person unknown to you or not traveling with you, however innocent or small the package or item may appear.
  • Report any unattended items or suspicious activity in the airport or aircraft to the nearest airport or airline official.
  • Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside front pocket. Better yet, use a money pouch under your clothes.
  • Watch out for staged mishaps, like someone bumping into you or spilling a drink. Often it’s a ploy to divert your attention from your valuables.
  • Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage in case your luggage is lost or tampered with. And keep anything of value in a carry-on that stays with you.

On the Road

  • Become familiar with your travel route before you start your trip. Get a map and study it before you leave.
  • Make sure your rental car is in good operating condition. Learn how to operate all windows, 8 door locks, and lights, as well as other equipment, before you leave the rental lot.
  • Keep maps and rental agreement concealed, not lying on the seat or the dashboard.
  • Keep car doors locked while you are driving. Store luggage in the trunk.
  • Park in well-lighted areas only, close to building entrances and walkways. Remember to lock the car when you leave and store all valuables out of sight.
  • Have car keys ready when approaching your car. Check the back seat and floor before you get in.
  • If you are bumped by another car, think before you get out. If you are in doubt or uncomfortable, signal the other driver to follow you to a nearby police station or a busy, well-lighted area where it’s safe to get out. If you have a cellular phone, call someone for assistance.

At the Hotel

  • Never leave luggage unattended in public areas.
  • Keep all hotel doors and window locked.
  • Insist that hotel personnel write down your room number at check-in rather than stating out loud the number of your room.
  • Learn the locations of fire exits, elevators, and public phones, in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure your room has an indoor viewer (peephole) and dead bolt lock.
  • Keep valuables -- laptops, cellular phones, jewelry, cash, etc. -- in the hotel safe when you’re not using them.
  • Before taking a cab, ask the staff about directions and estimated costs to familiarize yourself with the area and avoid being taken advantage of by someone preying on a traveller.
  • Always verify who’s at your hotel room door. Don’t open the door to someone you don’t know. If an unexpected visitor claims to be a hotel employee, call the front desk to confirm.
  • Don’t announce room numbers in public. Keep track of your room keys.

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