Vacation Crime Prevention Tips
Summer is a time of year that many families go on vacation. Being on vacation can lead to crime victimization if appropriate crime prevention measures are not followed. Most families do not think about being victimized while on vacation because of all the excitement of going on vacation. The following crime prevention tips are designed to allow the vacationer to enjoy a safe and secure trip and to return to a secure residence.
Before Leaving…Secure Your Residence
- Make sure all the locks on the doors and windows function properly and use them.
- Make sure your residence looks lived in and not empty.
- Leave the shades and blinds on doors and windows in a position that you would normally have them.
- Ask several neighbors to keep an eye on your residence while you are away. Leave your vacation address and telephone number with the neighbors so you can be reached in an emergency.
- Make sure your smoke and burglar alarms are functioning properly and armed.
- Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your deliveries: mail, newspaper, and any other packages.
- Arrange for someone to maintain your yard so your home appears occupied.
- Have someone place your garbage cans at the curb for normal pickup and put them away after the pickup has been made.
- Make sure you have timers for lights, television, or radios so they turn on and off at the appropriate times.
- Turn the ringer on the telephone down low or off. A possible intruder will not be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone. If you can, forward your calls to your cellular phone or a trusted individual.
- Leave a normal message on your answering machine; do not announce your absence on the answering machine.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are gone so it will appear that someone is home. If you leave your car at home, park as you normally would.
- Consider taking valuables that you cannot live without to a safety deposit box.
- Call local police to advise them that you are on vacation.
On The Road
- Try not to carry large amounts of cash; use traveler’s checks. If you must carry large sums of money do not openly display it.
- Do not carry more credit cards than you will need. Keep a list of all traveler’s check numbers and credit card numbers in a safe place. Have telephone numbers to call if either are lost or stolen.
- Never advertise your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.
- Do not stop for hitchhikers or stranded motorists. If you want to help, call for assistance for them.
- If you suspect that someone is following you, drive to the nearest well-populated place and call 911 or use your cellular phone for emergency assistance.
- Do not leave any tickets (airline, train, bus) in open view. They are as valuable as cash.
- Males are advised to carry wallets in an inside pocket or the front pocket of their pants. Females should carry their purses under their arm with a firm grasp.
- Mark your luggage so it is easily identified. Take pictures of your luggage so airline personnel can identify it if it is lost.
- Be sure your luggage is locked and labeled with your name and telephone number. Someone can call you if your luggage is found. If you have a business address, label it on the luggage for a return address.
- Always lock your vehicle after entering or leaving it.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Check the backseat before entering your vehicle.
- Always place valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Do not leave wallets, checkbooks, or purses in your vehicle.
- Try not to advertise that you are a tourist.
Hotel and Motel Security
- Place all of your luggage in your room; do not leave anything in your vehicle.
- Do not leave valuables in your room when you are not there; take them with you.
- Keep a daily check of all your belongings.
- Place extra cash, jewelry, or valuables in a hotel/motel safe.
- Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry into your room. Do not open the door if you do not believe the person has a legitimate reason for being in your room.
- Unpack your luggage. Arrange all your belongings so that you will notice if anything is missing.
Remember that vacation should be an enjoyable relaxing experience. If you are prepared properly, you will lower your chances of being victimized and having your vacation ruined.