Travel Safety and Security
The travel season is quickly coming up again, so today I want to discuss travel safety and security. If you are a ‘world traveler,’ it is in your best interest to visit the State Departments travel safety website at www.travel.state.gov. This site gives you valuable information about embassy and consulate locations, threats to Americans, and other very useful information per country.
When travelling, it is important to be more vigilant in knowing what and who is around you. If you are going to be in a crowded place, such as New York City, make sure you take steps in protecting your money and valuable cards (ID, credit/debit cards, etc). I suggest to carry these items loose or in a money clip instead of in a wallet. If a pick pocket steals your wallet, they will be disappointed they didn’t get anything. Sometimes it is fun to write a note to the criminal, saying “This wallet has a GPS tracking device imbedded in the lining, and I have the coordinates on my phone. The cops are already on their way.” Again, it is all in the spirit of fun, and no matter how much credit we give to criminals, they aren’t smart. If they were, they would have a real job. The point I am trying to convey here is that keeping your important travel items safe will keep your vacation nicer.
International travelers: when you get to the hotel, do not, DO NOT, put your belongings into hotel safes. You should always keep your passport on you, AT ALL TIMES. If you run into trouble out in town, you must have your passport to gain entry into an embassy, and any time you are dealing with foreign law enforcement, you will need your passport to show that you gained entry legally into their country. If you want to convert money, try doing it in the United States before you travel. If you can’t, accept the international exchange fees, and just use your credit cards. Be cautious about using exchanges in foreign countries because you open yourself up to being a target for thieves. When I travelled in Europe, I carried about 200 Euros, and used my credit card for the rest. There are some places in Europe that do not accept credit cards, so you will need some cash. Remember, every international airport in the US has a currency exchange booth that covers all major currencies, utilize the service!
Stateside travel: If you are a concealed handgun license holder, check to see what reciprocity exists for your state’s license. You also need to learn the laws of every state you will be passing through with your firearm. A good resource to use is www.usacarry.com website, which has an interactive map that will tell you which states accept your carry license.
While in the US, the use of credit cards is widely accepted, so I always suggest using them. Don’t use debit cards if you can help it. Debit cards, if stolen, can be used to wipe out your account, and it could take months for you to get your money back… if you get it back!
No matter where your travels take you this Spring and Summer, remember to know your surroundings, carry as little cash as you can, use a credit card instead of a debit card, and don’t carry cash, credit cards, and IDs in your wallet, instead, keep them in your front pocket.
Personal security and safety is in your hands… Be proactive, and let the police be reactive!