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Make copies of important travel documents.
Include your travel itinerary, health insurance cards, credit cards, and passport. Give the copies to someone you trust in case of an emergency. It’s also smart to email any important information about your trip to yourself before you leave so it’s easily accessible if something gets lost, especially if you’re traveling overseas.

 

Don’t overshare on social media.
You do not want every person with access to your social media accounts to know that you’re away from home (hello, burglars!), you also don’t need other followers (or lurkers) to know where you are in real time. This can invite all kinds of unwanted attention and danger. You should also avoid posting any pictures with personal information, like your boarding pass or passport, to social media. These photos might look fun on Instagram, but they also give cyber predators easy access to your secure data.

 

Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access financial information or make online purchases.
It’s very easy for hackers to steal information from public internet servers. Further, you should never leave your laptop or cell phone in a vulnerable position (i.e. at the breakfast table while you run to the bathroom or on their beach chair while you take a dip);  this might seem like common sense, but it’s easy to let your guard down when you’re on island time!

 

Research, research, research.
It’s important for you to learn the ins and outs of your destination and do some digging to find out what areas are safe and what areas should be avoided.  A good place to start? Read hotel reviews online to see what neighborhoods and destinations other travelers recommend. Remember that if a place seems unsafe or makes you feel uncomfortable, you should leave right away. Download the State Department’s Smart Traveler app (travel.state.gov) and sign up for the State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows U.S. citizens who are traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

 

Article by Naomi Anderson, Vice President of Operations for LSC.