Planning a family vacation? Whether your destination is Disney
World, Denver, or Denmark, there are certain things you need to
keep in mind. Making the trip fun and enjoyable for everyone is
key; that's what it's all about. But just as important to the success
of your trip will be steps you take to make it a safe one.
Before you leave
Preventing crime during family travel starts with making sure your
home is protected while you're away. The key is to make it look
like you never left:
- Keep shades and blinds in their normal position.
- Don't stop mail and newspapers, ask a neighbor to pick them
up every day.
- Put timers on several household lights so they turn on and off
at appropriate times.
- Arrange to have grass mowed while you're gone.
- Make sure all your door and window locks are in working order
- and use them. Activate your home alarm (if you have one).
You might even leave a radio on - or put it on a timer. Ask a neighbor
to park in your driveway overnight - anything that might suggest
someone's home. And don't forget to lock all doors and windows when
Preparing for a family trip requires a lot of planning. You need
to decide where you're going, where you'll stay and how you'll get
from one place to another. You also need to decide what to take
with you. Planning can decrease the chances of crime joining you
on your journey. Some tips on what to take:
- Clean out your wallet or purse before you go; take only essential
credit cards. Plan to use credit cards or traveler's checks instead
of cash wherever possible.
- Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in an inside
front pocket. Better yet, take "fanny packs" or wear
a money pouch under your clothes.
- Pack as lightly as possible. Lots of heavy, cumbersome bags
will slow you down and make you more vulnerable to getting robbed.
- Expensive designer luggage can draw unneeded attention to your
belongings. Pack your things in inconspicuous bags.
- Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage. And
keep anything of value such as medicine and jewelry in a carry-on
that stays with you.
- If you are going on an extended vacation, consider shipping
large bags to your destination in advance. For the return trip,
mail bulky new purchases home, or ask merchants to do it for you.
Out and about
Your home is secured and you're packed. Now it's time to go. While
you and your family are traveling, it's important to remember that
tourists make tempting targets for thieves. Often lost or distracted,
weighed down with bags, and carrying cameras, tickets and money,
unsuspecting travelers attract crime like a magnet.
The best advise for you and your family is to do all you can to
blend in with the crowd.
- Don't display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags, and other items
that might draw attention.
- Check maps before you go out so you can tour confidently.
- Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets at all times -
- Always lock your car when it's parked, even if the stop is brief.
Keep valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk. Don't
advertise that you're a tourist by leaving maps and guidebooks
on the seat or dashboard - keep them in the glove compartment.
Traveling safely with your family also means sticking together
and keeping an eye on your children at all times. Make sure they
know where you are staying (name and address), and teach them what
to do if they get lost or separated. You might want to agree on
a meeting place, just in case. And by all means, make sure your
kids know not to accept rides or favors from strangers.
Make your family vacation a memorable one for all the
Return to Crime Prevention Tips
Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council