If you are planning an upcoming visit to Orlando or any destination we came up with some tips we thought would be helpful. These are not in any order, but are things to remember to keep you safe.
- Realize that you probably look like a tourist. Unless you have been to a city a lot you probably need a map, have some comfortable shoes and a camera. Most of all, you are hanging around all the places that tourists go. Face it, you look like a tourist! Awareness is the first step to safety. Embrace being a tourist and be alert to your surroundings, suspicious people and the places you go.
- Be leery of people on the elevator. Thieves look for people to rob and sometimes will follow you to your floor or room pretending to be on the same floor. If you get on the elevator and someone or people make you uncomfortable and they say they are on the same floor as you, press the floor above and let them get off. If they are really creepy, go down to the front desk and ask for security.
- Never, Never, Never keep your hotel room key in the sleeve that says the room number on it. Honestly, I don't always remember my room number, but I remember where it is. If you keep it in the sleeve, if someone finds it they know where to go and how to open your room.
- Men, don't keep your wallet in your back pocket. That's the spot where criminals can pick pocket the easiest.
- Know your emergency numbers. What would you do if your wallet or purse AND cell phone were stolen and you were travelling? Do you know the number for the bank? Do you know your significant other's number by heart. With cell phones I call my friends all the time, but honestly, I do not know their numbers. Make sure you know important numbers. Some phone numbers you can find on the internet (like your bank and credit cards), but your spouse's cell number isn't.
- Don't keep all your money and credit cards with you. Honestly, I usually only keep out one credit card and a few dollars in cash. Most of my expenses I will charge and then at the end of each day transfer money from my debit card to credit card to cover the expenses. I love wearing a security pouch. I I feel most secure knowing that if someone steals from me they will only get a few dollars and one credit card.
- Get the tools to protect yourself. Every male in my family has RFID wallets, we often put our cards in RFID sleeves. If you have an expensive camera purchase a slash-proof camera strap. I had a friend in Italy that had a fanny pack on and someone on a moped came up to her and cut it off and rode away. Slash-proof tools deter criminals.
- Keep your kids with you. Make sure that you give your children instructions on what to do if they get separated from you (contact authorities). Thousands of children are abducted each year and tourist areas are prime locations for child predators. Even if your child is older, make sure you talk with them. Adults are stronger and it only takes a few seconds to be in the wrong place.
I am sure there are more tips, and perhaps I will make sharing safety tips a series. Don't be afraid by the information, traveling can expand your mind and introduce you to so many wonderful people, but the most important thing is to have a good travel experience by being safe.