How to protect your family, health, and property this summer

Key takeaways:

  • Be aware of cancellation policies
  • Research the local COVID-19 guidelines 
  • Put your ID, passport, cash, and credit cards in a pouch next to your body
  • Leave the contact number of where you’ll be staying
  • Never leave your bags unattended
  • Take safety precautions in hotels
  • Consider buying travel insurance

Pack your bags…you’re going on a family vacation! We hope you have fun, but you must be smart. You need a plan to ensure your safety on the road. We have some tips to reduce your risks and protect your health and property.

Protecting your health

Even though a vacation is about “relaxation,” it can still put stress on your body. There’s a chance you could get sick or injured. What if you have to cut your trip short? Have you considered COVID-19 restrictions where you’re going? Here are five tips to protect your health on vacation.

  1. Buy an adequate supply of prescription medications.
  2. Find out about the cancellation policy if you have to cancel or cut your trip short.
  3. Determine if your insurance will cover medical costs in another state or country.
  4. Consider what you’ll do if you require medical care in a country where you don’t speak the language.
  5. Find out about the local COVID-19 guidelines when it comes to facemasks, dining in restaurants, local attractions, and indoor/outdoor crowds. Plus, carry hand sanitizer/wipes and wash your hands often.

Avoid becoming a target of crime

Tourists can easily become targets for thieves and crime. Sometimes, Americans are targeted specifically for ransom in certain countries, but even in the US, you can become a victim of a crime. Your wallet could be stolen or your credit card information could be taken in a fraud scheme. Here are ten tips to protect yourself and your family.

  1. Keep a low profile and don’t advertise yourself as a tourist.
  2. Research your destination and learn about the local customs so you blend in.
  3. Put cash, credit cards, your passport, and your driver’s license in a travel pouch under your clothes to prevent theft.
  4. Make copies of important travel documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, and insurance, and put them in a safe place.
  5. Have contact details for every stage of your itinerary and leave that information with a family member or close friend.
  6. If you’re traveling with a group, know where and when to meet if you get separated.
  7. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be when you go out. Have them tell someone if you miss a check-in.
  8. Hotel safety: Always use deadbolts and chains on hotel doors. Carry a doorstop for extra protection. Never let a stranger into your room. If someone claiming to be from the hotel comes to the door, check with the front desk, first. If you order takeout, arrange to pick up your food in the lobby. Put valuables in a room safe anytime you go out.
  9. Be aware of your surroundings when you’re out. 
  10. Keep an eye on your belongings and never leave bags unaccompanied.

Safety on the Road

Road trips build memories your family will remember for a long time. However, you need to take precautions when you’re on the road, too. Here are eight tips to ensure you stay safe.

  1. Make sure the windows and mirrors are clean and free of anything that could obstruct your view. 
  2. Have your car serviced and check its fluid levels, such as the coolant, windshield washer fluid, and oil. It’s a good idea to change your oil before you go.
  3. Check your tire pressure. Be aware that some cars have different recommendations for when you’re driving high or low speeds. 
  4. Scotchgard the seats, floor mats, and carpet to protect from spills or water. Get all-weather floor mats, especially if you’re going to a beach or lake.
  5. If you’re going to a beach or sandy desert, power wash your car frequently. Make sure to clean out the wheel wells and other areas underneath the car.
  6. Be wary of vehicles with loose debris or gravel, such as construction vehicles or trucks. These objects can fly off and hit your car or fall onto the road.
  7. Always park in a well-lit area in front of buildings, especially at hotels.
  8. Pay attention to your fuel levels. Make sure you stop at a gas pump in time, especially when you see signs warning about how long it’ll be before you encounter another gas station. If you’re driving an electric vehicle, make sure your battery has enough charge to get to your destination or a charging station.

Do you need travel insurance?

In the past, travel insurance has been a suggestion, but it’s becoming mandatory in some places, especially in light of COVID-19. This type of insurance offers protection if you have to cut short or cancel your trip because of illness or injury. It can also cover your costs if you have to change plans because of travel advisories.

What travel insurance covers:

  1. Medical emergencies & evacuations 
  2. Trip cancellation
  3. Baggage and personal belongings 
  4. Personal liability (if needed or not covered by your personal insurance)
  5. Cutting your trip short and then resuming later

Another resource to give you peace of mind is STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). This program is free for American citizens and alerts the American embassy where you’re going that you’re arriving. It provides excellent information from the Embassy about safety conditions in the destination country and contacts you in an emergency, such as civil unrest, a natural disaster, or a family issue. 

Make sure your insurance needs are met 

Whether you’re traveling this summer or sticking close to home, it’s important to make sure your home, car, and business have adequate insurance coverage. If you have questions about your policies or you’re interested in a quote, contact us today.

This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state.