7 Ways to Stay Safe on Vacation

smiling family on parked car looking at the camera while on vacation

There is nothing quite like going on vacation. This is a chance to leave all your cares behind and go rest and relax in the destination of your dreams.

But maybe you shouldn’t leave all your cares behind. When going on vacation, you are more vulnerable than usual. And in a strange new town surrounded by strange new people, it’s easier than you think to get robbed (or worse) while on vacation.

The good news is that it only takes a few extra steps to stay safe on vacation, including making sure you have the right car insurance. Keep reading to discover what our top tips are!

1. Check Your Car Insurance

Chances are the last thing you want to think about while on vacation is getting into a car accident. But when you are driving in unfamiliar areas, this is likelier to happen than you may think. The threat from big rigs alone is much worse than you may think!

This is why it is very important to check your car insurance before you start seriously planning a trip. Do you have enough of a liability limit in case you cause an accident? And will your insurance plan pay for a rental car on vacation if your car ends up getting totaled?

With insurance, the devil is always in the details. Many drivers are caught by surprise after a car accident when they realize how much their deductible is and how low their coverage limits are. And this issue is only compounded once you are on vacation in a new area.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to research your current car insurance and discover all the important details. And if you are planning your trip sufficiently in advance, you can make changes to your insurance plan as needed. You might even add special coverage like RV insurance as needed.

It’s true that adjusting your insurance before a relaxing vacation may not sound like much fun. But the peace of mind that comes from having the right insurance will seriously help with your relaxation.

2. Research the Destination

Of course, your car insurance isn’t the only thing you should research. For maximum safety, it’s important to research your destination.

Your chosen vacation spot is like anywhere else: some areas are going to be safer than others. If you don’t research ahead of time, you might end up wandering into an unsafe place and encountering dangers. Worse still, you might end up booking a hotel in one of the most dangerous spots in town!

What is the best way to research the area? We recommend first contacting local officials ahead of time and asking about which areas are safe and which areas are dangerous. As an added bonus, these officials may be able to offer you some other area-specific travel tips while you have them on the phone.

It’s also important to check travel reviews. Instead of trusting in somebody’s marketing. Read the real accounts of what real people encountered during their vacation. Not only will this help you plan a safer trip, but you may also end up finding some awesome vacation ideas by studying these reviews!

3. Look Like a Local

When it comes to safe vacation travel, sometimes the old tips are the best tips. For example, vacationers should take the same advice we offer to anyone simply visiting a new city: try to look like you belong there.

Thieves and other criminals often try to take advantage of those who are on vacation. Because vacationers aren’t likely to have any local contacts or know much about the area, it is easy for criminals to prey upon them.

There is nothing you can do about the possible criminals who live in your vacation destination. But you can do the next best thing by making sure you draw as little attention to yourself as possible.

For example, if you are checking a map or a GPS app, try to do so in your hotel room or somewhere else where nobody is watching. This is important because openly looking for directions is the biggest thing you can do to announce you are a visitor to the area.

If you need to ask locals for directions or assistance, try to do so discreetly. And you may want to invest in special devices or safety gear that helps to deter pickpockets and other thieves.

4. A Safer Hotel Room

Earlier, we touched on the need to do your research so you can book a hotel room in a safer area of town. But to make staying in the hotel even safer, there are a few simple steps you can take.

First, make sure to lock and deadbolt the room whenever you are inside. It is easy to forget one or both of these things, especially after a few drinks.

Second, consider buying a jammer or other device that you can slip under the door to make it harder to open. Simply making it difficult to get into your hotel room is one of the main things you can do to deter criminals.

Third, avoiding letting strangers into your room. This includes those who appear to be hotel workers. If a criminal makes it inside your room, you will be very vulnerable.

Finally, try to give the impression that you are still in the room even when you have stepped out. Keep the blinds down and the lights on, and consider putting out the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your way out. As with your own home, criminals are far less likely to come in if they think someone is inside.

5. Keep the Right People Updated

A caucasian family getting ready for a safe vacation.

One of the best things you can do to have a safe vacation is to let certain people know what your plans are and what you have accomplished so far. Unfortunately, most vacationers go about this the wrong way.

Many vacationers are tempted to hit social media for the duration of their vacation. And it can be pretty tempting to share your awesome vacation photos with the world in real-time.

But telling social media you are on vacation for a week can actually put your home in danger. At this point, what you are really telling the world is that your home will be unprotected for a long time—and telling everyone where you will be and when during vacation also makes it easier for criminals to prey on you.

Try to save the social media updates for when you get back. In the meantime, let a few close friends or family members know what your itinerary is like and check in with them regularly. If you don’t check in at a certain point each day, they can try to reach out to you and, if needed, to local authorities.

And when you get back, don’t forget to be mindful about what you post on social media, especially if it might affect insurance claims.

6. Public Wi-Fi? Ignore the Temptation

It’s an open secret that we live in a digital world. So when you are traveling for vacation, you are probably keeping an eye out for public wi-fi that you can access.

However, public wi-fi networks are the least secure networks in the world. It is trivially easy for hackers to monitor your online activity and gather key information. And once someone has credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, they can steal your identity, ruin your credit, and put you deeply in debt.

What can you do to make yourself safer? We recommend setting up a VPN before you leave. This gives you the internet access you need while traveling, all while providing the security necessary to keep your data safe.

7. Make and Keep Copies of Important Documents

While digital data is important, you likely keep the most important personal information in your luggage when you travel. This includes vital paperwork such as driver’s license, passports, and alternative forms of identification.

These documents are all important, but they are also very easy to lose. And when you lose critical paperwork, it can very easily ruin your entire vacation.

The easiest solution to this particular dilemma is to make several copies of all your important documents. We recommend digitally scanning the documents ahead of time and then printing out as many copies as you need.

These extra steps add extra security to your trip. For example, if you lose your passport or ID while traveling, you can quickly bring up a digital backup. And if you have trouble pulling up the digital version, you will also have hard copies available whenever you need them.

Get the Right Insurance Before Your Vacation

Now you know how to stay safe when on vacation. But do you know where you can find the insurance you need no matter where you are? InsureOne is here to help you find the right coverage at the best price for you. Start your free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.