Marcia Peot a full time police officer and Chief Safety Officer at StreetSafe, a new mobile personal security system that uses your smart phone’s GPS technology to instantly connect in an emergency, offered the following safety reminders:
- Don’t let your guard down. Being on vacation is not an excuse to throw caution to the wind and do something you wouldn’t normally do or put yourself in an unsafe situation.
- Research the place you are visiting before you go, especially if it’s a foreign country. Find out if there are dangerous areas you should avoid, familiarize yourself with local laws and customs, and know where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.
- Stay in groups or use the buddy system. You are more of a target when you are by yourself.
- A stranger is still a stranger, even on vacation. Do not accept a ride or go off somewhere alone with a person you don’t know.
- Do not drink excessively. When you are intoxicated, your physical reflexes, awareness of your surroundings, and ability to make decisions become impaired, making you an easy target.
- Never leave your drink unattended and do not accept beverages from anyone other than the bartender or waiter.
- The beaten path is the better path. Stick to populated and well-lit areas, don’t take short cuts, and familiarize yourself with the area before heading out.
- Make sure your hotel room is locked at all times. Do not advertise your room number, open the door for anyone you are not expecting, or bring strangers back to your room.
Ian Ford, CEO and founder of UndercoverTourist.com added these helpful Dos and Don’ts:
- Do make a plan before you go. Know your boundaries and expectations for the trip. Have a “code-word” with your friends for when you aren’t having fun or want to leave a situation.
- Don’t purchase, use, or have drugs in your possession. Drug charges in other countries can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment without bail for up to a year before a case is even tried.
- Do obey the local laws. Your U.S. citizenship does not make you exempt from full prosecution under another country’s criminal justice system
- Don’t go out without a fully-charged cell phone.
- Most of all use common sense and have fun!
Are your children heading off alone on Spring Break? Where are they going and how are you helping them have a safe and educational experience.
For more spring break and voluntourism ideas, check out:
- Peter’s Travel Tip: Talking Spring Break
- Spring Break Alternative Destinations
- Updated every week, the Voluntourism Archives
- Kerri Zane’s February Window Seat or Aisle Seat column
By Kerri Zane for PeterGreenberg.com. For more advice on health, beauty and travel, visit Kerri Zane on the Web at KerriZane.com.