Tag Archives: travel safety

Tips to Travel Safe and Savvy This Summer

Nearly one out of every two Americans returns from vacation feeling more exhausted and stressed than when they left, according to Expedia. In fact, the stress of travel can literally make people sick. An estimated 3 percent of the population suffers from “leisure sickness,” which includes fatigue, muscle pain and nausea from travel-related stress.

Even in paradise, things can go wrong. A little pre-planning, however, can help prevent a full-on vacation meltdown. From safeguarding your identity to fixing a broken luggage zipper, these savvy travel tips will help make your summer vacation hassle-free.

Forget Facebook

Your flights are booked, your bags are packed and you can almost feel that sand between your toes. While it’s tempting to post your travel plans on Facebook, resist the urge. You wouldn’t hang a sign on your front door advertising your departure, so why share your trip itinerary with the entire Internet? This gives thieves a green light to target your house while you’re out of town.

Purge Your Wallet

A typical wallet is packed with extra credit cards and loyalty shopper cards that aren’t needed while sipping Mai Thais in paradise. Leave your usual wallet behind and only take the absolute basics for photo identification and payment. Lock up passports, IDs and credit cards whenever you leave your hotel room. For extra protection against identity theft, enroll in a service like LifeLock, which proactively monitors your social security number for fraudulent activity.

Protect Against Fraudulent Purchases

Even if your identity is not stolen, your credit or debit card could still be used to fund another vacationer’s week in paradise. Whenever possible, use a credit card rather than a debit card. Should your card be stolen, it is much easier to dispute fraudulent charges with a credit card company rather than battling your bank over the money fraudulently withdrawn from your checking account. Designate a credit card specifically for travel expenses. Doing so makes it easier to scan your statement for fraudulent purchases
that might otherwise be “buried” amidst usual expenses.

Fix a Broken Zipper

Sure, a broken zipper may seem minor compared to identity theft, but there’s nothing fun about a suitcase exploding all over luggage claim. Rather than replacing your luggage mid-trip, these hacks will help your luggage make it home safely in one piece.

If the zipper is stuck, lubricate the zipper teeth with lip balm or bar soap, which will help the zipper start moving again. If the zipper teeth are no longer staying closed, a single bent zipper tooth is the likely culprit. Use a pair of pliers to gently bend the zipper tooth back into shape. If the zipper pull breaks off, create a makeshift pull by attaching a souvenir keychain to the zipper base. Bonus: That hot pink Miami sunset keychain will make your generic black bag easy to spot at baggage claim.

Find Free Wi-Fi

Stop overpaying for expensive airport or hotel Wi-Fi. You can find apps that will help with this. The free Wi-Fi  Finder app
tracks more than 650,000 Wi-Fi  locations (both free and paid) in 144 countries.

Install the offline database for use when you cannot connect to the Internet for a search; this will help you locate the nearest Wi-Fi  source. For help detecting weak signals, you can download NetStumbler on your computer. This free program goes above and beyond the built-in Wi-Fi detector on your computer to find free networks it may have missed. And while free Wi-Fi is great, be smart about public network usage — never send personal information over an unsecured public network.


Internet Travel Scams

internet travel scamsby Robert Hanania

After watching the persuasive television commercial with a former science fiction television star proclaiming just how cheap travel can really be, you might find yourself on the Internet testing the virtual waters. Unfortunately, while originally you might have intended to visit the website that your sci-fi actor was talking about, you soon find yourself getting side tracked into checking out some other site and deals, and before long you would be amazed that travel deals on the ‘Net’ are indeed not only cheap but usually feature some exotic destination that is amazingly desirable!

Even as you celebrate your delving into the world of online travel reservations, there is a little voice in the back of your mind warning you that deals which sound too good to be true usually leave something to be desired, yet instead of pulling back and steering your search to the more well known sites, you continue to dig deeper and deeper and land on a good many sites advocating steals and deals – even though the names of the businesses are unknown to you.

A closer look at Internet travel scams reveals that it is now the eager web surfer that will be at the highest risk of falling for one of the many ruthless campaigns currently being marketed online. A scam site with an impossibly long link (URL) may feature a well known name and logo. Travel deals closely mirror that of the original site with the company’s genuine name and web address. Being somewhat web savvy, you figure that this is the site of an affiliate and even as you are getting ready to go back to the original site, you notice that here the deals are even better than they are at the original merchant site. Dig down a little deeper and you will find the affiliate agent’s assertion that in desperation to make a deal, she or he will comp you part of their commission or offer you the deal at an employee discount. Stay away from these practices.
They are not only unethical within the industry but hardly ever genuine. Furthermore, if the deal is made from a third party, you may have no recourse if problems arise and the affiliate will be long gone!

online travel scamsConversely, a travel agency with a name you never heard of may be offering deals that are steals. Having numerous confidence inspiring banners on their sites, such as the ones from the Better Business Bureau and others, you may believe that you are safe. Unfortunately, blindly believing this is a mistake since anyone can cut and paste an image from another website, to be inserted on a fake website. Unless you can verify with the BBB that the company is actually a member, there is no reason to assume the logo on their website is genuine. Similarly, reviews, press releases, and testimonials do not have to be genuine. Caution should always be exercised, and the more amazing the deal, the more caution there should be.

The BBB advises this for people looking to resell there timeshare, but seems to apply for many types of businesses (in my view). The Better Business Bureau recommends the following:

* Do not agree to anything over the telephone until you have had a chance to check out the company.

* Ask the person to send you written materials.

* Ask for references, including address and phone number and contact them.

* Ask where the company is located and in what states it does business.

* Ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify this with the state licensing board.

* Find out if the company charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?

* Be wary of companies charging an advance “appraisal” fee for services. Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.

* Contact the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), state Attorney General’s office, and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the company is located to find out if complaints have been lodged against the company.

At this point in time the travel industry is the one with the most complaints currently found on the ‘Net.’ A closer look at Internet travel scams reveals that the numbers of fraudulent agents are former members of travel agencies who are going it alone, and are downright scam artists who are currently operating Phony websites and have maligned the good name of the trade in general.

About the Author – Robert is an author on various subjects and the owner and operator of several websites and a true fanatic of learning and sharing ‘how to’ material and info. He is now promoting: http://www.GlobalResortsNetwork.com/skylab/biz Gold Crown is the company that provides the Travel benefits and is in BBB.


Travel Safety Tips: Safety First While Traveling

When vacation time arrives, the first thing on most peoples minds is fun. A chance to get away from the hot, stuffy office, or from the winter blues and have some fun. Exploring the world can be a great experience, but not everywhere is safe, and not everyone on the planet is nice. A few precautions, and a little pre-trip thought can help you ensure that your vacation is safe and fun.

Finding a Safe Place To Stay
If you are going somewhere you have never been before, then it can be daunting finding somewhere to stay. Booking a hotel based on star ratings can help you a little, but it is still worth doing more research, just to be sure.

It is important that you examine the area where the hotel is located. Ask yourself: “Is it located in a high crime rate area?”. Is there sufficient security for the guests? Preferably, non-guests should have limited access to the main hotel structure and a room escort service should be offered, in order to have a minimal level of security.

Make sure that the room you stay in has locks on the windows and doors. If at possible, you should try to find a hotel that uses electronic keys. This is safer and more secure than a normal door key, as the electronic key can be changed for each new guest. Check the room, and the hallways, for sprinklers and smoke alarms, and read any safety signs so you know what to do in the event of an emergency.

During Your Stay
When you check in to your hotel, keep your luggage near you, and keep an eye on it at all times. Ask the check in desk to write your room number down, rather than tell it to you verbally – this will stop anyone from overhearing your room number.

Don’t give your full name when signing in – just use your surname and your first initial. If you are a woman, don’t use Ms. Or Miss as a title, as this may make people assume you are alone and as such, an easier target. If the hotel provides a safe, place your valuables in it instead of leaving them in your room.

After you have arrived safely and checked into your hotel—what do you do next? If you are like most vacationers, you will be eager to explore the country that they have just arrived in. But before you head out on your discovery adventures, take note of these two safety tips. They can help you in your travels. Under no circumstances should you carry large amounts of cash. This is not a smart move. Also, DO NOT wear expensive-looking jewelry. That would invite unwanted and unnecessary attention. Another good tip is to keep your travelers checks and credit cards in separate pockets. That way, you will avoid both items being stolen.

Enjoy Your Holiday
Travel is fun, and there is a vast world out there waiting to be explored. Remember, while you are having fun, that you still need to behave sensibly – the party atmosphere is nice, but don’t leave valuables lying around, and don’t flash wads of cash to everyone in sight. You wouldn’t do it in your home town, so why do some people think that the place they are holidaying in is any different?

Be sure to make an effort and take some time to learn as much as you can about the different cultures and customs of your chosen destination. But most of all, have fun, take lots of photo’s and stay safe.

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