There’s nothing more important than keeping yourself, your family and your home safe. It can be especially difficult to maintain your usually safety precautions when a vacation is coming up.It’s an exciting time – getting ready for a trip, leaving town, enjoying time with family, seeing new and different places. But it’s a more important time than ever to take some safety precautions. That way, you’ll enjoy peace of mind during your getaway.

What to Do Before You Travel

Protect Your Home

If you have an alarm system installed in your home, you’re already way ahead of most people when it comes to vacation safety. Whether or not you have an alarm, it’s a good idea to let a trusted friend, family member or neighbor know that you’ll be gone and ask them to check on your home. Timing devices on interior lights and motion detectors on exterior lights can be used to keep your home from looking vacant while you’re gone.

Contact Your Post Office

Having your mail held while you’re out of town can protect you in many ways. For one, you won’t be left with an overflowing mailbox – a sure sign that you’re not around. It can also help keep your personal information safe. It’s dangerous to leave your personal or banking information in your mailbox for an extended period of time. Plus, if you have your mail held at the post office, you won’t need to worry about whether anything got lost or stolen.

Plan for Your Pets

If your pet isn’t joining you on vacation, it’s important to consider their safety while you’re gone. If no friend or family member is available to take care of them, you should research the best boarding facilities near your home. Reading online reviews isn’t enough – you need to see the place for yourself. Pet boarding facilities will also let you tour their pet accommodations before your trip, so you can make sure they meet all the needs of your pet. Be sure to let them know about any medical or behavioral needs of your pet before you leave.

Prep Your Luggage

Using luggage tags with your name and contact information can help you find and claim your bags if they’re lost. You could also hide your contact information within the bag – just in case. Make sure your bag is clearly identifiable by adding a string or bandana to the handle. Finally, invest in a TSA-approved lock for your luggage.

Research Your Itinerary

Research can help you have a safe and smooth vacation. This often-overlooked step is important because by knowing what to expect, you can be more alert to your surroundings or aware if something is not as it should be. Look over your maps ahead of time to get a good idea of where you’re going and what you’ll pass along the way. You should also research the attractions you’re visiting so you know what facilities are offered and how much your tickets should cost – this can help you avoid overpaying.

Safety Tips for During Vacation

Keep Your Wallet & ID Close

It’s extremely important to hang on to your wallet and identification at all times while traveling. These are your most ¬†important belongings, because without them you could be stranded. Even if you’re used to carrying your wallet in your back pocket or loose purse, you may want to adjust your habits during your vacation. You could invest in a wallet carrier that is worn under your clothing. For ladies, using a purse with a closable zipper can prevent your wallet from falling out or being removed from your purse.

Keep Valuables Secure

Whatever you do, don’t leave your valuable items like electronics in your car or rental car. If you need to keep them in the vehicle, move them to the trunk or a lockable glove compartment. For important items in your hotel room, locate an in-room safe if possible and keep your items in it. Any time you’re leaving an unfamiliar place like a hotel room, airplane or rental vehicle, make sure you check all of the places your items could be easily forgotten, like the seat pocket, under the bed/seat, in the bathroom or in dresser drawers.

Pick Up Important Supplies

It’s smart to have a small first aid kit handy, especially if you’re traveling with small kids or thrill seekers. You should also carry supplies based on the weather outside. If it’s hot, water and sunscreen are essential. If you’re driving in cold weather, kitty litter and warm blankets could be life savers.

Wherever the road takes you, take these safety tips into consideration for your next vacation.