As the weather starts to warm up, many people are leaving their hometowns for spring break in a vibrant city or tropical paradise. Although one of the best parts of vacationing is relaxing, you can’t completely let your guard down while you’re in a new place. There are many safety concerns you need to keep in mind while you’re traveling that you might not encounter in your everyday life. Here are some tips that can help keep you safe on vacation – while still having a good time.

Always keep your valuables with you or locked up.
Although it’s best to avoid bringing valuables with you on vacation, there are certain exceptions, like your electronics or maybe a favorite piece of jewelry or clothing. You’ll also obviously need your credit card and ID, which you should keep on you and in sight at all times. You should also aim to keep other valuables with you as you travel to prevent them from getting stolen, and keep them in a bag with a zipper or lock to avoid pickpocketing. If you must leave your valuables at the hotel, keep them in a safe.

Get the lay of the land.
One of the biggest safety problems that people encounter while traveling to new places is that they don’t know where they are and aren’t familiar with the neighborhoods. Before you go to any new city, it’s important to do some research about where you’ll be staying and exploring. Learn which neighborhoods are safe and which aren’t, and familiarize yourself with the transportation options available to you so you can always get home safely. In addition to using a map on your phone, you should also keep a physical map with you in case you lose power.

Enjoy your drinks safely.
If you like alcohol, then relaxing with a cocktail or two is a great way to enjoy vacation. However, it’s important not to overindulge while you’re traveling, particularly if you’re exploring a new city on your own. Alcohol impairs your ability to make decisions quickly, which is particularly important when you’re in a new situation. Pace yourself while you’re out, and be sure to eat beforehand and drink water periodically.

Share your itinerary with a family member or close friend back home.
You should always make sure that someone has an idea of where you’ll be in case anything happens while you are traveling. Make a list of important information, such as your flight details, the contact information for your hotel, and any specific activities you have planned, and then give it to someone you trust before you head off. That way, if anything happens, someone will know where you are and how to find you.

Dress the part.
The more you stand out, the more likely you are to be a target for pickpockets and other people who might want to harass you. Even if you are in a very safe area like San Diego, for example, you’ll still want to try to blend in. Don’t wear anything that might obviously identify you as being a tourist, and stay away from bright or outlandish getups that will attract people to you. You’ll also want to avoid obviously looking lost or confused – even if you don’t know where you’re going, try to look confident instead of blindly asking for directions or help.

The main thing to remember when traveling is to just always be aware of your surroundings. The more alert you are, the easier it is to pick up on potential threats and avoid them. Knowing how to stay safe can really help you get the most out of your vacation so you can have a great time.

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