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Cyber Travel News & Reviews: Safety for Women Travelers
Judith Albright

Whether traveling on business or for pleasure, you want to feel as safe as you do at home. The more you know about how criminals operate, the less vulnerable you are while traveling outside your familiar environment. While you can never be "crime proof," you can protect yourself from being a victim by becoming less of a target.

 

Before Your Trip

  • Do not take valuables with you--if you canapostrophet afford to lose it, donapostrophet take it. Expensive jewelry should be left at home.
  • Carry major credit cards and traveler’s checks, not large amounts of cash.
  • If traveling out of the country, make a photocopy of your passport and pack it in your luggage. If the original is lost or stolen, the copy will speed replacement at the nearest U.S. Consulate, which can be found at www.embassyweb.com. Also carry several passport-sized photos with you--it can be difficult to get a replacement made on short notice.
  • Before traveling to any troubled area, check with the U.S. State Department for travel advisories and warnings at http://travel.state.gov. The State Department can also provide health advice and medical information for any destination. Visit http://travel.state.gov/medical.html.

    Enroute

    • Be sure to keep your luggage locked and in view at all times. It only takes one distracted moment for a thief to make off with your belongings. To minimize risk when your luggage is out of your possession, there is a new product (NanoSeal) being offered by an international security company that displays a random 4-digit number every time your luggage is closed. If unauthorized entry occurs, the number changes, plus the time that has elapsed since the luggage was last opened is indicated. Product information is available at www.airsecurity.com.
    • While part of the fun of traveling is talking to fellow travelers, never divulge your plans or itinerary to anyone. You have no way of knowing to whom this information might be conveyed. Hotel rooms as well as homes of travelers have been burglarized because the wrong person gained access to schedules and destinations.
    • Remain focused and attentive. Bags placed casually at your feet or on a baggage cart while you are talking on the telephone are a quick and easy hit.
    • At Hotels

      • Always keep your door locked (using the bolt and chain) whenever you are in your room. For added safety (since chains can be broken with force) Door Blocker is a portable safety product designed to prevent forcible entry. There are two models, both of which work on carpet, tile, wood, or concrete floors. For more information check out www.doorblocker.com.
      • Before opening the door to anyone, use the peephole. If the person is not in a hotel uniform or looks suspicious, do not open the door. You could be forced to remove the chain if the person is armed.
      • Never identify yourself on the telephone, especially if you are traveling alone.
      • If you plan to be out late, let the front desk know when you expect to return.
      • When out of the room, leave a light and the radio or television on to give the impression the room is occupied.
      • Out and About

        • Donapostrophet look like a tourist. Looking at maps in your car or on the street is a dead giveaway. A camera hanging around your neck is also a beacon announcing that you are not a native.
        • Don’t flash money--keep just enough accessible to meet your immediate needs. If possible, avoid carrying a handbag--your arm could be injured if a thief tries to snatch it. If wearing a fanny pack, place it in front, not behind you or on your side.
        • To the extent possible, try to adopt local practices. If renting a car, ask for a model that is common in that area, and which cannot be easily identified as a rental. Never leave belongings in a rental car--trunks are a favorite target of thieves.
      • Donapostrophet look like a tourist. Looking at maps in your car or on the street is a dead giveaway. A camera hanging around your neck is also a beacon announcing that you are not a native.
      • Don’t flash money--keep just enough accessible to meet your immediate needs. If possible, avoid carrying a handbag--your arm could be injured if a thief tries to snatch it. If wearing a fanny pack, place it in front, not behind you or on your side.
      • To the extent possible, try to adopt local practices. If renting a car, ask for a model that is common in that area, and which cannot be easily identified as a rental. Never leave belongings in a rental car--trunks are a favorite target of thieves.
      • In all circumstances, common sense is your most effective weapon against crime. Donapostrophet borrow trouble--it you would not do it at home, donapostrophet do it away from home, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Your best protection is to be knowledgeable and alert, and to travel with confidence and a positive attitude. Remember the old platitude--you get what you expect!

        Cyber Travel News & Reviews is a regular column by Judith Albright, publisher of Internet Travel Resources: A Comprehensive Guide to Travel Websites. For more information visit her web site at http://www.notebookpublications.com.

      • Before opening the door to anyone, use the peephole. If the person is not in a hotel uniform or looks suspicious, do not open the door. You could be forced to remove the chain if the person is armed.
      • Never identify yourself on the telephone, especially if you are traveling alone.
      • If you plan to be out late, let the front desk know when you expect to return.
      • When out of the room, leave a light and the radio or television on to give the impression the room is occupied.
    • Always keep your door locked (using the bolt and chain) whenever you are in your room. For added safety (since chains can be broken with force) Door Blocker is a portable safety product designed to prevent forcible entry. There are two models, both of which work on carpet, tile, wood, or concrete floors. For more information check out www.doorblocker.com.
    • Before opening the door to anyone, use the peephole. If the person is not in a hotel uniform or looks suspicious, do not open the door. You could be forced to remove the chain if the person is armed.
    • Never identify yourself on the telephone, especially if you are traveling alone.
    • If you plan to be out late, let the front desk know when you expect to return.
    • When out of the room, leave a light and the radio or television on to give the impression the room is occupied.
    • Out and About

      • Donapostrophet look like a tourist. Looking at maps in your car or on the street is a dead giveaway. A camera hanging around your neck is also a beacon announcing that you are not a native.
      • Don’t flash money--keep just enough accessible to meet your immediate needs. If possible, avoid carrying a handbag--your arm could be injured if a thief tries to snatch it. If w