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Safely Travel the Globe This Winter

January 25, 2016

GarmaWhether your idea of a perfect mid-winter vacation is jet-setting to St. Barts, staying in a luxury villa in the south of France, yachting around the Mediterranean or checking out the latest hot spot, making sure you and your family are safe should be at the top of your itinerary.

Vacations are a time to unwind but there are also risks associated with traveling, which can be impacted by your destination as well as your economic status.

Here are six travel tips that will allow you to focus on your tan instead of your safety:

  • Diversify Your Money: Split up your cash and credit cards (ie – keep some on you and some in your hotel safe). This ensures you have access to funds even if you’re mugged or lose a bag.
  • Guard Your Identity: When you’re standing in line waiting to board, keep your tickets and passports concealed. Similarly, remove your luggage tags after arriving, which display your personal information. And don’t leave hotel key cards lying around after you check-out. While it’s debatable how much personal data they contain, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Blend In: Don’t advertise your affluence. Leave the flashy jewelry, designer clothes free-vector-tourist-globe1and pricey electronics at home. Love taking photos with your expensive camera? Snap away but keep it tucked away in a bag when it’s not in use. If you’re going to be traveling with fine jewelry or valuables, consider travel insurance.
  • Skip the Taxis: Transportation is one of the greatest vulnerabilities for wealthy travelers. Ask the resort or hotel you’re staying at to call a car service they’re familiar with versus simply hailing a cab, or make advanced transportation plans with carefully selected and trained drivers.
  • Avoid Status Updates: It may be tempting for your kids to post a photo of the infinity pool they’re lounging by, but social media can inadvertently put your family’s safety at risk by providing details of your whereabouts and activities. Not only does it advertise that your home is sitting vacant but it also makes your family vulnerable to risks like kidnapping.
  • Prep Your Electronic Devices: Be sure to have a fully charged communications device like a smartphone with you at all times and set up a PIN lock. Make sure your security software is up to date and strip any unneeded data from your devices, which protects you if they’re stolen or infiltrated. Also turn off your Bluetooth function, which can enable eavesdropping.
  • Plan for the “what ifs”: No one likes to think of the worst case scenario, but ensure that multiple people have a copy of your itinerary and that you’ve scanned your travel documents (passports, travel insurance policies, etc.) and e-mailed them to yourself. Also make sure each person you’re traveling with has an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact programmed into their cell phone and that you have the contact information for the nearest Embassy or Consulate where you’re going.

With the right preparation, your winter travels can be smooth sailing!

Garma Waldron

Personal Lines Account Manager

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