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Summer Vacation is finally here!

School is out, the days are long and sunny, and we are all on a different schedule than the one we keep the other nine months of the year. Summertime is prime time for travel for a lot of families, and even though you might be out of your usual routine for the summer, don’t let summer vacation safety and security slip by the wayside.

Travel can be fun and educational, but it can also be dangerous. Up to 25,000 people are killed every year due to traffic accidents that occur during a vacation. Other mishaps that can occur include food poisoning, maritime accidents, and drowning.


If you let your guard down, even for a moment, while you’re in an unfamiliar setting, you may find yourself with a lot less fun on vacation than you imagined. To help you to protect yourself from common issues while you’re on vacation, Gerling Law offers these Safe Vacationing Tips:

Before You Go

  • Arrange for a house sitter or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your home while you are away; provide your contact information in the event of an emergency
  • Stop your newspaper delivery for the duration of your trip
  • Stop mail delivery or ask someone to pick up your mail each day
  • Lock up any firearms in a safe designed for such use
  • Consider placing valuables in a safe or safe deposit box at the bank
  • Clean out your wallet and/or purse; travel only with essential credit cards and cash
  • Pack light; thieves often target individuals struggling with heavy baggage
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted individual, complete with contact information

At the Airport

  • Never leave your suitcase unattended
  • Pack your carry-on with essentials such as medication and valuables like jewelry or electronics
  • Obey airline rules and regulations regarding carry-ons and checked luggage
  • If you are traveling internationally, keep your passport with you at all times

In Your Rental Car

  • Thoroughly inspect your rental car before you leave the rental lot, including checking the tires
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight; this includes cables and chargers
  • Always lock the vehicle; keep windows rolled up when leaving the vehicle
  • Wear your seat belt
  • If you must keep your luggage with you in the car, lock it in the trunk out of sight
  • Lock the doors while driving; keep windows rolled up and use the air conditioner
  • Rethink the convertible; thieves can easily grab purses, backpacks, and other items right out of the vehicle when you’re sitting at a red light
  • Stick to well-lit and well-traveled streets and neighborhoods
  • Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas

At the Hotel

  • Keep your luggage between you and the front desk when checking in
  • Instruct the front desk to not give out your name or room number; ask them not to divulge the number out loud when assigning your room
  • Request a room between the third and sixth floors; these are reachable by most fire engine ladders but not by thieves seeking to access your room from outside
  • Identify the exits and fire extinguishers nearest to your room
  • Do not open your hotel room door to anyone unknown to you, even if they say they are hotel staff; verify their identity with the front desk
  • Always lock your door and take your room key with you; do not prop the door open even if you’re just going down the hall for ice
  • Meet visitors and guests in the hotel lobby, not in your room
  • Avoid getting on the elevator with individuals who look suspicious
  • Keep your room key out of sight when at the hotel pool
  • Use the hotel safe to store valuables; do not leave valuables like electronics or jewelry out in plain sight in your room

By the Water

  • Learn to swim
  • Only swim in designated areas
  • Do not swim in areas unprotected by a lifeguard
  • Learn proper boating etiquette
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen

While You’re Out and About

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Only carry what you need with you; keep excess cash or credit cards stored safely at the hotel
  • Do not accept rides from strangers
  • Stay in well-traveled and well-lit areas; wandering away from established tourist areas could expose you to crime
  • Locate the nearest police station and hospital in case you need a safe place
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Avoid large crowds, protests, and demonstrations
  • Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside front pocket

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling near or far this summer, protecting yourself and your belongings requires vigilance and a hefty dose of precaution. The same rules that apply during your everyday life still apply when you’re on vacation.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone’s negligence while you were on vacation, you may benefit from speaking with an attorney with experience in personal injury, premises liability, or negligent security. Your attorney will examine the facts of your case and help you to determine if you need assistance in preserving your legal rights.Don’t let a mishap while on vacation ruin a good time and good memories. Contact Gerling Law – Go With Experience. Go With Gerling.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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