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Top Tips for Traveling Safely This Summer

Nothing builds up anticipation like a countdown to vacation! Before you pack your bags and hop a flight—or a really, really long car ride—follow these steps to ensure that you and your belongings are safe and secure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Protect your home: notify your insurance company, engage your security system, stop the mail, and leave a key with a trusted neighbor
  • Prepare your vehicle: check your insurance policy, secure your vehicle, and service your vehicle before you go
  • Prevent travel mishaps: buy travel insurance, check your healthcare policy, and carry copies of your important documents
  • Practice personal safety: share your travel itinerary, pack first-aid, avoid sharing on social media, and travel smart
  • Protect your finances: alert your credit card company of your plans, monitor your accounts, and carry a limited amount of cash

Protect Your Home While You’re Away

In your rush to get out the door, don’t forget to engage your security system, and if you have a battery-powered door camera, make sure the batteries are fully charged before you depart.

You don’t want your home to look like it’s vacant, so ask a trusted neighbor to put out your trash and bring the cans back in, collect your mail, newspaper, and package deliveries, and mow your lawn for you while you’re gone. You can also have your mail and deliveries held for you at the post office while you’re out of town. 

Give a friend or neighbor a key to check on your home periodically, and make sure they have your contact information in case they need to reach you in an emergency.

Before you buzz off to that sweet vacation destination, make sure that your home insurance policy is up-to-date with adequate coverage to protect in case of theft, fire, or other hazards while you’re away. 

If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, let your local Wichert insurance agent know about your plans. Some policies require notification if your home will be unoccupied for a specific period of time.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Your Trip

If you’re like a lot of Midwesterners and plan to sandwich your vacation by a 14-hour drive to get there, take your vehicle in for servicing before you leave. No one wants to begin or end their vacation with a breakdown!

If your vacation plans involve a plane, choose secure parking options with surveillance and security at the airport to protect your vehicle against theft.

And if you’re leaving your vehicle at home, park it in a garage or other secure area, and make sure it’s locked. 

No matter how you get to your destination, check your auto insurance policy to make sure it covers any potential issues like theft, accidents, or vandalism. If you don’t already have it, you might consider adding comprehensive coverage. Talk to your local Wichert agent to review your policy.

Prevent Travel Mishaps with These Extra Precautions

If you’re traveling internationally, check your health insurance policy for coverage to make sure that you’ll be taken care of in case of an emergency.

Additional travel insurance can protect you from financial losses and other hardships if you have to cancel your trip, lose your luggage, or have a medical emergency.

And make sure you have extra copies of your emergency contacts, insurance policies, passports, and other important documents stored securely, both digitally and physically.

Practice Personal Safety by Traveling Smart

Situations can change overnight in cities, states, and countries these days, due to political unrest, extreme weather, or other unforeseen circumstances, so make sure that you’re staying informed of travel advisories and local conditions for your destination. 

Avoid traveling in isolated areas, especially at night, and use reputable transportation and accommodation services.

Be cautious with strangers while you’re traveling, and avoid sharing your travel plans on social media—this can alert others both of your whereabouts and the fact that your home is empty.

Share your travel plans and emergency contact information with a trusted friend or family member so that someone knows where you are and when you’ll be there. 

Pack a first-aid kit and necessary medications, and educate yourself about the location of medical facilities near your destination.

Protect Your Finances from Scammers and Thieves

Credit card companies are on the lookout for suspicious activity to protect your accounts, so before you take off, inform your credit card company of your plans to avoid having your card frozen. You should also carry a backup card in case you lose one or one gets stolen.

As much as you want to unplug completely from the rest of the world, take some time to keep an eye on your accounts while you’re gone to monitor for any unauthorized transactions.

While it’s wise to have some cash on hand for situations where credit cards aren’t accepted, don’t carry large amounts of cash on your trip. Lots of cash can make you a target for theft and loss. Unlike with credit card transactions, if cash is stolen, it can be impossible to recover it. Plus, credit cards tend to be more convenient, especially if you are dealing with exchange rates in other countries. They also make it easier to track your expenses.