Planning a family vacation? Whether your destination is Disney
World, Denver, or Denmark, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. Making the
trip fun and enjoyable for everyone is key; that's what it's all about. But just as
important to the success of your trip will be steps you take to make it a safe one.
Before you leave
Preventing crime during family travel starts with making sure your home is
protected while you're away. The key is to make it look like you never left:
Keep shades and blinds in their normal position.
Don't stop mail and newspapers, ask a neighbor to pick them up every day.
Put timers on several household lights so they turn on and off at
Arrange to have grass mowed while you're gone.
Make sure all your door and window locks are in working order - and use
them. Activate your home alarm (if you have one).
You might even leave a radio on - or put it on a timer. Ask a neighbor to
park in your driveway overnight - anything that might suggest someone's home. And don't
forget to lock all doors and windows when you leave.
Packing for prevention
Preparing for a family trip requires a lot of planning. You need to decide
where you're going, where you'll stay and how you'll get from one place to another. You
also need to decide what to take with you. Planning can decrease the chances of crime
joining you on your journey. Some tips on what to take:
Clean out your wallet or purse before you go; take only essential credit
cards. Plan to use credit cards or traveler's checks instead of cash wherever possible.
Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in an inside front
pocket. Better yet, take "fanny packs" or wear a money pouch under your clothes.
Pack as lightly as possible. Lots of heavy, cumbersome bags will slow you
down and make you more vulnerable to getting robbed.
Expensive designer luggage can draw unneeded attention to your belongings.
Pack your things in inconspicuous bags.
Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage. And keep
anything of value such as medicine and jewelry in a carry-on that stays with you.
If you are going on an extended vacation, consider shipping large bags to
your destination in advance. For the return trip, mail bulky new purchases home, or ask
merchants to do it for you.
Out and about
Your home is secured and you're packed. Now it's time to go. While you and
your family are traveling, it's important to remember that tourists make tempting targets
for thieves. Often lost or distracted, weighed down with bags, and carrying cameras,
tickets and money, unsuspecting travelers attract crime like a magnet.
The best advise for you and your family is to do all you can to blend in
with the crowd.
Don't display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags, and other items that might
Check maps before you go out so you can tour confidently.
Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets at all times - no shortcuts.
Always lock your car when it's parked, even if the stop is brief. Keep
valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk. Don't advertise that you're a
tourist by leaving maps and guidebooks on the seat or dashboard - keep them in the glove
Traveling safely with your family also means sticking together and keeping
an eye on your children at all times. Make sure they know where you are staying (name and
address), and teach them what to do if they get lost or separated. You might want to agree
on a meeting place, just in case. And by all means, make sure your kids know not to accept
rides or favors from strangers.
Make your family vacation a memorable one for all the right reasons.
If you have any questions, please contact
Deputy Shawn Brownell at (818)-878-1808 extension 3103.