It’s time to start planning spring break! If you’re in school in the wintery Northeast or Midwest, sunny climates such as Florida, California, the Caribbean and Latin America are attractive. Research, plan your trip, book reservations and have a fantastic time. Travel is a great learning experience and an opportunity to discover different cultures and to meet new people.
Most cities and popular tourist destinations in the US are completely safe with friendly, helpful locals. The same is true for most international travel, too. But that is not always the case, and travelers today should be as savvy as possible when venturing the world.
When traveling across borders or destinations less familiar, be prepared and informed. The most effective safety precaution: use good judgment and be aware.
Popular spring break destinations outside the US such as Mexico, Central America, and South America can be rewarding adventures but should be studied. There are many idyllic, safe places to go, but there are those that are not. Be familiar with and pay attention to travel advisories.
Occasionally reputations of cities or countries are tarnished because of an incident(s) which occurred in a specific location of the country. As a traveler, you should stay away from areas which have reported safety threats, but it may not mean you should avoid the country altogether. Mexico, for example, is often cited as a risky place to travel – and certain parts of Mexico should be avoided. But that doesn’t mean the country as a whole should be bypassed. Evaluate destinations carefully, ask for knowledgeable input, and learn as much as you can.
When you’re unsure about something in an unfamiliar place, ask multiple but independent sources until you receive consistent answers, then proceed cautiously.
Be skeptical of people who are overly helpful or too friendly, especially if there are two of them. This can be a distraction technique while you’re relieved of your valuables.
Before withdrawing money from an ATM, have in mind a safe place to go immediately afterwards; thieves will occasionally stake out and target ATM locations.
Avoid carrying your passport if possible. Carry a photocopy if needed, but be sure your passport is left in a locked, secure location.
Female travelers should be especially cautious when traveling. Avoid being alone in remote locations or neighborhoods, especially after dark. Wear sunglasses; eye contact can be taken as an indication of acknowledgement of unwanted attention. Buy your own drinks (or know who has bought drinks for you), and do not leave them unattended.
Technologies to help you be smarter and stay safer
Called “a cool, innovative and essential” travel technology, GeoSure (available free in the Apple App Store) is a new mobile app that helps you be smarter and stay safer. It allows travelers to access valuable, personalized information on the safety profile of locations worldwide. A unique combination of predictive analytics and crowdsourcing allows users to share experiences and view those of others, down to the street level, anywhere.
Personalize it and don’t forget to share experiences with the community where you live and travel (both positive and negative) with the “+” button. GeoSure helps assure that your travel adventures are the adventures you want.