Tips for safe travel

The sightseeing bus can be one of the best ways to explore a new city.

The sightseeing bus can be one of the best ways to explore a new city.

Travel is up and prices are down, according to the latest travel industry statistics. Adults 50 and over are some of the nation’s most frequent travelers and some of their happiest memories are those spent traveling with family. As you plan your next trip to Ireland, it’s important to take steps to avoid being victimized. By taking time to prepare before leaving, you can significantly diminish your risk and focus on enjoying your hard-earned trip.

Consider the following tips to protect yourself while you’re away from home:

Safeguard your belongings. Before you leave, make copies of your travel documents or scan them and email them to yourself – that way your documents won’t go missing even if your bags do. Also, keep at least one source of money, such as a credit card, in a place other than your wallet or purse. Keep your passport and most of your cash in a money belt, and have just enough money in your wallet for the day’s expenses.

Prepare your home before you leave. Unplug all major electronics and turn off the main water supply. Also, have a friend keep an eye on your home, if possible. A security system can also add peace of mind. Modern security companies offer a variety of 24/7 monitoring packages that include smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detection. They also offer home automation solutions that allow travelers to adjust their home’s lighting remotely and receive security alerts on their mobile devices.

Protect your identity. A recent survey on identity theft revealed that 30 percent of travelers have experienced identity theft while traveling or know someone who has. Leave unnecessary items, such as Social Security cards or unneeded credit cards, at home. If you have your passport, you don’t need other forms of ID such as a state-issued driver’s license. Leave the bulky wallet at home. How likely are you to need your local discount cards in Ireland. Public wi-fi can be risky, so never enter secure information on a computer in a cyber cafe or businesses that offer wi-fi. Generally, make purchases with a credit card instead of a debit card; credit cards often offer better fraud protection. And use passwords for access to your smartphone or tablet. A variety of identity protection services are available to assist with proactive identity and credit monitoring. Check out Lifelock or Trusted ID for information.

Prepare for emergencies. You spent months planning and saving for your Ireland trip, but it can be ruined in a split second. If you’re traveling abroad and get sick or injured, hospital costs could be extreme – even for relatively minor injuries. Check with your health insurance provider to see if you’re covered while out of the country. If not, check with your travel agent. Travel insurance plans can include valuable medical coverage, trip interruption to protect your investment and more. Always a recommended precaution.

Enjoy that trip, and the peace of mind that come with being prepared.

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