Vacation Safety Tips

Vacation is a time for fun and relaxation. Don't let yours be ruined by crime. Follow the crime prevention tips below.

Before Leaving - Secure Your Home!

  • Have good locks on all doors and windows and USE THEM!
  • Engrave your valuables with your Social Security number.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside under a doormat, in a flower pot, or on the ledge of a door.
  • Make your house appear "lived in". Use timers for lights and radios. Have a neighbor pick up mail, packages and newspapers, and keep the lawns mowed and watered.
  • Leave your trip plans and an emergency phone number with trusted neighbors or friends.

On the Road

  • Never carry large amounts of cash: use traveler's checks. If you must carry large sums of money, do not display it openly.
  • Keep a record of your traveler's check numbers and your credit card numbers in a safe place.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes and the amount of cash you're carrying.
  • Do not stop to offer to help a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest phone booth and call for assistance.
  • If you suspect that someone is following you, drive to the nearest service station, restaurant or business and call the police or sheriff's department. If you believe it is unsafe to get out of your car, honk your horn and flash your lights to draw attention.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and attach a white cloth to the car antenna. If someone stops to help, it is advisable that you stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or garage. If you must abandon your car, keep all passengers together.

Car Security

  • Always lock your car when entering or leaving it.
  • Park in well-lighted, busy areas.
  • Check the back seat before getting into your car.
  • Mark your car radio and other removable equipment with your Social Security Number.
  • Always lock valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Always carry wallets, check books and purses with you.
  • Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps and travel brochures in the glove compartment.


  • Remember: planning reduces your chance of becoming the victim of a crime.
  • Ask for directions at a hotel/motel on how to get to those attractions you want to visit.
  • Select tour guides carefully.
  • Ask if there are any areas in town you should avoid. Stick to well-lighted main streets and public areas.
  • Looking lost (stopping and looking at addresses or staring at street signs) may make you look like an easy target for crime. If you do get lost, find an open business and ask for directions.
  • Only carry with you the cash you will need, and only in small denominations.
  • If older children go off separately, be sure they understand the importance of keeping track of time and returning promptly at the appointed hours.