You've got your bags packed, and you're ready to go. Before heading to your destination, check out these six smart travel tips to keep your family vacation enjoyable, safe and worry-free.

  1. Keep track of your kids
  2. Keep your expensive items at home
  3. Protect your credit cards and wallet
  4. Prevent identity theft
  5. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
  6. Secure your electronics on the go

Even the smartest of travelers can overlook safety when visiting a touristy city, especially since local thieves are much savvier than visitors.

Keep track of your kids

It's scary enough to get separated from your child when you're in familiar surroundings, but having your child wander off in a foreign city can create a code red situation. One of the best smart travel tips is to use technology to your advantage, making it easier to keep track of your children's whereabouts.

A mobile safety app like ADT Go can help parents pinpoint exactly where their child is by using their smartphone to provide real-time GPS location data on a private family map. With ADT Go, peace of mind is as easy as tapping a button.

Keep your expensive items at home

If it's valuable, it's vulnerable. While you may be tempted to dress your best when traveling, keep your fine jewelry at home. Expensive accessories draw attention and can easily make you a target while you're taking in the sights. One of the most basic travel safety tips is to travel light and to keep your valuables at home. Consider how you'd feel if your favorite piece of jewelry went missing—it's not worth the headache.

An exception to this rule would be a Samsung Gear smartwatch. ADT has a Panic Response for Samsung Gear smartwatches that allows you to tap and hold a panic button to alert the ADT Monitoring Center, which will alert emergency responders based on your geo-location. This is one accessory you'll want to wear as you travel.

Protect your credit cards and wallet

One of the most talked about travel safety tips is how to protect your wallet from pickpockets; it's why travelers checks were so frequently used decades ago. Many travelers have become victims of pickpockets who either skillfully relieve them of their wallets or perform outright handbag slash and grabs.

Thankfully, clever companies have created anti-theft travel bags, ranging from backpacks to purses, which feature either slash-resistant material or a strap reinforced with cable. They also can feature an exterior lock, making it extremely difficult for would-be thieves to access your valuables.

Prevent identity theft

In the digital age, thieves no longer need to relieve you of your wallet to quickly drain your bank account or steal your identity. While you're shopping for an anti-theft bag, you'll frequently come across the term "RFID technology."

Radio Frequency Identification allows thieves to take your credit card information without ever making physical contact with you through a practice known as "skimming," which uses an electromagnetic field to capture card information. To protect yourself from having your credit card and personal information stolen, invest in a wallet or bag that features RFID-blocking protection.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi

Unfortunately, it's not just your credit cards you need to worry about when traveling. If you're one of the many travelers who include Wi-Fi as a non-negotiable requirement when choosing a hotel, you may want to rethink that strategy. Anytime you access a public WiFi network, you're putting your personal information at risk for being stolen.

You're definitely not alone -- Harvard Business Review reported that three-quarters of Americans have accessed a public Wi-Fi network at some point in their travels, noting that, "For mobile devices, the harm is digital: the theft of your personal data, such as passwords, financial information, or private pictures or videos. You're rolling the dice every time you log on to a free network in a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or airport lounge."1

Instead of logging into free wireless networks, buy a small portable router and set up a Wi-Fi hotspot that is secure. A portable router, which is the size of the palm of your hand, won't take up much room in your luggage and will provide added protection against identity theft while you're traveling.

Secure your electronics on the go

It's not always possible to leave important electronics at home, especially if you're traveling with children. If your hotel has a safe, you can lock your electronics away while you're out exploring, lowering your exposure to theft while traveling.

If you're going to be on the go for the duration of your trip, this is where an anti-theft backpack with a lock could come in handy, enabling you to lock your electronics and keep them secure while you're out and about.

Enjoy a stress-free trip

From keeping track of your family to protecting your valuables, following these travel safety tips when planning your vacation will ensure both smart and safe travel. Bon voyage!

 

Resources

1. Bencie, Luke. "Why You Really Need to Stop Using Public Wi-Fi." Harvard Business Review. May 03, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2018. https://hbr.org/2017/05/why-you-really-need-to-stop-using-public-wi-fi

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