Getting away with the family is a treat that we hardly indulge in anymore. When we do, it's important to unwind and really get the R&R we need. Believe it or not, legal issues can arise on vacation, just like they can in the "real world." So, it's important to make sure we take all the precautions to make vacations safe and risk-free. In order to enjoy a simple getaway and not be the victim of crime or the subject of a lawsuit, consider taking the following simple steps:
Before You Hit the Road
Before you head to the airport, let someone know where you're going. Leave as many details as you can -- hotel name and phone number, the city and country, and whom you're travelling with. If you're leaving the country, photocopy passports and leave them with a family member. If you're going to be gone for more than a week, consider having someone stay at your house, as an empty home is an easy target for burglars.
Keep Your Cash Close
Keep your eyes on the cash, traveler's checks and credit cards. It seems simple, but we get soft on this one. Never put your wallet in your back pocket. If you're carrying a purse, make sure it's one with a long strap that you can wear across your shoulder (messenger bag). And always remember: NEVER fight a thief. If approached by a thief, give him the goods. He may be smaller than you, but he may also be carrying a weapon, and don't forget, he knows the area better than you and could have hidden accomplices anywhere in a crowd.
Any traveling outside the U.S. should be done with traveler's insurance. If your luggage is lost, or you have an accident, your traveler's insurance will cover it. It also covers any costs for medical care in a foreign country.
Know Your Hotel
Before you walk out the front door of your hotel, make sure you have the address in your phone. In small, touristy towns with rustic winding cobblestone streets, many of the hotels look a lot alike, and if you're on foot, you can easily lose your way. If you want to be especially cautious, add the hotel name and number to your phone contacts as well.
Kids Gone Wild
Even somewhere as enchanting and innocent as Disney World can become a maze if you're not attentive. Have a system in place in case someone gets lost. Discuss a landmark where everyone will return if anyone is missing from the group. If someone goes missing and it's serious, you may not be able to rely on the local authorities. To avoid going through the nightmare of not knowing where one of your children is, consider investing in a wireless digital child tracker. This device uses digital signals to locate a child within the range you choose from your receiver. A GPS tracker is also effective -- make sure you get one that's tamper-proof and sounds an alarm if the wristband is removed.
Going by Car?
Many families will travel by car this summer. Keep these things in mind before you hit the road:
- A fully packed car drives differently, so be aware of the differences in handling and braking reaction time.
- Get a full vehicle inspection before you set out, and pay special attention to your tires. The tread should have a depth of at least three millimeters.
- Secure your luggage so it doesn’t go flying in case you have to brake suddenly.
- Obtain a tire kit with air and sealant in case of a flat in the middle of nowhere.
- Don’t hit the road at the end of a long work day; better to leave in the morning when you are fresh.
- Fatigue is one of the main factors in vacation-related auto accidents, so take frequent stops along the way to get out and stretch your legs.
These are just a few tips, but the main idea is to be cautious and stay alert while you enjoy your vacation, whether it’s near or far.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident, our Texas personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.