This is the time when many families decide to take a vacation. Your BBB® has come across some helpful information for ensuring safe travels. Something that is on everyone’s mind these days is the Zika virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a special microsite all about the Zika virus—what locations have it, how to prevent it, what symptoms the virus causes, etc. at www.cdc.gov/zika. In addition, the CDC has information about how to avoid bug bites and what repellent to use.
Before You Go
- Place copies of your passport and travel documents in each piece of luggage, in case you lose the original documents.(CDC)
- Leave a copy of your passport and travel documents with a trusted friend or relative at home. (CDC)
- Check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for updates on permitted and prohibited items including medicines that you are allowed to have in your carryon bag. (TSA)
- Pack a Travel Health Kit. See items to include at cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart#travelhealthkit.
- Be sure and include your health insurance card.
- The CDC publishes the “CDC Health Information for International Travel” (commonly called the Yellow Book) every two years. The 2016 edition is the newest version. Click here for ordering information and to see a copy of the Table of Contents.
- The US State Department offers lots of information such as currency exchange rates, travel warnings, passport information, scams, crisis situations, and much more at their website state.gov/travel/.
- Check to see if there are any recalls on your vehicle at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers tips for summer road trips. One of the tips reminds drivers to observe “Move Over” law which is the law in all 50 states. Click on the following links for information about the Move Over law in your state: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky.
- Consumer Reports offers “10 Tips for a Stress-Free Road Trip with Kids” and “What to Carry in Your Roadside Emergency Kit.”
- The California Office of Traffic Safety article “Common Sense Safety Tips for Summer Travel” contains helpful safety tips.
- Travelers can get traffic and road closure information at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/.
- The US Department of Energy has a fuel calculator at fueleconomy.gov/trip/.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has tips on How to Shop for Travel and Charter Travel here.
Travel Scams and Money Saving Tips from BBB
And last, but certainly not least, we came across these tips for keeping your home safe while you are on vacation:
1. Hold Your Mail and Newspapers
- Call your local post office and ask them to hold your mail or do it online at USPS.com. Call your newspaper service to have your paper held. (FlipKey.com)
2. Trick Potential Intruders
- Put your lights and electronics on a timer to make it look like someone’s home; don’t leave them on all the time. (FlipKey.com)
- Lock all doors and windows. (Oprah.com)
- Unplug your computer, or plug it into a surge protector in case there’s a storm while you’re away. (Oprah.com)
- Arrange for someone to cut your grass. (FlipKey.com)
- Have a neighbor park out front. (FlipKey.com)
3. Ask Neighbors to Keep an Eye Out
- Let them know how long you’ll be gone and how they can reach you. (FlipKey.com)
4. Avoid Social Media
- Hold off on posting your vacation pictures on social media. It could alert thieves that you are out of town. (FlipKey.com)
5. Bring Your Spare Key Inside.
- Thieves look for spare keys under flowerpots, rocks, doormat, or above the door. Best to bring it inside or leave it with a trusted neighbor. (FlipKey.com)