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Many of us will be traveling over the next few weeks.   As we get ready to fly or drive for the holidays, AAA predicts that 115.6 million Americans will be traveling, a record-breaking number since AAA began tracking the information in 2000.   AAA’s estimates are based on travel taking place from Dec. 21st to Jan. 1st.   While on your way we want you to be safe and secure.   Here are some tips to remember this holiday season to help you travel safely.  Remember no matter how many precautions you take the unexpected can always happen, so be careful.                       

Have A Plan/Be Prepared

Have a clear concise plan of what your travel will be.  Try to be flexible but having a plan can help you get to your destination easier, quicker and safely.  Make sure that you have all necessary contact information printed out.  Also, make sure all phones, GPS and other electronic devices are fully charged and chargers for back up.  Another important travel security precaution is to know whom to call in an emergency.

Let Family and Friends Know Your Schedule and Keep Them Updated

No matter whether you’re going, on an overnight stay or a month-long international trip, it’s always a good idea to let friends or family back home know.  Before you leave, send a copy of your itinerary to a few trusted people (do not post on social media) who can keep tabs on your whereabouts. Check in regularly with your contacts so they know you’re where you’re supposed to be.

Make Copies of Important Documents

You never know when you might need a copy of your passport, driver’s license or another form of identification. Scan these documents to save online and print out several hard copies. That way, you won’t be scrambling to find proper documentation if you need to get home.

Be Alert/Don’t Draw attention

People who look like they’re from out of town are especially vulnerable to crime, so try to blend in as much as you can.  Be discreet when looking at maps and approach people carefully if you need to ask for directions.   Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times and use good judgment when talking to strangers.   Don’t let your guard down to snap the perfect picture for your social media platforms.  If someone near you is acting suspiciously, or if you feel uncomfortable, leave the area immediately.

Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi

Don’t let the convenience of Internet access cloud your judgment. When you use public Wi-Fi, hackers looking to steal valuable information can access your data including credit card or Social Security numbers. If you do need wireless Internet service, set up a virtual private network (VPN) that will allow you to access the Internet securely while traveling.

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