Family Travel

Family trips out of town normally involve quite a bit of planning to make the trip successful. Hotel reservations are made, driving routes are decided or airline reservations secured, decisions are made on clothing needed, and so on. Preparing your home for your absence is also an important part of planning a successful trip. As much as possible, your home should be made to look like you are not gone. 

  • Place some lights on timers to turn on and off at appropriate times of the day. Also, a radio or TV on a timer can give the impression that someone is home.
  • Ask a neighbor to park one of their extra cars in your driveway or garage overnight. If you leave your vehicle at home or have a second car, leave a key with a neighbor and ask them to occasionally move it out of the carport/garage into the driveway.
  • Arrange to have the yard mowed if you are going to be gone more than a few days. A normally well-kept lawn that suddenly appears neglected is a sign of your absence.
  • Arrange to have newspaper or mail delivery stopped if you are going to be gone for an extended period. For shorter times, ask a neighbor to collect them for you.
  • Keeps window shades/blinds in normal positions. If possible, leave a key with a trusted neighbor and ask them to change the blind/shade positions, as appropriate, to give the impression of your presence.
  • Be sure to lock doors and windows before leaving. Although this sounds like a "no-brainer", many people overlook this common-sense item and forget to check these especially windows.
  • If you have an alarm, don't forget to set it. You may call your alarm monitoring service to let them know you will be gone and let them know who to contact if your alarm activates.
  • You might try notifying your local police or sheriff's department that you will be gone and ask them to pass the information to officers working in that area.
In addition to preparing your home for your family trip, planning must involve preparing both yourself and your family for the trip. Deciding what to pack and what to leave home, how much cash you need and how to carry it and what you're going to do and how you're going to get
there are all important planning issues that can reduce your chances of crime spoiling your

  • Plan to use traveler's checks or credit cards as much as possible. Don't carry a bunch of cash. Clean out your purse or wallet before you leave, taking only essential items and credit cards. It's not a bad idea to "spread out" the cash and credit cards you carry, keeping reserves in a separate, secure area. If you happen to lose your wallet or purse or have it stolen, you will still have your "backup" supply.
  • Carry a purse close to your body or keep your wallet in a front pocket. A fanny pack or money pouch worn beneath your clothing is even better.
  • Try to pack only what you will need. Carrying a lot of heavy baggage will slow you down and make you more vulnerable to crime.
  • Check maps before going out sight-seeing to avoid that "lost" look that many tourists get making
  • them a more attractive target of criminals. Also, knowing where you are going and how to get there in advance can keep you from accidentally wandering into areas you would rather avoid.
  • Always lock your car, both when driving or parked. Don't advertise that you are a tourist by leaving guidebooks and/or maps on the seat or dashboard. Put them out of sight in the glove compartment or under the seat.
  • When going out, don't wear expensive jewelry or carry items that might draw attention.
  • Blending into the crowd is best for you and your family.
  • Stick together and keep an eye on your children! Make sure your kids know where you are staying. Discuss and ensure they understand what they should do if they get lost or separated from you. Make sure your kids know not to accept rides or favors from strangers.