General travel safety and security tips are a key to an enjoyable travel experience. Due to heightened airline security measures and changing FAA policies and procedures, it is imperative you are as prepared as possible for your trip.
General Travel Safety Tips
Make the most of any vacation by taking note of the following travel tips. We recommend that you print a copy of this list as a reminder to make safety your top priority. Also keep a printed copy of your domestic or international travel insurance plan just in case.
- Check the status of your flight before heading the airport. At least an hour (two hours for international flights) before your flight departs most airlines want you to check-in.
- Allow plenty of extra time at the airport (generally 2 hours prior to departure). Changing security procedures have increased the time needed to check in. Build in more time if traveling with young children, infants or people with disabilities.
- Check with your airline to see if curbside check-in is available.
- FAA guidelines are being updated often. Find the latest from the FAA at www.FAA.gov.
- Remember most airlines only allow travelers one carry-on item plus one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, laptop computer, or small book bag-style backpack. Other personal items allowed include coats, child safety seats, diaper bags, books or newspapers, small bags of food and assistance devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and oxygen. These carry-on allowances vary from carrier to carrier. Before leaving home confirm what is allowed with your carrier .
Travel Safety Tips at the Airport
- Check www.tsa.gov for the most up to date information to get you through security quickly.
- Keep your bags and personal belongings within reach at all times.
- Do not accept packages from strangers.
- Joking about terrorism, weapons, explosives, or other threats while going through the security checkpoint will likely lead to issues with the TSA personnel.
Checking-In and Security Checkpoint
- Adult passengers are required to bring a government-issued photo ID. If you do not have one of these available, bring two pieces of ID, one of which must be from a governmental authority.
- Remember, only ticketed passengers are allowed beyond the security checkpoint. Be prepared to show identification at the ticket counter and security checkpoint.
- Electronic items such as laptop computers and cell phones may be subject to additional screening. Be prepared to power on electronic items for screening personnel. Also, be prepared to remove your laptop from its travel case so it can be X-rayed separately.
International Security Tips
- Lost passport: Call local police and the consulate. Temporary passports are available. Pack a photocopy of your passport separately from the original and carry an additional passport picture to expedite the replacement process in the event of a lost or stolen passport.
- In the event of a riot or civil unrest, go to your hotel and call the consulate and your airline. Do not go to the airport without a confirmed ticket or assurance that it is safe.
- International law requires that the American consulate (U.S. Interests Section, if no consulate) be notified if you are arrested or detained. You are entitled to a timely visit by a consular officer. They will notify family, aid in money transfer, and ensure you receive fair treatment.
General Security Tips
Whether you are traveling domestically or abroad, don’t become a victim.
- Do not carry large quantities of cash.
- Do not carry jewelry, wallets, or purses—wear a non-visible money belt. Transfer money from your money belt to pockets in your hotel room or in a bathroom.
- Use your dress and appearance to blend in with the crowd. Take the time to research local dress codes, so as not to stand out.
- Once you have arrived, keep your airline tickets in a separate, secure location from your passport. Also, remember your credit card number is on your airline ticket!
- When traveling to a foreign country, always carry the required travel documents such as your passport, visa and tourist cards.
- Be aware of local scam artists.
- Always inform others of your plans (family, consulate/embassy).
- Keep your camera hidden until you are ready to use it. Use tote bags instead of camera bags. Do not hang your camera around your neck.
- Avoid viewing maps in wide-open spaces.
- Leave copies of all your information (credit cards, passport numbers, travelers checks, air tickets) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid walking alone at night.
- Do not take shortcuts. Stay on well-traveled streets.
- Withdraw money from ATMs only during daylight hours, preferably in banks or hotels.
- Never leave valuables in plain view in your car. Lock items in your trunk before reaching your destination.