Safety Takes a Vacation

When packing and making plans for a road trip or vacation, don’t forget to include “Safety” in all your preparations and activities. Vacations offer time to escape from everyday concerns and provide time to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and minds. However, many of the hazards associated with everyday life will also follow you on your travels, so be sure to include “Safety” in all your plans.

Pre-Travel: Be sure to photocopy credit cards, tickets, passports, insurance cards, important documents, and important contact phone numbers. Map out your directions and leave a copy of your travel route with family / friends / office.

Ergonomics: Keep the weight of your luggage under 50 pounds, or less depending on your personal capabilities. Stretch and warm up slowly for activities you are not accustomed to. Pack and wear the right gear and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to protect from injuries.

Hotels: On the way to the hotel room, you should start planning and rehearsing your escape plan in case of fire, tornado, or other emergency. “Count Your Way to Safety” by counting the number of doors, or number of steps to the nearest emergency exit. Always be prepared to immediately leave the room in case of an emergency and keep items on the night stand that will help you evacuate quickly. Be sure to deadbolt the door whenever you are in the room and use the peep hole before opening the door. Keep valuables at the hotel front desk or in your room safe.

Personal Security: Don’t look like a tourist! Walk with purpose like you belong there. Don’t draw attention to yourself with clothing and jewelry. Be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables secured. Know where your travel companions are at all times and how / where to reach them if you get separated. There is safety in numbers so stay in groups if possible. Use ATMs during the day when there are more people around.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma: Protect yourself and your family by limiting exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most of the exposure comes from the sun; however, tanning beds also contribute to UV over exposure. Wear a hat and sunglasses and use a sunscreen that has an SPF between 15 and 30.