Travel with caution

Tips to stay safe while on vacation over break


Daniella Danko, Staff Writer

Vacation means time to relax, but it’s necessary to stay aware for safety-especially in a foreign country.

“Always have a travel buddy. I wouldn’t travel alone. I wouldn’t go anywhere alone. I wouldn’t Uber alone. I wouldn’t get on a plane or off the plane by yourself, unless it’s absolutely necessary,” school resource officer Jim Knobelsdorf said.

While kids are taught from a young age to never go anywhere by themselves, other factors to consider ensure safety on trips. Constant awareness of safety hazards when traveling is vital. Common occurrences, like trafficking and drink-spiking, can happen anywhere in the world.

“You don’t want to have a cell phone hanging out of your pocket or in your waistband. You want it secured when walking on the beach or when you’re in an unfamiliar area,” Knobelsdorf said.

Leave extravagant jewelry or items that draw attention at home. This can lessen the chances of being a victim.

“If there’s a ground transportation service that’s provided, you should know who you’re going with and that it’s the correct company that you’ve hired,” Shelby Travel Agency staff member Deborah Viant said.

If a transportation service is ordered, ask the question: ‘who is this Uber for?’ This question assures the passenger the driver is legitimate.
In countries other than the United States, like Mexico, the legal drinking age is 18.

“Walk away with your drinks, whether it’s pop, water or whatnot. You don’t want to leave it unattended in a social setting, whether by the pool or wherever it is that you’re finding entertainment,” Knobelsdorf said.

When drinks are left unattended, there is a high risk of any drink being spiked. This means to put substances into a person’s drink unknown or without permission. To return to an unattended drink can cause sickness, body poisoning or worse. Any beverage drank should be watched when poured to prevent unknown substances from entering.

“My parents felt better going to Mexico knowing that families we knew were also going to the same resort as us,” senior Isabella Pacitto said.

Traveling anywhere, whether domestic or otherwise, it is necessary to learn basic safety rules.

“The resorts are pretty secure,” Knobelsdorf said, “but when you start getting on the travel buses, you’re free game. Most of those people that are down there in Mexico are trying to exploit or find an opportunity.”