Travel should be fun and relaxing, which is why it’s a good idea to buy a travel insurance policy for your vacation so you don t have to think about the unexpected. CSA reminds you to take reasonable precautions to ensure your personal safety and security.
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 No. 1 priority. Also keep a printed copy of your domestic or international travel insurance plan with it—just in case.
- Check the status of your flight before heading the airport. Most airlines want you to check in at least an hour (two hours for international flights) before your flight is scheduled to depart.
- 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. Please confirm what is allowed with your carrier before leaving home.
Travel Safety Tips at the Airport
- Check www.tsa.gov or 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.
- Do not joke about having a bomb or firearm. Do not discuss terrorism, weapons, explosives, or other threats while going through the security checkpoint. Security personnel are trained to consider the slightest mention of these topics as a serious threat.
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. Tip: Call CSA s designated assistance provider toll-free at (877) 243-4135 in the United States or collect at (240) 330-1529 from anywhere else in the world—they can help! Also, pack a photocopy of your passport separately from the original and carry an additional passport picture. This will expedite the replacement process if the original passport is lost or stolen.
- 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.
Tip: Call CSA s designated assistance provider toll-free at (877) 243-4135 in the United States or collect at (240) 330-1529 from anywhere else in the world for assistance and directions.
- 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.
Tip: Call CSA s designated assistance provider toll-free at
(877) 243-4135 in the United States or collect at (240) 330-1529 from anywhere else in the world for legal referrals and for help in sending messages to your family.
General Security Tips
Whether you are traveling domestically or abroad, don t become a victim.
- Do not carry large quantities of cash. Traveler s checks provide personal security and can be replaced.
- 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 assume you are being watched.
- Always inform others of your plans (family, consulate/embassy).
- If mugged, cooperate with the assailant and voice your willingness to comply by saying, “You can have anything you want. Do you want me to get it or do you want to get it?” Avoid eye contact. Keep $25-$100 in your pocket as insurance. If hostile, offer additional money or possessions that the robber may have overlooked.
- 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.
- Avoid demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. Seek immediate shelter in hotels, restaurants, police stations, etc.
- 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.
Lodging Safety Tips
- Take hotel room keys with you to the pool or spa.
- Find out in advance if there is on-site security.
- Verify that window and door locks are secure.
- Place valuables in a safe and get a receipt. Check the hotel s insurance liability limit.
- Be careful of exits and elevators on your way to the room. If you are alone late at night, ask for an escort. Be suspicious of anyone loitering around the lobby.
- Close your door tightly when entering or leaving your room.
- Do not place ski or dive gear on the balcony.
- List calls made (even unanswered ones) and received, as well as their times.
- Leave the radio, TV, and/or lights on with the Do Not Disturb sign out when leaving your hotel room.
- Wedge the bathroom door ajar while showering.
- Be prepared in case of fire
- Familiarize yourself with all general and emergency exits.
- (If you can) extinguish fire or pull fire alarm.
- Phone the fire department before calling the front desk.
- Stay low, turn off air conditioning, get room key, and check the door for heat with the back of your hand before opening.
- Put wet towels under door and in vents to keep smoke out of your room.
- Fill tub, sink and wastebaskets with water to re-wet towels and cool hot walls.
- Remove curtains. Crack open window.
- Put a wet towel over mouth and nose.