In this installment of “Escape at Will” Trip Tips, I want to offer some advice on staying safe while on the road. No matter if you’re traveling alone or in a group, travel to an unfamiliar destination can present risks. The bottom line, of course, is to not let your common sense take a vacation when you do! A little preparation and awareness can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Pack for Security: Use covered luggage tags, and fill in your office address or just a cell phone number instead of your home address. Bring a small, heavy flashlight. Leave it out on the bedside table at night, and take it with you when you’re out exploring. Obviously, take a cell phone. Upon arrival at your destination, consider programming the numbers of your hotel and the local police station. Carry as little cash as possible, and don’t bother with traveler’s checks. Use a credit, charge or debit card whenever possible, and bring an ATM card to get more cash when and if you need it. If you have a secondary credit card, leave it with someone at home who can mail it to you quickly if you need it. In The Car: Store items like maps and guidebooks out of view. If you rent, get a car with a trunk rather than a hatchback, so your luggage is concealed. A GPS system is worth spending a little extra on, too. Before hitting the road, make sure the gas tank is full, the tires are properly inflated and all doors are locked. Safety Where You Stay: Request a room one near the elevators and away from any renovation work. Insist that the front desk staff protect your privacy when checking in, and write down your room number rather than say it aloud. Consider using the bell service to bring your luggage to your room so you have an escort, and aren’t made vulnerable carrying several bags. Have your key out when you leave the elevator. Out and About: Ask the hotel front desk employees or concierge if there are any local areas you should avoid while out on foot. Study a map and know how to reach your destination before going out; using it out on the street makes you look like a vulnerable tourist. Maps downloaded to your handheld mobile device have made discreet wayfinding much easier! If you have to ask for directions, approach families or women with children. Try this line: “Where is the _____? I’m meeting my husband there.” Traveling solo? You can find more information and destination recommendations here.