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Keeping Safe While Away From Home

When you head out on a trip, what kinds of precautions do you take to protect your person and your property? I’ll bet you think that illness, lost luggage, and threats of theft or violence are unavoidable — well you’re wrong! There are steps you can take to be safe away from home.

Financial Security

Checkmark-Iconcheck your credit card policies and limits before traveling

Xmark-Iconbuy traveler’s checks

Checkmark-Iconkeep your wallet and currency in a front pocket or money belt

Xmark-Iconpay any bills that will come due while you are gone

Checkmark-Iconkeep receipts until credit card bill and bank drafts have cleared

Xmark-Iconbe aware that some ATM cards cannot be used in foreign countries

Checkmark-Iconuse a credit card rather than an ATM card when traveling

Xmark-Iconknow that credit card “charge back” policies are different overseas

Checkmark-Icondon’t take blank checks with you

Health Matters

Xmark-Iconcarry your ID and medical info in case you get sick or injured

Checkmark-Iconcheck your health insurance coverage before leaving

Xmark-Iconmake sure your insurance covers illness away from home

Checkmark-Iconfind out the procedures for seeking care in another state or country

Xmark-Iconfind out if you need additional vaccinations for your travels

Checkmark-Iconstart vaccination schedule early enough to be effective for your trip

Xmark-Iconwear long sleeves and use bug repellant if mosquitoes a problem

Checkmark-Iconuse bottled water and avoid ice cubes if local water questionable

Xmark-Iconavoid any foods washed in local unsafe water that aren’t cooked

Checkmark-Iconswim in chlorinated pools unless you know the water to be safe

Xmark-Iconeat raw fruits and vegetables only if you can peel them

Checkmark-Iconbring minor first aid items, pain reliever, anti-diarrheal, etc.

Xmark-Iconeat raw fruits and vegetables only if you can peel them

Personal Possessions

Checkmark-Icondon’t take anything with you that you fear losing

Xmark-Icondon’t take anything that you really don’t need

Checkmark-Iconleave behind unnecessary items in your wallet or purse

Xmark-Iconstore valuables in hotel safe once you arrive

Checkmark-Iconkeep valuable documents and possessions close to you

Xmark-Iconuse a money belt for valuable documents and currency

Checkmark-Iconmake a list of the significant contents of each suitcase

Protecting Your House

Xmark-Iconlet someone you trust know when you will be gone

Checkmark-Iconsuspend your subscription or have your newspapers picked up

Xmark-Icondon’t leave a note for visitors — leave a voice message

Checkmark-Iconclose and lock windows and doors

Xmark-Iconset timers on your lights and TV so the house appears occupied

Checkmark-Iconsuspend your mail delivery

Xmark-Iconleave drapes and shutters as you normally have them

Checkmark-Iconhave a neighbor accept package deliveries

Xmark-Iconinform the police and neighborhood watch that you will be gone

Checkmark-Icondon’t mention your being gone on your answering machine message

Xmark-Iconleave a car parked in your driveway

Checkmark-Icontake instructions for retrieving your answering machine messages

Xmark-Iconset alarm system before leaving home

Checkmark-Iconhire a house sitter to stay in your home

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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