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Vacation Travel Safety Tips from Former NYPD Deputy Chef


“Vacations with friends and family should be an enjoyable and memorable time away.  But certain safety precautions should be given priority equal to that of flight arrangements and hotel locations,” says Lawrence Loesch, former NYPD Deputy Chief and Vice President and General Manager for AlliedBarton Security Services, America’s leading physical security services firm.  We welcome Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to use the following vacation travel safety tips for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette readers.  “Vacationers can face a host of problems from theft and minor personal injury to violence, arrests, and illnesses. We recommend that vacationers use common sense and take safety precautions that can help travelers enjoy a safe and relaxing vacation.”  Loesch’s counsel includes:

Physical Safety:

  • Always stay with people you trust.
  • Do not go anywhere with a stranger – even during the day.
  • Carry a cell phone at all times in case of an emergency.
  • Call home periodically to let family members know you are safe.
  • Keep your identification with you.
  • Be aware of local laws regarding alcohol.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Always lock and bolt your hotel room when you are inside it.

Property Safety:

  • Always keep your hotel room locked.
  • Try to leave valuables at home.
  • Lock any valuables you do take in the hotel safe.
  • Beware of scam artists or pick pockets.
  • If your cell phone or credit card is stolen, report it immediately and cancel service.
  • Do not carry or accept packages from strangers.

Beach Safety:

  • Always use sun block.
  • Never swim alone and only swim when lifeguards are present.
  • Do not consume alcohol when swimming or operating boating equipment.
  • Take strong current and riptide warnings seriously.

Traveling Out of the Country:

  • Keep your passport in a secure location.
  • Bring a photocopy of your passport and keep it in a safe place, in the event something happens to the original.
  • Be cognizant of laws that may be different than what you are accustomed to.
  • Know that safety standards may be different and roads and balconies may pose safety risks.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws and safety concerns at the State Department website.
  • Register your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service at This is important in the event of an emergency.

Additional Resources:

US Department of State:

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