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How to Prevent Getting Robbed on Vacation

Want to know how to prevent someone from robbing you while your on vacation? We were robbed once while staying at a hotel in Daytona Beach! Our hotel room was robbed while we were at dinner! This is what we learned...

During a 2009 vacation at Daytona Beach Florida (my first ever trip outside New England), our hotel room was robbed. Someone just walked in and took our valuables, leaving no trace. Matter of fact, we didn't even know we had even been robbed until I noticed my laptop was not where I left it about 15 minutes after we returned to our room! We had only been gone for about an hour and only a block away from the hotel. Wait! Did you catch what I just said? I said we were in our room for 15 minutes before we realized we were even robbed! So what, you say? What if the slimball theifs were hiding in our room? My kids and my wife were all at risk during that time. We had no clue what could have potentially happened until we thought about it the next day! If you take nothing else from my story remember that. Ya, go back and read that again, its worth it now that your eyes are open to what really happened. 

Besides my laptop being stolen, also stolen were 2 new digital cameras, a GPS unit and my race cooler. Yup, our cooler! It only took a few minutes to realize the robbers used our cooler to put our valuables in. I went onto the beack and there is was...  our cooler, the slimball theif ditched it right on the beach at Daytona Beach Shores in a trash can.

Now that it's over and we weren't harmed, my biggest loss was the information on my laptop, rather than the laptop itself. I lived by that information every day. Everything about my life and business was on my laptop that got stolen!

 

While I was preparing for my first vacation outside of New England, I made sure I had everything ready. I was preparing to drive 22 hours to get there. I joined AAA in case I break down during the long drive to Florida, I made sure I had everything I could possibly need, right down to the fingernail clippers! I checked my house, made sure the lights were off, garbage was out and my plants were watered and I was gone for the week. What I didn't prepare for was the threat of being robbed while on vacation in Daytona Beach! It didn't even occur to me that I might be a target. I remembered the security of my home, but not the security of my family or our valuables while traveling. I had this overly safe feeling being in a hotel. That was my biggest mistake! When you are on vacation you become a bigger target for theifs.

 

After such a traumatic experience and the helpless feeling that followed the robbery in Daytona Beach I was on a mission to learn more about how to protect myself while on vacation so that I could help others and maybe prevent someone else from being robbed while on vacation.

 

The following is a compilation of what I had learned on how to keep yourself safe while on vacation:

 

The first thing you must realize is that no matter where you go on vacation, you are a target! Thief's loves tourists! Why? Because you don't know the area, you don't know anyone, good or bad, you don't even recognize your neighbors in the hotel you are staying at! You could walk right past the person who is about to rob you and you may even say hi as you walk by them. You also bring all your valuables, your computer, your cameras, iPods, the kids bring their electronic games, you bring extra cash, your best jewelry for dinner, you bring all the things you don't want to be without and unfortunately, these are usually the items that are worth the most to a robber! Oh, and by the way, you will only be there a short time, so even if the robber gets caught, the chances you are going to return to go to court to assist the police to prosecute the criminals responsible is very unlikely...  All the more chances the robber will get away with it one way or the other.


Ok, you feel vulnerable yet?? Now that I knocked your secure feeling down a few notches, I bet you want to know how do you protect yourself the next time you go on vacation, right? This is where a little extra preparation can go a long way! You need to prepare as if you are going to get robbed for sure. Sounds gloomy right? Well, nothing is more gloomy than letting your guard down and getting robbed while you're on vacation, now that's gloomy! With the right preparation, you can enjoy your vacation and not worry about it as much... Here are some travel tips:

 

  • When looking for a hotel, make sure that they not only have security cameras, but that they have a good view of the area where your room's door is. Ask how well they work at night. This sounds like a dumb question, but the hotel we stayed at, they didn't work so well at night at all. Some cameras were completely black after sunset (when most robberies happen). Having security cameras may discourage a robber, if it doesn't then you have some evidence! Also, look at the outside of the building and park in front of a security camera if possible. Also park in a well lit area to prevent your vehicle from getting broken into.

 

  • Write down ALL of your serial numbers and model numbers! Even the things in your home that you are not bringing, just in case your home is robbed when you are on vacation. Trust me, this is free to do and will be the very first question the police will ask you if you get robbed. If you have to say "gee, I don't know" you will kick yourself the entire vacation, trust me, I did! I wanted revenge, I wanted the people responsible to be caught! The only way that is going to happen is IF you can provide serial numbers of the stolen items. I did get the model and serial numbers when I got home, but it was 6 days later and it took hours to find them. I called the places I bought the stuff, looked for receipts, original boxes (product packaging will often have serial numbers right on the box), etc. Do yourself a huge favor and write them down! Put a copy in a safe place at home and keep a copy with you on vacation (don't put it in your laptop bag!) Keep it in a place that it wont get seen or stolen with other things.

 

  • Take photos of all your valuables, this will help when trying to describe things, especially things that may not have model numbers or serial numbers, like jewelry. When you get robbed, you're mad, you're scared and you can't think straight, how will you ever describe your valuables in every detail so that the police can visualize what they're looking for?? A picture is worth a thousand words!

 

  • Purchase Travel Insurance! A piece of mind will go a long way to help T-Shirt: I got Robbed in Daytona Beach!you enjoy your vacation. If you get robbed, you can at least salvage your vacation! When I saw the look on my kids faces after we were robbed in Daytona, I went right out and replaced everything and even had t-shirts made to lighten the situation up a little bit. My efforts were rewarded with laughter and smiling faces and we did enjoy the rest of our vacation despite the road grime (and I'm being nice) that tried to ruin it for us. Protect yourself! The robbery cost me more than the Florida vacation, Kennedy Space Center trip, SeaWorld, food, gas and the hotel right on Daytona Beach Shores combined!

 

  • Password protect everything you can, laptops, GPS units, iPods. This will at least slow down people who are trying to access your information. Passwords on computers are not very solid and can be gotten into by going through the bios in your computer, but it may just give the police enough time to catch them. At the very least, it will complicate the thieves lives just a little.

 

  • Get LoJack for Laptops Standard! It protects your computer from theft, includes: Theft Recovery and Data & Device Security! Protecting your Laptop with security is crucial these days! Did you know every 50 seconds a laptop goes missing? Oh, and that's just in airports! So how many laptops are stolen every year? You might be shocked to learn the answer is 2 million! That's right... 2,000,000 laptops are stolen each and every year! That gives you about a 1 in 10 chance it will be YOUR laptop! LoJack for Laptops is a great way to protect your laptop, your identity from identity theft as a result of the laptop being stolen, all your family photos, emails, projects, and other crucial information, not to mention you may also be able to find the person who did it and also find the rest of your valuables that were stolen! LoJack For Laptops is cheap insurance and if your laptop gets stolen, the chances that LoJack for Laptops can recover your laptop are very good! LoJack for Laptops has an approximate 75% recovery rate. And think, there is no better joy than to see the person who ripped you off pay for what they did, not to mention the sinking feeling the person gets when the men in blue are knocking at the door! Trust me... I've been there! When my laptop was stolen, I lost my friend's wedding photos, the last 5 emails my dad sent me before he passed away, information I had collected when I went through my divorce, the files for THIS very website, and a gazillion other things. These things insurance can't pay for. Things that meant a lot to me are just gone forever! Needless to say I have LoJack for Laptops now and I'm kind of hoping someone tries to steal my laptop again! :)

 

  • When it comes to your GPS, they are great for travelling, but they can also be used as a tool to keep robbing you! Never set your GPS unit's "Home" location to your home address (maybe not to any address) and be careful about the other saved locations you have entered on it. Criminals will use this information to their advantage. Let's say, you are in Boston, at a play for example. All they have to do is find out when the play ends, look at your GPS for your home address, even use your own GPS to get to your house and go rob your house too! All while you are having a great time at the play. They know where you are and when you will return. To make it worse, they know you are probably going to be late because you are talking to police about your GPS being stolen! So think about the addresses you plug into your GPS!

 

If you do get robbed...

  • Remove yourself and your family from the room in case the robber(s) are still there.

  • Call police immediately.

  • Call hotel manager for security video recordings. Sometimes these are automatically overwritten every so often and re-records over the older video, so the sooner the better!

  • Call the manufacturers of the things that were stolen, many electronics manufacturers have a system to register your stolen property internally in case someone calls for parts or accessories that they didn't get when they were stealing it!

  • Put ads on Craigslist for the region where your things were stolen, also in the section where they may try to sell each item. Craigslist is sometimes a tool that criminals use to sell stolen property.

  • Place ads on websites that specialize in locating stolen property, like swiftreport.net

This information applies to any trip you may go on, whether it's local to your home, a Caribbean cruise, a Florida vacation, a New England vacation, a night on the town, etc. Doesn't matter where the destination, you can be a target of crime anywhere.

 

Be careful and vacation smarter than I did!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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