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Friday, August 9

Going on Vacay?
Don't Pack Worries in Your Suitcase

Vacations are a time to relax and escape from your worries. Three-quarters of Americans are planning to travel or have already traveled over 100 miles away from home this summer, according to USA Today. In Denmark, the numbers of vacationers make Americans look like wimps. With everyone in a Danish office taking advantage of the 5 paid weeks of holiday, it's not uncommon to see an empty office this month.

Before You Leave

Photocopy the important contents of your wallet, and store them in a place that's accessible to someone who has a spare key to your house. If your wallet is lost or stolen, that person can give you all the information and telephone numbers to call to place holds on your credit cards and bank accounts.

Better yet, create an authentic-looking dummy wallet to hand over to unsuspecting muggers. Stuff it with bills of small denominations and plastic cards to make it seem real. If you have a decent throwing arm, toss the fake wallet on the ground to distract your thug while you make a clean getaway. Keep your real wallet tucked next to your body. Women, don’t forget to utilize your extra secret compartment—your bra.  And, take your time as you leave the house, and have a second family member double-check the locks on the doors, windows and anything else you think you might second-guess later.

While You’re There

According to Lifelock identity theft experts, dumpster diving is still a popular method to steal someone's personal information. Your hotel maid is most likely a hard-working, conscientious worker, but you still shouldn’t throw away your common sense by leaving sensitive financial information lying around on your nightstand or sitting in a hotel wastebasket.

Watch Your Back

GPS navigation is one of the most helpful technologies for travelers. But when you’re driving or walking in a new town, keep your eyes on your surroundings. Unfamiliar traffic patterns or unexpected obstacles on the sidewalk can quickly cause unnecessary accidents. Though humorous to imagine in theory, it’s easy to get seriously injured by falling into an uncovered access hole on the sidewalk in a city such as Dublin, where bakeries receive flour deliveries in the wee hours of the morning.

Make the Most of New Trends

Have you heard of couchsurfing? Singles or couples travel the world and sleep on participating members’ couches for free. If the thought of sleeping in a stranger’s abode while all your belongings lay unwatched in your backpack next to you makes you feel vulnerable, your common sense is intact. The world is indeed a nicer and friendlier place than the media would have us believe, but this practice is na├»ve. You’re better off paying 10 bucks for a cheap hostel or booking an overnight train journey to catch some inexpensive and safe slumber.

Seek free sightseeing advice from established professionals, such as your concierge or bed-and-breakfast owner. These people work in the travel industry, and their goal is to ensure you have a safe and pleasant experience (so you can share it with others). They can suggest interesting excursions based on your personal expectations and family requirements. They might even have a coupon or two to pass your way.

After You Return

Gather all your photos and souvenirs, and organize them while your memories are fresh.Then bring your loved ones together and relive your happy vacation adventures. Repeat next year.

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