The Realities of Traveling During the Holidays
We are nearing the point in the holiday season where people are gearing up to hit the road to see their loved ones. Safety is a top priority while traveling. Many states will be feeling the chill of winter nipping at their nose, but gas station stops can only be delayed so long. Eventually, everyone must fill up for the next leg of their journey. Being in unfamiliar territory can be a nerve-wracking experience. A lifetime of well-honed directional instincts developed during a person’s time living in their hometown won’t help them when they’re on ‘E’ and in unfamiliar territory. It’s easy to miss a turn and end up getting lost or wind up taking the road less traveled through the sketchy part of town that a local might know to avoid. For business owners that understand the anxieties surrounding holiday travel, it is imperative that measures are taken to reduce the stress.
With the holidays being a stressful time, the risk of road rage also rises. New stories of road rage gone wrong come out all the time. Just recently, a person was injured when a road rage incident took a violent turn on I-65. High stress mixed with the physical distance created by being in a vehicle is a recipe for anger on the road. Certain individuals, who are usually more prone to abusing drugs and alcohol, are at higher risk of perpetrating road rage. In incidents of road rage, the specific circumstances hardly matter to a person who is in a rage. Whether it was accidental or on purpose makes no difference. They are angry, and more prone to violence.
No matter the situation, criminals know that holiday travel brings with it the opportunity of having more out-of-towners within reach. There is also an increase in people trying to get some last-minute shopping in for that one uncle they forgot about, or they are looking for that one gift someone wants that was out of stock at the time but maybe- just maybe- its back in stock now. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, robbery increases by approximately 20% during the holiday season. A combination of desperation and thieves looking to take advantage of the crowds drives this number up.
Keeping Travelers Safe this Holiday Season
For gas stations and other traveler destinations, a Mobile Surveillance Unit can be used to keep an eye on parking lots and other outdoor areas. They can put an extra set of eyes in every direction. Security Engineers’ units have four HD day/night cameras as well as a 180°-degree radar that is perfect for keeping an eye on the premises when staff are not on duty. It also has blue flashing LED lights as a deterrent and a talk down speaker used to scare off criminals caught in the act. MSUs with Remote Monitoring helps ensure that the proper authorities are alerted when the unit sees something.
Using these units to protect travelers and last-minute shoppers is incredibly important as we near the New Year. Everyone has family on their mind and may not be thinking as hard as they should about their surroundings. Give your customers the gift that keeps on giving by adding a Mobile Surveillance Unit to your security plan today!
Safe Travel Tips
For those who don’t have the luxury of a Mobile Surveillance Unit watching to help keep them safe, here are some travel tips to keep in mind while on the road:
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Don’t let your guard down to snap that perfect picture for your social media platforms. Always keep an eye on your personal belongings and use good judgment while talking to strangers. If someone near you is acting suspiciously, or if you feel uncomfortable, leave the area immediately.
- Speaking of social media, do not post about being out of town until you return. Doing so invites burglars into your home because they know no one will be at home to catch them.
- If possible, leave valuables out of sight.
- Avoid places and situations where crime is likely.
- Plan out your Route and where you will be stopping ahead of time.
- Don’t Draw Attention to Yourself. People who look like they’re visiting from out of town are more vulnerable to crime, so try to blend in as much as possible. Choose inconspicuous clothing that doesn’t attract attention. Be discreet when looking at maps and approach people carefully if you need to ask for help or for directions.
- Don’t wear flashy clothes or expensive jewelry. Wearing expensive, flashy clothing or jewelry is one sure way to attract criminals and make yourself a target to be robbed.
- Be Smart about Your Money. It’s always a good idea to keep a little cash on you but be smart about your money. Don’t pull out a wad of cash while paying for items. Never keep all your money together in the same location. Also, do not visit isolated ATMs especially at night. If you must withdraw money, it’s best to use an indoor ATM such as at a convenient store.
- Never Travel Alone whenever possible.
- Share your Travel Information. Before you leave, share your itinerary with a few family members or friends you can trust. Include the address and phone number of your accommodations and transportation information such as expected arrival times and flight numbers. Check in with these loved ones regularly, so they know you are where you’re supposed to be.
- Don’t use Public Wi-Fi unless you absolutely must. The convenience of internet access can sometimes cloud your judgment. When you use public Wi-Fi, hackers can access your data including credit cards or Social Security numbers. If you do need wireless Internet service, set up a virtual private network (VPN) that will allow you to access the internet while traveling.
- Trust Your Instincts. If someone or something is making you feel uncomfortable, there’s usually a good reason why. Our subconscious often picks up on clues that our conscious minds might not be aware of. Listen to your “gut feelings” and stay safe traveling this holiday season.
The Bottom Line
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. Keep your customers safe with Security Engineers and a new Mobile Surveillance Unit!
For more information about how Security Engineers can help keep your business safe and secure or for a free security evaluation, please fill out the quote request form on our website or contact our sales team at [email protected] and someone from our team will reach out to you as soon as possible. Please have a safe holiday season and remember to be aware of your surroundings on the road!