AAA offers tips for spring break travel abroad

As "Spring Break 2010" fast approaches, AAA of Northern California has a few words of wisdom for families and young people who are planning to take an international vacation. “Stories about crimes against tourists around the world, as sad as they may be, send an important message,” said Matt Skryja, AAA spokesman. “Many people have a false sense of security when they travel for vacation or a romantic get away, but there are some simple steps they can take to increase their chances of a safe trip.”
  • Before leaving the country, make sure your visas meet the guidelines and restrictions of the country you are visiting.
  • Know the location and contact information of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate. Having this information is important in case you need help, such as you lose your passport.
  • Carry a mix of credit cards, local currency and traveler’s checks to allow for flexible travel. Using credit cards is often safer that carrying cash because issuers often offer a great exchange rate, as well as extended protections against theft and the accidental damage to purchases. Inform your card issuer about your travel plans before you head out.
  • Keep copies of information regarding your travel agent, itinerary, hotel, flight, and other important travel documents with you at all times. Give copies of your passport and itinerary to family or friends in case you lose the copies you have with you. If you’re high tech, email yourself a copy of your important travel documents. AAA also suggests you keep emergency contact information in your wallet.
  • Carry a photo ID with you at all times and keep original travel documents separate from the copies. Consider locking the originals in your hotel room.
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