Safety is of great concern to travel nurses. Here are my Top 10 Travel Safety Tips.
Please note that this list is not all-inclusive. Most generally, if you exercise common sense and use your ‘gut’ feelings you will be fine. The biggest thing that I will stress is that if you feel unsafe, leave the unsafe location immediately. Always be aware of your travel safety.
Here are some tips that I try to follow to stay safe:
1. Check the new neighborhood:
http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/ or http://www.crimemapping.com
2. Plan your stops in town vs rest areas.
Avoid places without vehicles or people around. I prefer truck stops as they are usually well-lit and active. I park close to the door and if after dark, in a well-lit area.
3. At your assignment location, drive around and orient yourself during the day.
Scout out grocery stores, the hospital and other things you need to visit while it is daylight, so you don’t have to be wandering around in the dark looking for them.
4. Have some sort of Emergency Assistance
AAA is a great resource. If the car breaks down or gets a flat, stay in the car until the tow truck (well-marked with AAA) arrives. AAA will generally ask if you feel safe, if you do not feel safe tell them and they will usually send a police officer to you.
5. Give A Friend or Family Member your Itinerary and check in.
I give a basic itinerary (route) as well as calling to check in when leaving and arriving.
6. Select your Hotel with Safety in mind.
I suggest using a hotel with rooms on the inside, i.e. no door straight out to the parking lot
7. Choose the 2nd Floor
Always ask for a hotel room on an upper floor (2nd or higher), as ground floor rooms are the most vandalized. This is a good tip for any temporary housing as well.
8. Never travel without at least two sources of money available.
In addition to whatever cash you have on hand. Periodically you might find that your bank thinks your debit or credit card is being used suspiciously (has happened to me) and freeze it on you without warning. Don’t store these all in one place.
9. Secure any belongings that stay in your vehicle overnight.
Don’t leave anything obviously open to be viewed from the windows.
10. Always park in a well-lit area.
If I am able to park in a location that can be viewed from the front desk all the better.
Do you have additional tips to add to this Top 10 Travel Safety Tips? Please post them in the comments.