Vacation Safety Tips
Welcome to Miami: Watch Your Back
Miami Beach is a fun, and usually safe city to visit, but a number of random violent acts involving many close friends has urged me to comment on vacation safety.
First some true stories…
On a Satuday night at 11pm, my friend Dan was coming home from his job at Pacific Time restaurant. At Euclid Ave. and 6th St., Dan got involved in a traffic altercation with a young male. The male violently attacked Dan with a kryptonite bicycle lock. Dan’s leg was severely broken, putting him out of work for nine months.
On a Sunday night at at 3am, my band mates, Pancho and Hernan, were walking down Lincoln Road. Out of nowhere, they were struck from behind by two unidentified attackers. Pancho was knocked unconscious, and fell face first into the pavement, losing his front teeth. The thieves also got away with then stealing Pancho’s wallet.
On a Sunday night at 11pm, two friends from Tuscan Steak restaurant were assaulted on Washington Ave. and 5th St. Thankfully, Shaq saved the day.
As you can see, it is easy to let your guard down, especially when you are on vacation in a place like Miami Beach.
But the rules of the road may not be the same here as they are at home. Below are 16 vacation safety tips to remember:
- Before your trip, study a map of the destination. Pick an emergency meeting spot. We provide a number of local maps that can help you.
- Carry minimum luggage. Label each piece of luggage with your name and address.
- Do not pack valuables in bags you plan to check. Your bags will pass through many unsupervised hands. Keep your camera, computer, jewelry, money, and important documents in a carry-on bag. And there is always the chance that your baggage may not keep up with you, so pack medications and prescriptions in your carry on bags.
- In your hotel room, make sure windows and balcony doors are locked.
- Learn the location of hotel exits.
- Ask the hotel about the safety of the neighborhood and which areas to avoid.
- Ask the hotel for directions and costs before taking a cab.
- When exploring the city, don’t look vulnerable. Walk with a purpose and stay alert to what is happening around you.
- Use traveler’s checks and credit cards instead of cash whenever possible.
- Walkie-talkies, cell phones, and the Internet can keep you in touch with information and emergency services.
- Leave nothing in your car. Cars have been broken into for jackets and shopping bags.
- Leave copies of your itinerary, identification and credit cards with family or friends at home, so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Upload your itinerary, identification and credit card information onto a secure website so that you can retrieve the data from a local Internet cafe.
- Know where bad neighborhoods are, and avoid them. This is especially true when visiting Downtown Miami. There are no bad neighborhoods in Miami Beach as such. I avoid Washington Ave. and 16th St., but that is because of panhandlers and dirty streets. I also avoid walking on the Beach after dark. It’s not that it’s so dangerous, but why put yourself in a vulnerable situation.And if I need to walk late at night, I will choose to walk a busy street like Washington Ave., Collins Ave., or Ocean Dr., rather than walking a residential street like Euclid Ave., Jefferson Ave., or , Meridian Ave.
- It’s easy to let your guard down when it’s late and you’ve had a few drinks. But people should always beware of crime and theft inside night clubs.
- Miami Beach attracts a large mix of culturally diverse people; that is what make our city so great, but we can also attract a few hotheaded bullies looking to pick a fight. Avoid volatile situations. Don’t have words with the wrong guy. Just walk away. Later, you will be happy you did.
When you are on vacation have fun, stay alert, and use caution with whom you give your trust.
Photo by Miami Fever
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"Vacation Safety Tips"
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