Don't get robbed.
Keeping your money out of the hands of pickpockets and thieves just seems like so much more fun than calling home to get emergency money wired to you by your friends or family. You want to have a good time, and you also don't want to memorize 15 ways to keep your money safe while on vacation. I get it. So here are three simple ways to protect your money while traveling to another state or country.
1. Divide and Conquer.
Split your money and credit cards into at least two places on your person.
You could even go so far as to have a "dummy wallet" in the obvious places, like your front pocket or your purse. A dummy wallet can have some of those fake credit cards that you get in the mail (start saving them). The fake should also have a small amount of cash and maybe even a picture or two. Maybe even a real credit card (not your debit card, but that's for another blog post). Make it look real. Good pickpockets know how to get that wallet out of your front pocket or tightly held purse. They got mad skills.
So divide your cash and cards between two places. The secret place can be, well, secret (inside shows, socks or underwear). Yeah. Not a topic for polite discussion. But use your imagination, and if wallet number one has been stolen, you'll still have a backup source of money and credit cards to get back to the hotel or police station.
2. Keep important stuff in a safe.
Most hotels have a safe that you can use to store valuables. Use it, even if it costs extra.
You should keep your passport, proof of identity and at least one backup credit card in this safe, as well as some cash. And that reminds me (free extra tip)... take copies or photographs of all of your documents and credit cards and give these copies to someone you trust back home. It's amazing how many people have all of their important documents and credit cards stolen, and none of that information is on record anywhere. When a theft occurs, you need to be able to "call a friend."
3. Keep your eyes open and look alert.
Don't be the "weakest link."
Thieves and pickpockets are not much different than lions on the African plains. We've all seen the National Geographic shows where the lions wait patiently for hours, watching a herd of gazelle. And we all know what they're watching for- the most inattentive gazelle in the herd.
Thieves are opportunists, and they have thousands of potential victims to choose from. They target the absent minded and inattentive so they can do their dastardly crime with the least amount of fuss.
So look like you'll be the one who makes a fuss. Look like you are the person looking at everyone. It doesn't matter if you actually "see" a thief. Just the appearance that you aren't missing a thing may cause them pass over you and move on to the next person.
As they used to say on the old TV show, Hill Street Blues... "let's be careful out there."
Getting ready to barbecue, grill out, or cook out. Whatever you call it, we're all going to do it this weekend! So let's barbecue brilliantly and safely.
Safety First - Think Fire & Food
You have to fire up the grill before anything else happens. Now I know most of you are using propane. And that's fine. The rest of you die hard purists are cooking over charcoal or wood. These safety rules apply to all of you. I could add more, but let's do a Top 5:
Here are three simple food safety rules:
And here's the bonus tip: don't leave the leftovers out for more than two hours. Change that. It's California, and it's over 90 degrees most summer days. On a hot summer day, that window shrinks to ONE HOUR. Put the leftovers in the fridge before they go bad.
I hope this helps keep your holiday barbecue safe. Grill On, Have Fun and Stay Safe.
Happy Fourth of July!
~Jeff St. Clair