McGruff’s Vacation Tips
by McGruff

It’s me, McGruff, back again this week, helping out my friends at DrugFree Greenville.

School will soon be out and many of you will be taking family vacations. I’ve been asked to share some tips with you about how to have a safe and fun vacation this summer.

Taking a bite out of crime means taking precautions to prevent crimes from happening.

The best way to protect your home while you’re away is to make it look like you never left. You can do this by leaving shades and blinds in their normal positions, stopping mail and newspapers or having a friend pick them up, and putting some of your lights on timers and having them go on and off at the usual times.

If you are going to be away for a while, be sure to arrange for someone to mow your yard. If possible, have a neighbor park in your driveway overnight while you’re gone. Of course, make sure all your door and window locks are in working order and set your home alarms, if you have them.

You can also pack your bags with prevention in mind. Clean out your wallet or purse and take only essential credit cards. If possible, don’t carry a lot of cash. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside front pocket.

Pack lightly. Heavy, cumbersome bags slow you down and make you vulnerable to robbers. Expensive, designer luggage can attract attention, so it is better to pack in more inconspicuous bags.

While on your trip, remember that tourists make tempting targets for thieves. Try to blend in with the local crowd. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, or display cameras, shopping bags, or other items that would invite unwanted attention.

As much as possible, check maps before you go out so you can tour confidently and stay on your guard. Stay on well lighted and well traveled streets; don’t take short-cuts. Always lock your car and keep valuables out of sight. Don’t make it obvious that you are a tourist by having lots of maps and guidebooks visible inside the car.

Being safe on vacations also means that families stick together and keep an eye out for each other. Make sure children know the name and address of where you are staying. Have a plan for what to do if you should get separated. As always, children need to know never to take rides or accept treats from strangers.

On vacation, and at home, you can help “take a bite out of crime” by being prepared and being alert and by taking steps to prevent crime before it happens.

Mc Gruff is a supporter of DrugFree Greenville and spokes dog for the
National Crime Prevention Council, provider of these tips.