Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of the summer travel season
and the Indiana State Police is offering travelers safety tips.
* Carrying large amounts of cash is not a good idea. Carry only enough cash
to pay for cabs, shuttle services, and other minor incidentals.
* Credit and debit cards are convenient but one must constantly guard
against theft, not just of the card itself but of the card number. Don’t
leave your card lying on the table in a restaurant or display it freely
where someone could see your number. Be aware of someone who may be nearby
who may attempt photograph the card with a camera phone. Keep your credit
card company’s number in a separate, easily accessible place so if you do
lose your card or if its stolen, you can report it immediately to have the
missing cards canceled. It’s also best to carry no more than one or two
credit cards while traveling.
* Let someone know where you’re going, your route or means of travel, how to
contact you in case of emergency, and when you expect to return. Stop your
mail and newspaper delivery service. Nothing says “No one is home” better
than several days worth of newspapers lying on the front porch.
* Turn off your water and water heater and make sure curling irons, hair
dryers, and other small appliances are unplugged before leaving your house.
Lock all doors and windows and time some lights to turn on and off during
the evening hours.
* Ask a neighbor or relative check your house daily while you’re away.
* Special precautions should be taken when traveling outside the United
States. Certain areas of Mexico and the Middle East can be very dangerous
for U.S. citizens. Check the U.S. Department of State website at
and click on the “travel” tab to get up-to-date information and tips for
* Make sure your car is ready for the trip. Get the oil changed, check your
tires (including your spare) for proper air pressure and for any possible
defects. Check fluid levels, belts, and other critical mechanical parts to
make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and throw a few tools such as a wrench
set, breaker bar, flashlight, and other such items in a tool box in your
trunk along with a gallon of antifreeze and a quart or two of oil. It’s also
a good idea to obtain a AAA membership or other roadside assistance package
“just in case.”
* Prior to leaving, make sure you’re well rested. Have your route of travel
mapped out and check ahead for any possible road construction on your route.
* Make sure everyone is buckled up. If you have small children, properly
restrain them in a child restraint system. Make frequent rest stops during
your trip to stay well rested and keep your cell phone charged or have a car
charger for your cell so if necessary, you can make an emergency call.
* Write your child’s name, your name and cell number, and a close friend or
relative’s name and number on a card. Include other information on the card
such as allergies or any other health conditions your child may have. Give
each child the card to carry with them in their pocket or back pack in case
you get separated.
* Tell your children, should they get separated, to stay in the area and not
to wander off looking for you. Remind them not to speak with strangers or go
anywhere with a stranger. Tell them to speak only to a police officer or
other individual in uniform such as park rangers or uniformed amusement park
employees. Tell them to give the card with your contact information to the
official so immediate contact can be made with you.
* Take an adequate supply of all prescription medications including extra in
case you are unexpectedly detained for a few extra days. Make sure to take
the prescription bottle with you as well. If you use a daily pill
distribution containers and you don’t have your prescription with you, you
are committing a felony by possessing a prescription drug without the
prescription in your possession. Make sure your health insurance cards are
current and carry them with you.