Don’t miss these travel safety tips to help get you through Memorial Day weekend

While following these travel tips won’t guarantee a 100% safe trip, Figgins says they greatly reduce risks we all face while on the road to a holiday.
WSMV4 Investigates' Stacey Cameron reports.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Every year, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the busy summer travel season, and to help you hit the road safely, WSMV4 has some great tips after speaking with travel risk expert Lloyd Figgins.

“You’re never going to stop crime, but what you might be able to do is move it on down the road, so you’re not the victim,” said Figgins.

Figgins says at some point, most people will use either ride-share or a taxi during their vacation. With that in mind, he suggests snapping pictures of the car, its license plate, and the driver, then sending it to family or friends before getting in and heading off to your destination.

“By doing that you’ve instantly said to them, if anything happens to me, everyone knows who you are, and it’s going to be very easy to track you.”

Figgins’ second safety tip concerns checking in to your hotel, and he suggests you ask the clerk not to announce your room number when handing over your key.

But by doing that, the desk person just announced to everybody in that lobby what room you checked in to,” said Figgins. “So, when they see you in the hotel bar or by the pool later on, they know that your room is empty, and your valuables are now at risk.”

Earlier this year, a man traveling in Nashville filed suit against the Hilton Hotel, claiming a hotel employee used a ghost key to enter his room and assault him while sleeping.

Figgins says you can protect yourself and your family from that situation by packing a rubber door wedge in your suitcase, then lodging it under your door when going to bed.

“Even if they’ve got a key card or any sort of key, they can’t get in because the door is wedged shut from the inside,” Figgins said. “And that allows me a bit of time to react, if I heard somebody trying to come in my room.”

Finally, in case danger strikes during your trip like a natural disaster or active shooter situation, make sure your family picks a public space everyone knows, so you can meet there if anyone gets separated and their cell phones don’t work.

“I often advise people to choose two such rendezvous points, because the situation could be chaotic,” Figgins said. “And these safe places could be a church, a police station, or even another hotel.”

Figgins says he also tells people to write the name and address of those places down on paper and have everyone keep a copy in their pockets, so they can give it to cab drivers or police if they are lost or if there’s a possible language barrier.

While following these travel tips won’t guarantee a 100% safe trip, Figgins says they greatly reduce risks we all face while on the road to a holiday.

“I always say having more than one approach to personal safety and security is the best course when traveling,” said Figgins.