SOURCE: Stefanie Michaels

June 20, 2005 13:08 ET

Top Ten Tips for Safe Travel

From Travel Expert Stefanie Michaels

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 20, 2005 -- Summer is the time when people travel most, but with all the attention on the missing teen in Aruba and other dangers, many people feel unsafe about traveling themselves or sending their teens on trips. Stefanie Michaels, a travel expert known to millions as Adventure Girl, recently spoke about traveling safely on El Paso's KTSM-TV (NBC) and San Francisco's KGO radio. Michaels, the new Destination Writer for Women's Health and Fitness magazine and a contributor to Elite Traveler magazine, offers the following safe travel tips:

1. Ask for rooms on higher floors in hotels. They are generally safer.

2. Learn about local laws and customs and how to get help in the places you are visiting. If you're traveling to a country where people do not speak English, learn key phrases you might need to get the help.

3. If you're booking a trip for yourself or your teen, ask questions about safety and get referrals to legitimate companies and the safety of locations through organizations, such as World Travel Agents Association (WTAA), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) or The National Travelers Association.

4. Don't open your hotel room door without knowing who is knocking. If someone appears to be a hotel employee and you're not expecting them, call the front desk and ask if they have sent someone to your room and who it is.

5. Log incoming and outgoing calls from your hotel room. If something happens, you will have a record to trace.

6. Travel with a buddy, if possible. When traveling alone, give a friend or family member your itinerary.

7. Bring a door alarm to put under the door so it will go off if anyone tries to enter.

8. When traveling overseas, bring a cell phone that works in that country.

9. To avoid looking like a tourist (and a mark for criminals), dress down and avoid wearing loud colors or clothing that bears sayings. Don't wear cameras around your neck or other things that identify you as a tourist.

10. Be aware of your surroundings and follow your intuition. If you feel like you're in danger, get to a safe place or call for help.

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