Vacations are a time to relax and have fun, but travel plans canquickly unravel due to unforeseen disruptions, including traveldelays, medical emergencies and crisis situations.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways agents and brokers canhelp clients prepare and prevent any interruption while onvacation.

Pre-departure prep

  1. Going small: When clients are choosing a hotel, advise themto stay in a smaller, boutique hotel, many of which offer five-staramenities. It can be less conspicuous than staying at a largerchain that might attract a thief's eye due to the sheer number oftourist guests.

  2. (Don't) stand out from the crowd: Clientsshould keep cultural differences in mind when choosing whatclothing to bring. Recommend they research local customs about skinexposure and clothing colors, including which jewelry and accessories tobring prior to departure (best practice is always to leave valuablejewelry at home).

  3. Know where they're going: With more than 1.25million road traffic-related deaths each year, clients should onlyrent a car if they are familiar with the terrain, particularly ifthey're traveling to emerging or developing countries. Confirm thatyour clients' auto policies include worldwide coverage.

  4. Leave some papers behind: While there arecertain documents clients should bring with them on vacation —including their driver's license, passport, visa and itinerary —having clients make a copy of these documents and leaving them witha trusted friend or family member prior to departure is equally ascritical. Alternatively, clients can scan and store the documentsonline to help ensure instant access in the event they're lost orstolen.

Related: Bon voyage: 4 keys to staying safe during vacationseason

On-the-ground considerations

  1. Sightsee safely: When traveling around town,taking a taxi is preferable to public transportation. Clients should have their hotel arrange a rideto ensure the driver works for a registered company. With publictransportation, advise they map their routes in advance and stayaware of their surroundings.

  2. Take a social media break: Although clients canbe tempted to post trip highlights to their social media accountswhile on vacation, doing so can put them at risk. In addition toalerting local thieves that an unsuspecting tourist is nearby, itcan send a signal to criminals that their residence is unoccupiedor empty. Clients should never post their travel plans or traveldates online. If they must go online they should be wary of usingunsecure Wi-Fi connections offered in restaurants, bars and touristsites.

  3. Write it down: If clients are traveling with small children,ensure that their kids know their address and phone number beforeheading out for the day. Clients should tuck a note in theirchildren's pockets with the local hotel and embassy or consulatephone numbers. It can add extra protection if they're separatedfrom their children.

Annmarie Camp is Executive VP, North American Sales& Distribution Leader at Chubb Personal Risk Services.She can be reached by sending email to [email protected].

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