“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Travel safety is important no matter where you roam, including the beautiful beaches of the Myrtle Beach area. Many issues apply to both our visiting guests and local residents. Here is what you need to know to keep yourself and your belongings safe this year.

1. Wear a mask. Myrtle Beach is currently a top 5 hot spot for new COVID infections. The last thing you want to take home from vacation is a pandemic infection. Wear your mask in public places to avoid catching this serious illness.

2. Practice social distancing–even at the beach. Keep at least 6 feet between you and others while at the beach and at other public places.

3. Pay attention to your surroundings. Whether you are in a crowded restaurant, at an ATM, on the Boardwalk, in a store, on a bus or just walking down the street, always be aware of your surroundings. Eliminate distractions such as being on your phone or wearing headphones in public. Pickpockets and thieves look for distracted people as ideal targets.

4. Scan your important documents. Have a scan of all of your important documents on your phone such as your ID, credit cards, traveler’s checks, passport and other essential paperwork. Also make sure to leave a photocopy with a trusted friend or family member in case your phone is stolen as well.

5. Send your local contact info, travel dates, flight numbers, hotel information and other travel details to a trusted friend or relative. This will be essential if something happens to you such as an injury and your family needs to find you or reach you.

6. Buy travel insurance. This applies to our visitors but it is a great practice for anyone who travels. Your travel insurance should cover things like theft, accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Make sure to provide a copy of your policy info to a trusted friend or family member also.

7. Keep your money in separate places. Don’t keep all of your money or credit cards, etc in one place. Spread money out on your person using zippered pockets, money belts, attachable bra pockets, etc. This way, if you are a victim of theft or pickpocketing, the thief won’t get everything.

8. Always keep an eye on your belongings. Especially at places like the beach, where you will be stepping away from your stuff to go into the water. Make a habit of checking your stuff frequently and watching even while you’re in the water.

9. Leave valuables at home. Don’t bring expensive jewelry or other valuables on vacation. First, it ensures those items don’t get lost. Second, thieves look for people wearing expensive jewelry as a key target. Leave anything that is irreplaceable at home.

10. Use locks on your bags and anti-theft backpacks. While these items won’t deter a really determined thief, they are usually enough hassle for most thieves to skip over you and target someone easier.

11. Use traveler’s checks. Traveler’s checks can be replaced quickly if lost or stolen compared to cash, which can never be recovered or a credit card that will take days to ship out to you and usually to your home address.

12. Watch your drinks. This tip is for men and women. Thieves will drug both men and women if they think the payday will be worth it. To avoid being drugged and mugged, always keep your drink with you and never accept drinks from a stranger.

Staying safe while traveling requires paying attention above everything. Pay attention to your surroundings, pay attention to your belongings and pay attention to the people around you. Make sure you leave copies of all important paperwork and information with someone you trust back home. Taking these simple safety precautions can help you enjoy your vacation stress-free.