Vacation time is when you want to relax and unwind, but you have to remember to NOT let your guard down.
It starts with planning your trip. If traveling out of the country, the U.S. State Department recommends signing up for its Smart Travel Enrollment Program. This will give you important safety information about the country you are visitng and keep you in contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
It also recommends looking for any travel advisories for your destination. The State Department has a color coded and numbered system to show elevated risks.
In April, the department issued an advisory for the Dominican Republic due to crime.
Once you arrive at your destination, travel safety experts International SOS says:
Stay Alert - Plan the routes you are going to take, sticking to well populated areas and travel with someone.
Exercise Caution with Strangers - Don't be alone with someone you don't know. Don't share too much information with new people you meet.
Have a Communication Plan - Tell someone where you are going, how you are getting there, and how long. Include a method to contact each other whether in person, by phone or text.
Experts say many incidents are crimes of opportunity. If you are a victim of a crime while overseas, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.