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As the temperatures heat up, many Americans plan on taking a vacation this summer. However, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen. Keep these safety tips in mind to make sure you come home with nothing but good memories on your next summer vacation.

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Watch What You Share on Social Media

While most of us know not to share sensitive personal information on our social media sites, we still share plenty of information that could make us victims of theft. In one survey, 15 percent of people admitted to sharing their vacation plans online, and 20 percent even shared their home address. With these two pieces of information, burglars know exactly when vulnerable houses are empty for an extended period. To avoid coming back to an empty house, be mindful of what you share on social media. Wait until after you come back from vacation to share where you’ve been and post pictures.

Don’t Overload Your Car with Luggage

Americans love their summer road trips. In fact, 75 percent of summer travelers plan to get to their destination by car. That means there will be a lot of luggage packed into cars over the summer. However, there are many reasons why it’s important to make sure your car isn’t overloaded with luggage. Extra weight from heavy luggage can cause the tires to bulge and the added friction can create a devastating blowout while you’re driving. Plus, your gas mileage can drop up to 2 percent for every extra 100 pounds of weight. With gas prices that keep inching higher, you definitely want to keep weight low to save money. Every car should have its maximum carrying capacity listed on a sticker along the driver-side door. Once you factor in the weight of each passenger, you know how much weight you have left for luggage.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Even if your vacation destination doesn’t involve a sandy beach, the sun’s rays can still cause painful sunburns and increase the risk of skin cancer. You should apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen anytime you plan on going outside. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum to protect against UV-B and UV-A radiation, and apply it at least 15 minutes before you go outside. Also, don’t forget to reapply throughout the day, but especially after heavy perspiring or swimming. Finally, don’t forget about protecting your eyes when you’re outside. Your sunglasses should screen out a minimum of 75 percent of sunlight, and they should block at least 99 percent of UV-B and UV-A radiation from the sun.

Keep the Family Pet Safe

If your family vacation isn’t complete unless your family pet gets to come along, you need to make plans to keep their safety in mind during the trip as well. If you’re driving, your dog or cat shouldn’t be able to roam freely around the vehicle. Not only could this be a distraction for the driver, the pet will have no protection in the unfortunate event of an accident. Secure cats and small dogs in their crate or carrier, and strap large dogs in with a restraint. Finally, remember that pets should never be left in a parked car for any amount of time. Even with the windows open, the inside temperature of a car can reach up to 102 degrees on an 85-degree day in just 10 minutes.

Make Sure Your Rental Car is Insured

Many travelers will choose to rent a car during their summer vacation. Unfortunately, accidents and damage can occur in these rentals, and travelers are held responsible for paying for repairs even if the damage wasn’t their fault. Even a simple scratch can cost around $865 to get repaired. Websites such as allow travelers to add collision damage coverage when they’re checking out. You are even able to add insurance to an existing reservation if you find out that your regular insurance policy doesn’t cover car rentals.

By remembering these safety tips for summer travelers, you can relax and have a good time on your next summer vacation.


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