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2022 seems like a big travel year. Many airlines, hotels, and resorts report more sales than in the past couple of years. That means many people feel comfortable enough to travel again after staying home and riding out the pandemic.
The widespread vaccine availability means many families and individuals feel okay hitting the road this year. Maybe you feel like you should take a much-needed vacation after a pretty boring couple of years.
If you travel in 2022, you should know about certain dangers that exist, though. We'll talk about a few of the more prominent ones right now.
If you decide to drive to a vacation destination this year, you should watch out for trucks when you're on the highway. Loaded trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, but some companies overload their vehicles. They'll try to get away with hauling more freight per truck than the law allows.
Those companies can face lawsuits if the proper authorities catch them, but that's not your job. As someone using America's highways, staying away from large trucks will serve you well. If you see one of these juggernauts lumbering along in front of you or behind you, you should give it a wide berth.
Remember that even if you're driving an SUV, a semi-truck weighs more than you. If you get close enough to it and the driver doesn't pay attention or misjudges the distance, it can nudge your vehicle right off the road. Something might also fly off an overloaded truck and hit your car.
If you see a truck, try to pass it or allow it to pass you instead. A traffic jam is the only time you might temporarily have to share real estate with a semi. As soon as you get a chance, you can distance yourself again.
ATM Card Skimmers
If you use an ATM while you're traveling, watch out for skimmers. If you see an ATM that doesn't look quite right or you can see something attached to it, don't use it.
If you want to get cash for your travels, go to one of your bank branches or make sure you use a legitimate ATM from that bank. Try to avoid using off-brand ATMs on the street or in convenience stores.
Someone might outfit one of those ATMs with a skimmer that can read the card's numbers. They might attempt to take money out of your account without you realizing it. You'll need to get a new card and report the theft to your bank and the authorities if that happens. It's a pain, and you should do your best to avoid it.
Many people feel safer now than they have for the past couple of years. If you got the vaccine and a booster shot before you hit the road this spring or summer, you're probably safe from hospitalization, except if you're one of the rare breakthrough cases.
However, you can still protect yourself from the coronavirus using simple techniques. Wearing a mask when you're in a facility surrounded by other people takes minimal effort, and it can keep you from exposure.
If you check out a sporting event or travel on a plane, wear a mask. It's a mild inconvenience that can keep you from getting very sick in some instances.
If you're traveling by car, you don't have to wear a mask. You might choose to drive to your vacation spot instead of flying if you want to avoid being close to people. You don't know whether any of them might pass the virus on to you, and you should still attempt to keep away from it if you can.
If you travel somewhere, you might not know much about it. You don't know this new city or locale like you do your hometown.
You should do some research before you leave for your trip. Maybe you find out that you're staying in a nice hotel, and the area around it poses very few dangers.
On the other hand, maybe you got a cheaper hotel, and you see that reviews tell you not to wander around that neighborhood after dark. You can unwittingly end up in a dangerous situation. Someone might rob or assault you.
You can stay in the hotel during the night if you know the area isn't so great. You can also keep to well-lit areas if you go out after dark. Don't wander down any dark alleys or off the beaten track. Searching for adventure can sometimes end poorly if you don't know the city or country where you're a guest.
Pickpockets lurk in many large cities and international destinations. Whether traveling inside the US or outside of it, you should watch your wallet or purse.
You can keep your cash in a money belt you wear. That makes it much less likely someone will get their hands on it. You can also keep your wallet in your front pocket instead of your rear one. It's not as easy for someone to grab it that way before you notice it's gone.
You can also leave most of your money and valuables in the hotel. Carrying a single credit card and your ID might make you feel better about thieves.
If you travel this year, plan out the trip carefully beforehand and think about the dangers we've mentioned. Know where you can catch public transportation in the area you're visiting. If that's not an option, you might look into Ubers or taxis.
Know the local dangers, like animals or plant life. Learn about crime in that area, and make sure you understand and abide by local laws. Don't try to purchase illegal drugs or do anything else that could potentially put you at risk.
Above all else, remember to conduct yourself respectfully. You might want to cut loose because you're away from home, but you should still keep in mind that actions have consequences.
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