Common Sense While Traveling

Tamara Hillstrom common senseWhen you travel, you have to employ common sense. Every once in a while we hear a story of a traveler meeting some terrible unfortune that seemingly could have been avoided had they been employing common sense. A story about common sense and traveling was recently posted on USA Today, and it got me thinking.

A hotel security worker in New Orleans says that every night there are 25 to 30 doors left open when guests go out. That’s right. They leave their door not only unlocked, but OPEN. Guess what happens? They get robbed. And for what? So the guest didn’t have to bring a key with them when they went out, whether for the night or a quick errand. It’s the number one way people get robbed at that hotel (which is a major chain, by the way).

A corporate director on Long Island, NY reported that many guests leave electronic equipment around public areas of hotels, including the pool area. Someone who leaves a $600 iPad by the pool thinking it will still be there when they get back are not thinking clearly. Would they do this while in their hometown? Many are then shocked that the hotel accepts no responsibility for the device, left out in the open.

An airline worker claims she could fill a book with the lack of common sense on airplanes. People ignoring and intentionally disobeying signs, or walk around, eyes glued to their smart phone. An adventure guide from West Virginia actually logs the common senseless events, including visitors trying to touch lethal snakes and plants after they’ve been told how dangerous they are. Adventurers on vacation stand way too close to crumbling cliffs, and wander off alone into jungle areas. Some people actually try to feed crocodiles by hand!

When we’re traveling, we’re a little more exposed than normal. This requires us to have a heightened alertness to protect ourselves from elements we’re not use to facing. Thieves and burglars target travelers, and many vacations include situations that are more precarious than they outwardly seem – such as a cruise, hiking, or visiting a very busy city.

Maybe it’s the way we can travel without much planning or education because of the technology we keep on ourselves at all times. Or maybe it’s the seeming ease of modern travel, where it seems nothing could go wrong. Or is it a sense of entitlement? That some of us just think nothing bad should or can happen to them, not while they’re on vacation! A survival instructor thinks one of the facts is survival shows, which glamorize dangerous situations, shown being executed by trained experts.

I only wish the best for people while traveling, and hope to see less and less of these stories of foolishness while on the road. Common sense goes a long way.