It's always better to be safe than sorry. Forewarned is forearmed. Get busy knowing before you get busy going. A stitch in time saves nine.

1. Don't use your home address on you luggage tags. You don't need to let anyone know where your empty house is located. Put your business card in your luggage tag. For an extra measure of security, attach another business card inside in case your bags gets lost.

2. Leave copies of your important documents with a friend just in case you need a back-up sent to you in an emergency. That means tickets, drivers license, passport, visas, etc.

3. Make a list of your credit card toll-free phone numbers in case you have to cancel them.

4. Put identifying markings on the suitcases you check through...bold colored tape in a recognizable design...and put tape over the closure to prevent tampering by baggage handlers. Don't put valuables in luggage you check; e.g. jewelry, cameras, watches. Remove old airline destination tags. Red caps usually do this, but don't count on it when things get busy.

5. Consider travel insurance especially when the cost of your trip is over $1000. It will protect you against losses if you cancel your trip for any reason.

6. Keep a written record of your confirmation numbers whenever you make reservations. Always ask for the number. And always ask if there are discounted rates available, especially if you are a member of AAA, AARP or a travel club.

7. Leave an itinerary of your trip with someone at home in case you need to be contacted.

8. Check the weather forecast for your destination before you leave to ensure that you are taking appropriate clothes. And find room in your luggage for a folding travel umbrella.

9. Always keep medicines in their labeled containers and bring a copy of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If any of your medicines contains a narcotic, get a letter from your doctor indicating your need to take the drug.

10. Carry an extra passport photo with you just in case you need to replace a stolen passport.

11. If you plan on driving, ask your insurer about a special proof of insurance card you can take with you

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