Travel Tips: Car Safety at the Airport
It’s that time of year again when everyone is heading out on vacations to various destinations across the globe. While recent airline news has sparked a sudden interest in road trips, many travelers still prefer the quicker method of flying at an average speed of 550 mph in a giant aluminum tube, approximately 39,000 feet in the air.
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Of course, getting to the airport often requires the use of a motor vehicle. For those who can’t get a friend to drop them off or if they prefer not to take a taxi, they are required to leave their own vehicle sitting in an airport parking lot for multiple days. While most airports rarely report crimes committed in the long term parking areas, it’s always a good idea to follow these preventative safety measures.
Find some cover
To protect your vehicle from natural sources like weather and the inevitable target practice of the local airport birds, it’s best to find a covered or shaded spot for your car to rest while you’re on vacation. If you are required to park in a garage, try to avoid the very top floor, which is usually exposed to sunlight and other elements. If you’re located in an outdoor lot with no possible shaded areas, be sure to put a sun shade up in your windshield. You may even want to invest in smaller, suction cup sun shades for the other windows as well, depending on how extreme the weather is in your airport location.
The most enticing thing that can happen for a thief is to see a collection of valuables just sitting in an abandoned vehicle. Avoid keeping any valuable items (or any items, really) in plain sight within your vehicle. If you must keep an item in the car, lock it in your glove compartment or the trunk. Be careful storing items in the trunk though, because thieves could potentially spot the items as you are unloading luggage from your vehicle and then come back later once you’re off to Barbados or St. Pete’s.
Find the light
If you are planning on traveling at early or late times, when the sun isn’t out, be sure to park in a well-lit area at the airport. If you’re parking outdoors, find a light post within the lot and park as close as you can to it. If you’re in a garage, try parking near an exit or entrance, as these locations are usually scattered with lights and neon signs. Being in a dark area with a suitcase full of souvenirs or electronics is practically an open invitation for a criminal to attack.
Loading zone hazard
If you do have a friend or relative dropping you off at the airport, it’s important to stay safe in the non-parking loading zones too. Most vehicular related airport crimes actually occur when people leave an idling car unattended. When saying goodbye to loved ones, be sure to lock your vehicle before the waterworks begin.