10 Tips to Keep Your Personal Items Safe at the Airport

BY: - 29 Apr '14 | Travel

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Did you know that airport safety has become a serious issue for travelers?  At Los Angeles International airport (LAX) alone, crime increased 10% in 2013 and crimes against property jumped an amazing 34%.  This includes burglary and theft of personal items and items from parked passenger vehicles.   We have a few tips to help you keep your personal items safe and sound while waiting at the airport to start your vacation.

  • Stay alert and keep your bags with you at all times.  Only allow uniformed airline personnel to handle your bags unless you’re traveling with a friend.
  • Avoid wearing metal jewelry/hair accessories/or metal belt buckles.  They tend to trigger the metal detectors thus triggering a secondary pat down.  Secondary pat downs may leave your personal items vulnerable to thieves.  If you’re traveling with someone, make sure they have your personal items.  You can also ask the TSA agent to retrieve your personal items before the pat down begins.
  • Watch out for staged mishaps.  Criminals are cunning and will work in pairs/groups to stage accidents to distract you and divert your attention while one of their partners steals your bags.
  • Blend into the crowd.  Don’t wear expensive jewelry, or carry expensive purses or bags that may draw the attention of a thief.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  While waiting at the gate to board your flight, take your personnel items with you everywhere you go.  Everywhere! (lol)
  • Pack it up!  15 minutes before your flight begins to board stop using/charging all electronics.  Don’t be tempted to get that last minute of ‘juice’ from the charging stations before you board the plane.  Be ready to board with your group so you won’t rush off leaving valuable cell phones/tablets on a charging station.
  • Keep a detailed list of the contents of all checked luggage.  This will help if your luggage goes missing, is stolen or if items are stolen from your luggage. Take a picture of the contents (especially the valuables) with your smartphone or tablet.
  • Leave the portable GPS device at home.  If you’re leaving your car parking at the airport, be sure to lock it and don’t leave anything of potential value in sight.  Also if you used/have a portable GPS device in the car, do not leave it in the car.  Criminals don’t use them to sell them for a few quick bucks, they use them to find your home address and go there and break-in.
  • Park in lighted and highly trafficked areas of the parking lot.  Especially if you’re returning late at night, be sure that your car is in a bright, lighted section of the parking lot.  If you’re traveling alone ask the shuttle driver to wait til you are safely in your car.
  • Arrive at the airport early and remember you’re leaving for a fabulous vacation.  Enjoy!

Happy and safe travels.

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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Disney is Taking the Guest Experience to a New Level with MyMagic+

BY: - 5 May '14 | Reviews

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Disney is using technology to enhance the “magical” Disney experience via its recently launched MyMagic+ system.  Their mission with MyMagic+ is to make your guest experience more personal and seamless. With this 3 part system, guests are able to enjoy their experience more by scheduling their trip in advance.  This gives guests more time to relax and discover more of the park.  This system also gives the employees an opportunity to focus on Interactions  with the guests and less on transactions.

MyMagic+ is a fantastic new way for our guests to experience even more of the magic of Walt Disney World vacation,” sais Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vision is simple: To be the most trusted provider of shared family and leisure experiences throughout the world.  And with MyMagic+ we are taking that experience to  a new level.

MyMagic

The 3 main components of MyMagic+ are:

MyDisneyExperience.com:

MyDisneyExperience.com is an online website and free mobile app that allows you to personalize your Disney visit from home or during the visit. All you have to do is setup an account on MyDisneyExperience and link it to the Disney tickets that you have purchased and Your Disney Resort hotel reservation (if you have one.)  After you have done that you can:

  • Create a wish list of “must-do” attractions.
  • Make your FastPass+ selections – this is huge and it was one of our favorite time-saving features.
  • Make dining reservations.
  • And, get complete information about Walt Disney World theme parks and attractions at your fingertips – we loved this feature and we were constantly using the app to check on ride wait times and to look at the map.

Disney FastPass+:

FastPass+

Guests can now select FastPass+ attractions before they leave home!!!  Yes – no more racing into the park and travelling all around to collect your FastPasses for the day…only to have to return to the attraction later during your FastPass+ appointment time. Whew – I was just stressed typing that as I know first hand how stressful that can be.  Using MyDisneyExperience, Disney Resort guests can make their selections 60 days in advance and if you are a Day Guest that is not staying on a Disney property, you can make your selections 30 days in advance of your trip.  And don’t worry, you can also make or change your selections on the day that you arrive via the mobile app or via kiosks throughout the park. And just so you know, they have increased the number of attractions that have the FastPass+ option.

MagicBand:

The MagicBand is one of my favorite parts of the MyMagic+ system.  It’s a wrist band that replaces your tickets and room key cards. How it works is that you can customize your MagicBands before leaving home via MyDisneyExperience.com.  Therefore your park admission, your FastPass+ selections, diner reservations, and more will be programmed into the MagicBand.  And then, you will have everything you need right on your wrist.

TNMMyMagicPlusBand

Here is why I personally love these MagicBands:

  • No more turnstiles!!  Can you imagine going through those turnstiles with a stroller or with 4 kids? Believe me, it is an ordeal.  But now, the turnstiles are replaced with touch points that allow you to walk up, tap the MagicBands on the touch point and enter the park.  There are also touchpoints at the FastPass+ entrances that allow you to simply tap your MagicBand and enter the ride.
  • No more fumbling for your tickets and room keys!  This is worth of the price of the band alone for me because I am always searching for my tickets and keys….always!! The MagicBand fits on your wrist and stays there all day long.  It even adjusts for small children and can be disabled when lost.  It is also water proof.

Disney  Resort hotel guests and Walt Disney World Resort Passholders will automatically receive their MagicBands via mail. Day guests (that are not staying at a Disney Resort) can purchase a MagicBand for $12.95 on the day of their visit and then they can program their experience right there in the park via the MyDisneyExperience app or a kiosk in the park. Just so you know, you do not have to purchase the MagicBand to enjoy MyMagic+ options and to plan out your trip in advance.  Once you purchase your tickets you can go over to MyDisneyExperience.com and get started.

Lamar and I truly enjoyed the convenience of MyMagic+. We’re planners…but we are not super far in advance planners.  So, we planned our FastPass+ attractions in the hotel room and on the bus on the way to the park. And we loved it.  And of course I loved the MagicBands.  I put it on and everything I needed was on my wrist all day long.  I used it for admission to the park, to make purchases, to access my FastPass+ attractions, and to enter my Disney Resort Hotel room.

BMWK – if you have not been to Walt Disney World lately, then it’s time to plan another trip so that you can experience MyMagic+ for yourself.

Disclosure:  Disney invited us to the media preview of the The Seven Dwarfs Mine train and covered our hotel room and park passes.  However, all opinions are my own and i truly did enjoy the experience.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 522 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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