Summer is upon us — the kids are out of school, and you’re thinking of ways to keep them entertained, without either going broke or going crazy.

The last thing in the world we want to do is add to your stress level. However, we wouldn’t be good public servants if we didn’t pass along a few tips that we think are important to help you have a fun — and safe — summer vacation.

We know how much everyone loves to update their friends and family on social media, but we are begging you to please not advertise ahead of time that you’re leaving town and to refrain from “checking in” at your vacation spot once you get there.

Please wait until you get home before updating everyone with those fun family photos.

We actually worked a residential burglary directly related to this — the victims themselves didn’t post that they were on vacation, but a couple of their teenaged kids did. One ne’er-do-well friend of one of the kids told a couple of his ne’er-do-well buddies — and don’t you know, not only did they take advantage of the family’s empty Winter Haven home, they even stole the car right out of their garage.

When you get to your destination, research and jot down which public safety agencies (police, fire, and EMS) you might need in an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t carry around large amounts of cash.

Criminals live everywhere, and are always on the lookout for non-suspecting strangers who are just in town for a visit. If your trip includes a visit to an amusement park or the wilderness, take pictures of your family members with what they’re wearing each day, and have a safety plan in place of where to meet in case you get separated.

We want you to have a great time on vacation this summer, and come back to Polk County with nothing but happy memories and photos to prove it.

Be safe, everyone.

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