St Martin is a wonderful vacation spot with a taste of Europe, wonderful beaches and great year around weather. As a visitor there are some guidelines which may make your visit more trouble free. Avoid the tourist attitude of “I am in paradise therefore I can go anywhere, do anything, use no common sense and all will be fine.” That sets you up for potential problems. Here are some things to keep in mind. Do not

1. leave you valuables lying on a table out in the open.

2. leave things unattended on a beach

3. carry large sums of money

4. wear a lot of expensive looking jewelry

5. bring anything that is irreplaceable

6. take out money and count it out in the open

7. walk down a dark road or alley at night alone

8. go to a secluded beach alone or significant other

9. carry valuables when going to the beach

10. Send off your teens alone at night

11. go off by yourself especially at night Do not leave your brains at home -you would not do these things at home so why would you do it on vacation

Do 1. be aware of your surroundings - if you feel uncomfortable - leave immediately

2. use the crime postings as a reminder that crime does happen but do not let it deter you. Incidents do not mean that the destination is not safe.

3. have a designated driver if out bar hopping - this is not only important for driving but also for safety - someone who has been drinking is an easier target.

4. Do bring your bathing suit, suntan lotion and spend your time discovering the island with all of it’s wonderful beaches and delightful people. Some of this may seem common sense but often when we vacation we seem to leave all that behind and then become frustrated when something happens.