Looking for tips to keep your family safe this holiday season? Check out the guest post below all about holiday shopping safety! Stay safe this holiday season with these four holiday shopping safety tips. Celebrate the season and do your holiday shopping smartly.

As soon as the holidays hit, shopping malls and stores from the Atlantic to the Pacific become packed with shoppers looking to score deals and find the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. But amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, consider these four holiday shopping safety tips to keep you safe and sound as you celebrate the season.

1. Parking – Before you even hit the stores, consider your parking strategy. While out doing your holiday shopping, make sure to park in well-lit and well-traveled areas. Whether it’s a parking garage, a parking lot or you’re parallel parking on the street, make sure the spot you choose is in an area that has plenty of lighting and foot traffic. You should never park in a location where you must walk in the dark of night in a secluded parking lot or garage. However, if you do find yourself uncomfortable while walking to your car, most shopping malls and cities have security personnel that are more than willing to escort you to your vehicle. Also, make sure you have the full coverage insurance you need to protect your car and everything in it while you’re out holiday shopping this year. If you don’t have the protection you need, request an online insurance quote to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Payment – When stores are packed with holiday shoppers it’s an ideal opportunity for thieves to take advantage of busy crowds and distracted shoppers. So, always keep your wallet close to your body, whether in your pocket or in your purse. Also, keep your purse zipped and on you at all times. Don’t set your purse or your wallet down on a counter while paying for your purchases, as you might forget it there or someone else can easily grab it when you aren’t paying attention.

3. Purchases – During the holidays, when shoppers move from store to store accumulating more and more bags and packages, be sure to take inventory of what you’re carrying as you leave each store. Never set your bags down on the ground, especially while you’re distracted with paying for another purchase. When you find that you can no longer balance carrying your packages and pay for something else at the same time, consider dropping your bags off at your car. Be sure to keep them out of sight of passersby by locking them in your car’s trunk or back seat for extra security.

4. Parenting – While most people are generally kind and trustworthy, you must always be wary of strangers when you’re out doing your holiday shopping. From always keeping a close eye on your children when out and about, to keeping an eye out for suspicious characters within any busy store, part of being a good citizen is caring about your fellow shoppers and store owners. Give your kids a pep talk before leaving home about not talking to strangers and keeping close to you while you’re out shopping. The site Safety.More4Kids.info even suggests teaching your kids how to call you on a public telephone and who they can go to in a store for help relocating you if they get lost or separated. And also, let a shop owner or security guard know if you suspect someone is shop lifting or doing anything that could harm someone or something.

The holidays are not only a great time to find the perfect gifts for those you love, but a wonderful opportunity to practice these holiday shopping safety tips. Teach them to your children before hitting your favorite stores and sit down with your teens before letting them hit the mall with their friends. Then practice what you teach as you head out with shopping list in hand.

Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance. By: Micah Moon