When you come down to Miami for a vacation on one of the fabulous cruises that pass in and out of the Port of Miami every day, there is one thing that you absolutely need to find: safe cruise parking. The last thing you want to deal with after you get back from your fun (but terribly exhausting) trip is your car being gone or smashed into and ransacked. When you start to look for safe parking, and this is something that really can apply anywhere, you need to keep a few things in mind. According to Fox News, a car is stolen in the United States every 40 seconds. If you do the math, that is 90 cars an hour, 2,160 cars a day, and 604,800 cars a week. If your cruise is five days long and you’re off sailing around the deep blue seas while 2,160 cars are being stolen every day, you might want to do your best to make sure yours isn’t one of them.

Ways to Tell If It’s Safe

The best thing to do when trying to decide if a parking space is going to be safe is to think like a thief. How many other cars are parked there? Is there a lot of foot traffic or do people park their cars all at once then disappear for the day? (This might be the kind of scenario you run into around office parking lots or garages.) If you were a thief, how long would you have to try and get into your car before you think someone would notice you? Other factors in that might be how well lit the area is, if your car will be visible from wherever it is you are going to be, and the kind of neighborhood you are parking in. This is why your safe cruise parking is going to be well lit, well manned, and busy.

It’s the Simple Things

When you look at crime statistics, some of the things that have the biggest impact on theft prevention are very simple. The biggest? Locking your car doors. If you leave your car unlocked, a thief can slip right in without alerting anyone’s suspicions. This gives them all the time in the world to try and hot wire your car or simply riffle through your things to try and figure out what’s worth taking and what’s junk. Another simple step would be keeping your window up when you’re not in the car. If you leave your windows down, even just a few inches, you might as well be leaving your car unlocked. Other easy things would include hiding your valuables or taking them with you, hiding electronic accessories, and keeping your car clean.

The Real Cost

When you park on the street for extended periods of time, you are opening yourself up to risk. If your car gets stolen, consider all of the things you will have to pay for. You will need to file an insurance claim, which will, in turn, raise your rates and possibly your deductible. You might have to get a rental car. Rental car fees can add up and if you damage the car in any way, it’ll cost you big. You may have to cover the costs of anything inside your vehicle. Even if your car is recovered, the MP3 player, the shopping bags and the GPS might not be. If your car can’t be found, you will have to get a new one. If you owned your car outright, now you will be adding a brand new car payment to your monthly bills. If you were still mid-payments, now all of that money has been wasted and you are that much farther from owning a car. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle and stress of finding a new car after a pricey vacation, play it safe. There is safe cruise parking to be found at the Port of Miami, all you have to do is look.