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The Traveler’s Safety Guide

10 Safety Tips for Traveling Alone

You’re ready for your next trip. Your ticket is bought and bags packed; you haven’t forgotten your toothbrush, phone charger, or a snack for the road. Whether you are traveling for business, for leisure, or on sightseeing tours, if you are unaccompanied, you must take extra precautions. Make sure you are ultimately prepared by remembering these travel safety tips:

1. Find a safe place to stay. It is important to find somewhere with a decent amount of public places around so you do not have to walk or drive far by yourself. Also, learn about the area before you go, it will help you get around quicker and avoid any dangerous places. This is also very important for women because if it is obvious to a predator that a woman does not know the area, she will appear more vulnerable and be considered an easy target. Feel free to contact the local police department who can lend some perspective about the safety of your areas of travel.

2. Be a moving target. When you finally arrive at your destination, do not linger around the airport. Going from point A to point B with purpose will make you less of a target because you will not be in one spot long enough for someone to plan an attack. Try your best to act like you know exactly where you are. Since you studied the area before you left or reviewed a map, get to the closest rental car center or wave a taxi so you can go immediately to the hotel.

3. Always valet. Once you arrive at the hotel, use valet parking, if available. This way, you will never have to walk to and from your car alone. If there is no valet service, park as close to the front entrance as possible in a well-lit area.

4. Keep it mysterious. When you register in the hotel, do not to write your full name; instead, put your first initial or write “Mr. and Mrs.” If the hotel clerk says your room number out loud, you should politely request a new one and ask them not to say your room number out loud again. When walking to your room, be certain there is no one following or attempting to see where you are staying, specifically.

5. Know the escape route. Make sure you are aware of how many exits there are and their location in case of an emergency. Do not be shy about asking the hotel what their safety drills are for fires, storms or extended power outages. It is important to know exactly how to evacuate your room rather than trying to guess. And, in the event of an emergency, always utilize stairwells.

6. Carry an “empty” purse. Be careful not to carry too much cash; only bring what you think is necessary for the trip. Try to place your credit cards and other important items somewhere other than a purse. If it is stolen, you will not have to worry about cancelling your credit cards or loosing valuables. Be sure to utilize the vault/safe in your hotel; it is there for a reason.

7. Keep your door locked. Even if you are in the hotel room for just 10 minutes or quickly stepping out for ice, be sure the door is locked at all times. Be absolutely positive you know who is on the other side of the door before you open it. If you suspect it is a staff member of the hotel, you should call the front office and verify.

8. Never reveal you are alone. If someone asks you if you need help with directions you could say, “We know where we are, but thank you!” or if they ask if it is your first time here say, “We come here often, it’s great!” This way you show that you are not alone and you know where you are going.

9. Don’t give out too much information. If you meet new people, do not tell them where you are staying. If they want to spend time together and you believe they are not a threat, be sure to meet in a public place. If they are truly honest people, without a hidden agenda, they won’t mind.

10. Use self-defense. In case someone does try to hurt you, it would be helpful to know a few self-defense moves. This is extremely important for women because typically men are stronger and would probably be able to overpower you if you do not know how to defend yourself. Carrying then properly using pepper spray could one day prove to be a life saver.

Emergencies and accidents happen. If you are traveling alone, follow your instincts to protect yourself. Many people, when placed in an uncomfortable or emergent situation, you may not be able to think clearly. That is why it is important to take precautionary measures to ensure you are making smart, safe decisions in unfamiliar places.

For more information about personal safety, please contact the Fallston Group at info@fallstongroup.com or call 410.420.2001. The Fallston Group works with people and organizations to help them prepare for, navigate through or recover from issues of adversity and crisis.

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