1. Plan ahead. It seems to me like planning is second nature to most folks. To people like me, it is a chore! I would much rather jump in the car pick a direction and just drive! I love to find an adventure wherever the road may take me, but that is not always the safest route. Look at the reviews of the attractions at your destination. Check to see if there are any road closures and look at folks opinion of the area. Check out the crime stats and decide if that is the area for your and your family and friends. Have a plan to get to your destination safely. If you are travelling by air, be sure to have a plan to get to your hotel. I feel most vulnerable when transporting my luggage to my hotel when I am travelling. It is best to get to your lodging place and then go exploring.
2. Check in with the State Department. Look up the Department of State's travel alerts and warnings. The website is HERE. The most up to date information is given on the website and can help you to make decisions based upon your travel destination. You can get information about vaccinations, local laws, crime and security warnings, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
3. Have an exit plan. You might be staying in a swanky hotel, but haven't you seen adventure films? They are not always that safest places! Okay, I'm kidding - sort of. Make sure that you review the exits and fire escape plans. You'll be glad that you did - especially if you need to get out in the middle of the night. I have been in a hotel when the fire alarm was pulled and I was happy to know where the stairs were!
4. Don't flash your wealth. I will never forget the time that we were travelling in Haiti and had car trouble. One of the fellas with us started to hand out cash to the men who had helped us to get the car started again. We were suddenly swarmed with men who claimed to have been of assistance and had to nearly run them over to get out! They were shaking the car and pounding on the windows. It was scary! Keep your cash in your wallet or in a belly band or in your sock! If you must tip someone, have a small amount of small bills prepared for such an occasion. Never start randomly handing out cash - you will NEVER have enough! I have found that this device - FlipBelt - held my passport, hotel key and extra money quite well. I could hide it under my clothes, it stayed in place and it was very comfortable. (No, I don't get money from them)
5. Stay with a group. There is safety in numbers. I like my alone time, too. However, it is just too tempting for a potential kidnapper or thief to target solitary figures. Although, I would like to point out that who you are with can make a huge difference. I have walked the streets of New York City with three other Krav Maga Instructors (one was a Master Instructor) and felt quite safe and got into zero trouble. I have also walked the streets (dirt paths) in the mountains of Mexico with my girlfriends (who are missionaries) and nearly got into a fight for disturbing goats - you can ask me about that story at the gym. I'm just saying that we were much safer as a group than we would have been all alone.
6. Train to hone your observation skills. The best training that I have ever received was my training in Krav Maga. The more you train, the more you realize what can go wrong and the more observant you become to your surroundings. I'm going to take that a step farther and say that the more proficient I become in this craft, the more I want to avoid potential fights. I walk into a room with a plan to escape and I position myself so that I can see the entrance and exits while I am there because I would rather be able to get my kids out if things go bad.
Would you like to train to learn more? Come on by and see us! We are located in Legends Gym and Health Club on Stateline Ave. Click HERE or on the button below.to get registered for a free class! Adults train Monday -Thursday at 7 pm and on Saturday at 10 am. Kids train Monday-Thursday at several times depending on their rank and age. Check out our schedule and come and see us!