Ever since the horrible events of September 11th, 2001, many people who were once oblivious to the possible dangers they could be exposed to while traveling, forever altered they way of looking at the world. While many changed their preferred method of transportation from, say, planes to trains, it’s easy to see that most have a newfound perspective on the need for “a little extra” when they travel.
The truth is though, there have been dangers and present for those who travel, whether for business, vacation, or just going to see family, for as long as there have been humans on the planet. And, while in most areas of the world, you probably don’t have to worry about bandits along the road or having your cruise ship taken over by pirates, there are still plenty of bad guys out there with an agenda and you as a potential target.
The following is a list of safety and self-defense tips that I teach my clients who travel. The tips themselves are general and not specific to mode or method of transportation. Of course, your life is your own but, it’s important to remember that, when developing a self-defense strategy, you should begin by examining your own habits and patterns. Remember that the attacker will show up where you feel comfortable and safe. Where ever you go, that environment is where the assailant or other danger will come from.
Survival Tips for the Smart Traveler
1. Stay Informed. A little research and information-gathering can go a long way toward allowing you to avoid common dangers and threats. While you can’t know everything, being “clue-less” until something happens is a surefire recipe for disaster.
2. Have a Survival Kit. This is a handy little pack that includes things that will make it easier to stay safe and alive should something happen. Of course, your kit will be designed around your trip and the possible dangers you might face. I teach my students and clients how to design kits of varying sizes and configurations so that they’re prepared for the specific dangers they may have to face.
3. Learn Some Safety Skills. These might include some wilderness survival training for people who fly or travel through or over areas where the distance between civilized areas is great, self-defense tactics for defending against someone armed with, say… A box-cutter, to being able to swim and stay afloat in water deeper than your pool.
4. Carry a “Dummy Wallet.” During a mugging, the assailant is usually just after a quick buck because he doesn’t have time. Carrying a wallet with ten or twenty dollars in small bills and even some old, expired credit cards, is a type of “insurance” that will allow your attacker to think he’s gotten something while allowing you to go unharmed or give up your hard-earned valuables. A small price to pay for the time, aggravation, and pain that an attack can cause.
5. Arm Yourself. I know that in this day and age, especially in the US, this is frowned upon because of so-called “national security.” But, I’m not talking about carrying guns and knives. Anything can be a potential weapon, IF you know how to use it. My suggestion is to carry a good, strong ball-point pen. They’re legal, non-threatening, and…
Learning to use one effectively is as simple as picking up a good book that teaches the use of the Kubotan or self-defense keychain. You can get more information about this weapon and how to use it at http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/self-defense-keychain.html
6. Ignore “Official” Safety Guidelines. This should have made your senses perk up! Of course, many safety guidelines are correct and workable but, and this is a big “but,” you won’t know which ones until you either do the research I talked about above or consulted with an expert who really knows how to survive. Remember, most guidelines were NOT designed by the survivors who attacks or other dangers, but rather executive types that have the job of coming up with plans that sound like they “should work,” or ones who have the job of making you “feel” safe as opposed to actually “being” safe.
7. Be Prepared. The Boy and Girl Scout motto is just as viable today as it was when you were going on a camping trip with your childhood leaders. The more that you can know and do in a crisis situation, or preferably in avoiding one altogether, the better off you will be. Consider your training and preparation to be insurance. Actually, it’s better than conventional insurance because… You won’t have to wait to be beaten, robbed, or killed, before this type of insurance pays off!