Personal safety experts share tips that can help protect travelers while heading to warmer destinations
In the next few months thousands of people will head to warm locations like Florida, Arizona and Texas for a few months to escape the winter weather where they are from. It’s important for snowbirds to be aware of their surroundings while traveling to and from their destination, especially if they are taking a road trip because they will be driving through various cities and there is always the risk of a car issue that can leave them stranded in an unfamiliar city. To help snowbirds stay safe while traveling, Krav Maga Worldwide, the industry leader in self-defense and fitness, has put together a list of personal safety tips to keep in mind.
Inform family & friends of travel details-It is important to inform your family and friends of your travel details so that someone knows where you are and can easily call for help if something seems suspicious. Let them know where you will be staying and how they can reach you. If you are driving to your destination, make sure to also inform them of any place you spend the night along your route.
Double-check your travel necessities- Make sure you have passports, boarding pass, IDs and any other travel necessities you may need. It is also important to make sure you have an emergency kit handy, especially if you are driving. Portable phone charger, first aid items, blankets, food, water and flashlight are all good items to stash in your kit. It also is a good idea to take your car to a mechanic to make sure there are no issues before you hit the road.
Always keep one arm and hand free of luggage and other gear. Many people travel with multiple bags, purses, lap top cases and other paraphernalia. But, if your arms and hands are tied up with bags you have no means of defending yourself from an attacker. Luggage that can stack together securely and be pulled by one handle is a safer choice than wearing and carrying numerous bags on your person. Follow this rule not only while traveling, but once you get to your destination and are exploring the area. The less items you have on you, the better.
Stay Together- Even though it can be frustrating to travel everywhere with someone else, stick to the buddy system. Even for a quick trip to the grocery store have a travel companion come with you. You can never be too cautious, especially in areas you aren’t familiar with.
Park in well-lit areas and only visit populated places- Avoid parking in spots next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car and yourself as visible to as many people as possible and also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle. If you are stopping for gas, a bathroom break, food or just to stretch your legs make sure to only visit populated areas. If you can, try to schedule your pit stops beforehand so that you know you are in a safe area instead of just having to get to the nearest gas station.