With temperatures in the 90’s, it already feels like summer here in Texas, and we know we’re not the only ones with wanderlust after the past few years. For those of us who are booking much-needed travel plans to new cities and countries this year, safety must be a top priority.
The unfortunate reality is that danger is out there, and tourists are a target. Although 87% of us are concerned about safety when traveling, this only stops 6% of us from actually traveling. Women are more likely than men to be targeted while traveling - which means it’s important to have a personal safety plan.
Before you pack your bags for your next adventure, be sure to familiarize yourself with these 5 safety tips.
1. Research your destination and carry laws, and be up-to-date on TSA guidelines.
Safety starts before you leave your house. Learn everything you can about the location, including common safety risks or scams, and dangerous neighborhoods.
If you’re looking to carry, make sure to research local laws and reciprocity when it comes to your license before you leave. The United States Concealed Carry Association’s easy-to-use Reciprocity Map is a great place to start.
If you’re unable to travel with your firearm, consider alternatives such as pepper spray, stun guns, or tactical pens. Just remember, when flying, personal protection items are not allowed in hand luggage or your person. When in doubt, check the TSA website or tweet @AskTSA and they’ll get back to you! Our concealed carry line is perfect for all forms of personal protection - and a great place to stash your passport at the airport.
2. Use social media with caution.
While it is tempting to post your jaw-dropping sunset views, and beachfront drinks on Instagram, it lets criminals know when you’re away from home and where you’re likely to be found. Don’t check in to specific locations, and hold off on posting your content until you’re back home safely.
3. Safeguard your hotel room or rental.
Always do a quick check before you settle in anywhere new. Know your exits, check the closets and bathrooms. Look around for cameras.
While you’re exploring for the day, there are indicators you can leave behind to give the impression that you’re in the room. Keep the lights and television on. Leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door, and keep the blinds closed.
Once you’re in for the night, make sure to lock the deadbolt. Staying somewhere without a deadbolt? Grab a portable alarm like this one. Again, keep the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door and the blinds closed.
4. Check in with friends and family back home.
Share your itinerary with your loved ones before you leave, and connect with them regularly while you’re away. Call, or FaceTime them frequently, and keep them updated on your trip progress. When you’re traveling solo, scheduling check-ins can mean the difference between hours and days before someone knows to look for you.
5. Bring copies, or scan your important documents.
In the unfortunate event of theft while traveling, you can minimize the impact by having back-up copies of your passport, carry license, insurance information, etc. These can be hard-copies that you keep back in the hotel room, or digital copies that you scan into your devices. We also like to email them to ourselves and a trusted friend just in case we can’t get to them ourselves in an emergency.
Our goal is to empower women to safely and confidently handle whatever life throws their way, and that includes potential threats in new environments. So do your research, stay alert, and get home safely! Shopping for the perfect travel bag that stands out from the crowd? Try the Muddy Girl Backpack or Duffle.