Travel Safety: 4 Self-Defense Skills Every Woman Should Know

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Traveling can be a life-changing, yet dangerous experience if you are not careful. There’s always so much excitement when you’re getting lost in a new city or town, but new environments can lead to new problems. Whether traveling domestically or abroad, you must take key precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Between keeping track of all your personal items (phone, wallet, identification cards), trying to figure out your way around the city, and visiting multiple destinations each day, things can get chaotic. To help women stay safe while traveling, Krav Maga Worldwide, an industry leader in self-defense and fitness, has put together a list of personal safety tips to keep in mind when in an airport, train station, or unfamiliar city.

  1. Stay aware of your surroundings by scanning your environment. No matter how busy you are, do not allow your mind to wander. It might seem important in the moment to be making a to-do list in your head, but if you are worrying about what you need to do when you get home you might not notice someone following you to your vehicle, reading your e-mail over your shoulder, or sliding a hand into your purse.

  2. Park in well-lit areas. Avoid 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, so you should also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle.

  3. Don’t wear your purse so that the strap crosses your body. Wearing a purse strap across your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap. You can become unbalanced or end up in a physical altercation with the assailant. If your purse is draped on one shoulder you can easily let go of it.

  4. Dress casually and comfortably. Now is not the time to make a fashion statement. Leave the high heels and flashy statement-making pieces at home or in your luggage until you arrive at your destination. Jeans and sneakers will help you blend in and if needed enable you to make a quick getaway. Also, avoid wearing large, expensive-looking jewelry pieces that can draw additional attention to you.

Always keep one arm and hand free of luggage and other gear. Many people travel with multiple bags, purses, laptop cases, and other paraphernalia. But, if your arms and hands are tied up with bags you will 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.