Street Smarts for Travelers

When traveling out of town and you don’t know the area, you need to take extra precautions. Plan your routes out of your hotel to your destination. When going out, tell a friend where you’re going and the approximate time you expect to return. Whenever possible, travel with a friend, or better still, with a group of friends.

Think about these items when out and about:

-If you think you are being followed, walk towards areas with other people and well lit areas.
-Trust your instincts. Get out of situations you don’t feel comfortable in.
-Walk with confidence on the street and at a good, steady pace. Keep your head up and observe your surroundings, don’t look down at the ground. Your attitude and posture repel trouble.

-Don’t respond if someone calls out to you.
-Don’t hesitate to join a grop of strangers is you feel threatened.
-Don’t walk around with an Ipod or headphones on because it distracts you.
-Don’t use ATMs at night.
-Don’t enter public transportation, elevators, etc if the occupants don’t look safe.

Have a plan of action. It is always best to try to think ahead of how to handle situations before you actually encounter them.

If someone threatens you, don’t provoke them. Try to speak gently, but firmly, never weakly. Keep calm, don’t show fear. Back away from trouble. Don’t scream, it tends to make the situation worse. Try to carry a whistle or a personal siren. If you need help, yell “Call 911!” and then start to describe the situation and the attacker(s).

If you are being robbed, give them what they want and get away. Money or possessions are not worth your life.

Don’t let anyone corner you. Flee to a crowded area. Only strike and flee as a last resort.

Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. Get out of the situation and back into crowds of people. You can travel safely but keep your head about you.

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