Traveling alone is a great opportunity for personal growth and new experiences. Other times, independent travel is necessary for business and personal matters, such as visiting family. Regardless, traveling alone often gets a bad rap for being unsafe. Thankfully, there are a few safety and self-defense tips for traveling alone to keep you safe and sound on your trip.
Before we get into self-defense tips, you should be familiar with a few precautionary tips to ease your mind about solo travel and keep you out of any sticky situations.
Always let someone know what your travel plans are. Have someone back home that you can communicate your plan to so that they know you are safe and sound. Reach out to this person often with check-ins, changes in plans, and an emergency plan if necessary. Over-communicating with this person is a great way to calm nerves about going to an unfamiliar destination alone.
Having a set plan will help your travel run smoother and safer. Plan out your travel routes and accommodations in advance to decrease the likelihood of having to stop and interact with strangers in unfamiliar areas. This can also help boost your confidence in the moment, making you look less like a target.
Prevention tips are great, but what should you do if you are in danger? Here are a few self-defense tips to keep in mind when traveling alone.
Grab People’s Attention
In a scenario where you do not feel safe, gain the attention of those around you. In the case that you come under attack, make as much noise as possible. Yell for help or shout other things that might grab people’s attention, such as “fire!” These types of exclamations will often get attention from passersby, giving you a chance to ask for help. If you are not being attacked but feel that you might be in danger, reach out to waitstaff, hotel staff, or even other friendly patrons to keep you company until you feel safe again. In these instances, avoid looking distracted by your phone or other belongings.
Use Any Item as a Weapon
While a pocketknife or a can of pepper spray can be useful to scare off an attacker or protect yourself in a dangerous situation, if you are traveling via plane, you most likely cannot take these items with you. In this case, use other items you may have on you as a weapon. Pens, keys, and even canes can function as a defensive tool in a time of distress. Use these items against an attacker by targeting vulnerable points of the body, such as the eyes, nose, throat, and groin, to stun your attacker long enough to get away.