On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of moderating an online forum — Safety and Security: Threat Mitigation for the Traveling Businesswoman — for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). This is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially after the theft of my wallet in New York City earlier this month, which I blog about here.
The presenter (who was fantastic) was Katie Colberg, who works as a travel security management consultant at MEDEX Global Solutions. We also heard from Caroline Bryan, a Gulfstream G550 captain and safety adviser and Terri Fuhrmann, a supervising flight attendant coordinator. These women, along with participants on the webinar, came up with some great safety travel tips. Below, I summarize the top 10. Enjoy!
- Put a scanned copy of your passport on a memory stick. I love this one, because paper can get lost. I always have a thumb drive in my purse and on my key chain.
- Ask for specific rooms in hotels. You want one away from the stairwell, between the 2nd and 7th floors and near the elevators (noisier, but safer).
- Wear an inexpensive wedding ring. I have a family ring I wear that when turned around, looks just like a wedding ring. You are less likely to be approached if you seem to be married.
- Carry a small flashlight and lighter in your purse, and pack a candle. I do all three — the flashlight is for dark spaces; the lighter is to light the candle (which doubles as a room freshener) and other assorted things.
- If you leave the television on in your room and leave, turn it on to a local channel when traveling outside the country. A potential mischief-maker is less likely to target a person they think is a local.
- Pack extra food and water. In the case of the Mumbai hotel attacks, some guests were trapped in their rooms for up to three days without food or water.
- Carry a “Go Bag” and keep it with you at all times. The bag should contain ID/passport, meds, important phone numbers, a pen, paper and batteries. Colberg says that with this bag, if you have to leave your destination quickly, you can.
- Your luggage tag should NOT be a business card. Colberg recommends having one that’s covered, and it should only include your first initial, last name and the address of your office, if possible.
- If you should be attacked, fight dirty. Women are advised to yell loudly, make a scene. Kick/attack spots including groin, knee caps, eyes and the nose, where you can do major damage.
- If you’re lost in an unfamiliar place, be street smart. Approach families or women with children to ask for directions.
There were many more, but you have other blogs to read. But I’d love it if you would share some of your favorite travel tips!