Travel Safely

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by KenpoTess, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. KenpoTess

    KenpoTess Sr. Grandmaster

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    When traveling alone ...
    From numerous articles on women's safety.

    Hotels

    Choose a hotel where security is good and transportation is readily available and nearby. Check that all the doors and windows in your room have locks and that they work. If you feel uncomfortable, ask hotel security to escort you to and from parking lots or your room at night. Always use your peephole and common sense about letting strangers into your room.

    Set down all your bags before you open the hotel room door.

    Open the door all the way and wait for any sign that things are out of order.

    Feel inside the door to turn on a lightswitch.

    Prop the door open with your luggage.

    Carefully look at the room you can see and look for anything out of order.

    Look in or open the bathroom door and turn on the light -- look for anything unusual.

    Open all the closets and look under the beds.

    Walk to the window/balcony and make sure the window/door is locked -
    especially if you're on the first floor.

    Make sure that every member of the group you're travelling with has your room number.

    Use common sense and be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you are unsure in general about the local situation, feel free to check with the American Citizens Services section of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the latest security information.

    Don't announce that you are traveling alone! Some guides for women even advise wearing a wedding ring if you're single. If you feel like you're being followed, step into a store or other safe place and wait to see if the person you think is following has passed. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for someone to double check for you to see if all is safe. Display confidence. By looking and acting as if you know where you're going, you may be able to ward off some potential danger.

    Ask for directions before you set out. No matter how modest your lodgings are, your hotel concierge or other hotel staff should be able to help. If you find yourself lost, do not be afraid to ask for directions. Generally, the safest people to ask are families or women with children. Getting the right information may save you from ending up in a potentially unsafe area.

    what other tips/advice should a woman be aware of?
     
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  2. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Travel season is coming up!
     
  3. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    I think KenpoTess did a wonderful job of outlining tips for women traveling.

    The most importnat thing is to stay aware! Use your head and think before you act. I've seen women end up in potentially dangerous situations simply because they were not aware of their surroundings and didn't think before acting.

    7sm
     
  4. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    These tips are great ones for men as well. It doesn't take much to take you out if you are not aware of your surroundings.
     
  5. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    Good point, I'm allways aware of angles to buildings, if I'm walking around a corner, I'll take it a little wider and such. It never hurts to be cautious and aware of yourself and surroundings.

    7sm
     
  6. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that does that. I had a non-MA friend of mine along for the ride at work one night and as we walked through a truck stop parking lot he noticed that I tended to take corners while walking the same way I took them while driving (swinging wide). He commented on it and asked if I'd been driving so long that I even walked like a truck. When I explained why I did it we began a discussion on MA and situational awareness and preparedness that lasted the rest of the night. I think he learned alot that night. Still haven't talked him into starting training yet, but I'm working on him.
     
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I go wide around corners and alleyways and parked cars also.
     
  8. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    You mean everyone does not do this? I do. The few extra steps are nothing in the big picture. :asian:
     
  9. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    This was my reaction when I realized that my friend didn't do these things. Those extra couple of steps could mean an extra couple of seconds of reaction time. It is surprising what becomes second nature after a period of training. The mind just does what it does without bother the conscious thought about it.
     
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    The 25 Nov. 2003 issue of the NY Times carried an article "Women's Concenrs Push Hotels to Improve Security" that discussed attacks in hotels. In one case a woman traveling on business answered a knock at a hotel door, assuming it was a colleague despite the late hour, and was shoved back into her room at knifepoint and sexually assaulted; a flight attendant on a fligh attendants only floor (one of 3 at this hotel) was attacked ina hallway and dragged into her room and assaulted. Another flight attendant who witnessed this called the hotel operator for help--twice--to no avail. Another case involved a hotel handyman.

    From the article:
    "Industry experts offer pretty much the same safety tips they always have, with Rule No. 1 not to become overconfident just because you have a lot of traveling experience."
     
  11. yumeiko

    yumeiko Yellow Belt

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    more hotel safety tips:

    1) if traveling alone put down mr. and mrs. whatever. or just a last name so no one can identify what sex you are.

    2) when going into a room make sure the curtains are opened. if they aren't opened don't go in, because the hotel staff is supposed to leave those open, and it might mean something is a miss.
     
  12. Anthony Walmsley

    Anthony Walmsley White Belt

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    From my experience in the music business, I would add:
    Before leaving home or your base, make two complete photocopy sets of all personal documents; leave one set at home and carry the second set with you. Should your documents be stolen or lost, you'll have a copy for reference.
    Add to the copy left at home, contact 'phone numbers including: personal, company or friends, and if you have them up front, contact numbers and addresses of where you will be staylng and when.
    On arriving in a hotel, and having checked that all is in order, 'phone home, a friend or your company, confirm that you have arrived safely and leave all relative info in case they need to contact you, not forgetting your room number.
    Never leave a hotel without taking the address/telephone number of same with you - one would be surprised how many times people I know of, couldn't remember the hotel name or address. I can assure everybody that this may easily happen if one is on a prolonged tour, changing hotels every night, or has had a drink too many.
    Do not eat out, unless you're in company you know, use the hotel's restaurant or room service. If single, wear a wedding ring and take a book or documents to the restaurant - you can pretend to be reading and, should you be bothered, can tell the person you're waiting for your husband.


    Anthony Walmsley.
    www.wau.it/haha
     
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  13. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    I just went back over this thread for a review before hitting the road.:redcaptur

    Thanks for all the reminders. Traveling with a dog is an interesting variable too, with added benefits and challenges. Here are some thoughts with that:


    Train your dog a few different hand signals for "speak." It makes a useful bluff. There are other bluff behaviors you can train as well.

    Likewise, you can train your dog to alert to the presence of strangers at the door, or coming too close behind you. If you're really worried you can even teach your dog to enter a room, turn on the lights, and give an "all clear" signal.

    When you have to leave the dog unattended in your car, make arrangements to give him some privacy - a crate with a blanket over it, for instance. Surround the crate with other objects so it blends in as one more box.

    When walking the dog, stick to well-traveled areas. That way you're safer while you're distracted by scooping.

    And of course, the most obvious prevention measure ... respect all local laws and customs regarding dogs.

    More coming as I think of them. :wavey:
     
  14. trijohn

    trijohn White Belt

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    Hello...anybody out there on Women's Safety? I see it's been a while since anyone spoke on this very important issue. I'm very new to this site and just happen to be a Women's Personal Safety Instructor. I'd love to chat.





     
  15. JohnnyEnglish

    JohnnyEnglish Green Belt

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    Sorry but this sounds pretty paranoid to me.

    Somebody who is exactly going through life like this, will end up in a long and bad deppression if not psychosis.
     
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  16. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    I think you should take the time to put yourself into the shoes of a petite woman. I'm a 6'1" 200 lbs male who works out regularly and does martial arts (ie fit), so I honestly don't have problems walking down an alley by myself. But I look at my wife who is 5'2" and 110 lbs... she's exactly the type that predators prey on. I am in the military and we have discussions about rape, frank discussions between male and female members while looking at statistics, and there is typically a very large difference between males' and females' perspectives on threats. As a US service member I am taught/expected to do many of these same things because I can be a target when traveling aboard. To say that a woman is being "paranoid" by doing many of these things is a very naïve attitude.
     
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  17. JohnnyEnglish

    JohnnyEnglish Green Belt

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    Umm, I am also from planet earth! I know many women who are no martial artists and also not very tall. I travelled a lot with women and I know many women travelling alone through the whole world. NON of them would follow such " paranoid-process ". This is too extreme.

    YES, do not trust everyone, YES do not follow males you don't know to empty non-public places. But the whole thing with checking below the bed and the cabinets and open the door to wait for alerts, come on. This is way too paranoid. Maybe it's the American way of life, but the women in my country are not as paranoid when travelling.

    It's my opinion! If you feel this unsafe that you need to follow this type of advise so strictly, do it. But a walk to the next Psychatrist might be the better idea.
     
  18. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    speaking only as a long time member here and someone who has traveled more than a little bit, I will say better a trip to a psychiatrist than a trip to the emergency room or a funeral parlor.
    All parts of the world are different and people treat other people differently but the threat to woman seems to be prevalent no matter what part of the world one lives in and woman meed to be aware of their surroundings everywhere.
     
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  19. JohnnyEnglish

    JohnnyEnglish Green Belt

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    You are absolute correct, women have to be aware. But not paranoid, the guide or however you want call it, is more than a paranoid-profile. ;)
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The tips aren't really for travelling to the shops or to the next town, they are for travellers venturing much further afield, I don't think taking sensible precautions during a trip abroad is likely to make you paranoid. There's certain countries where precautions are needed, travelling as a lone woman in India is high risk, travelling anywhere as a lone woman can be more risky than travelling at home. The culture of some countries sees women differently from at home though that doesn't mean not taking precautions when travelling alone at home. None of the posters on here are in the business of scaring women or wanting to make them paranoid.
     
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