Situational awareness can actually enhance your travel experience, as well as help keep you safe. The following is an aid to assist you in developing skills in your everyday life and when traveling.
Keep your eyes and ears open. Remain aware of your surroundings. Be responsible for your own safety. Do not be engrossed in your cell phone, and do not have your music ears on.
Recognize threats and where they are coming from.
Follow local news.
Identify all exits whether it be a hotel, restaurant, sporting event, etc.
Know the location of safe places and shelters, as well as hospitals.
Plan how to respond to an emergency.
Monitor your email for travel alerts.
Know the risks and how to report anything suspicious.
Have a cell phone with an enabled international plan (when traveling).
Carry hard copies of emergency contact cards. Know local emergency numbers.
Protect your personal information.
Be discreet on social media about yourself and your plans as they do not provide “secure” communications.
When traveling, always share your itinerary with a family member and emergency contacts. Stay in contact with them while traveling to minimize unnecessary anxiety.
Avoid traveling to countries with an active U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Observe road safety while taking local transportation or as a pedestrian. Road crashes are the leading cause of death and injury to travelers.
Maintain a low profile. Blend in with local people through your dress and behavior. Be aware of cultural differences and abide by local customs and laws.
Avoid demonstrations as they can sometimes turn violent without warning.
Learn basic survival phrases in the local language (I need help, Call the police, I need a doctor).
Avoid large public gatherings.
Register online with the U.S. Department of State, https://step.state.gov/step/.
We live WITH terror, but we don’t have to live IN terror.