Travelers live normal lives. They go out with friends at night. They exercise outside. Some take public transportation. They don’t live in plastic bubbles.
Right now, it’s difficult to feel safe when out and about in public. Unfortunately, travel healthcare workers are not immune to that problem.
So, how do travelers ensure they are safe while on the road? Here are a few tips to live by while on assignment.
Stay close to people. In general, being alone puts you at a higher risk of being a victim of crime or assault. So, the more people you are around, the better. The most ideal situation is to be out with friends! But, if you are walking somewhere alone at night, it is a good idea to find a couple—or a group of people—and walk slightly behind them. It may seem awkward, but it gives the illusion that you are not alone.
Avoid dark areas or tourist areas at night. It may seem obvious, but crimes are much more easily committed in dark areas where nobody can see. It’s also much harder to get help in those types of areas. Simply stick to well-lit areas, roads, and walking paths
Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t constantly blare music while walking around. I’m guilty of this. Turn it down, or simply go without if you are walking alone. This will allow you to hear everything around you.
Keep extra cash on hand for transportation. It’s important to keep a separate stash of money for transportation in case you have to quickly get away from an uncomfortable situation. Keep track of when the last bus/subway leaves your area. Keep a phone number to a local cab service if you miss the last bus/train.
Keep your friends and family updated. It is very important to let someone know where you are going, so that in the event something happens, they know where to start looking.
Be skeptical. If someone is being overly nice and relentlessly trying to “help” you, they may be setting you up to be robbed. This is not normal behavior.
Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you don’t feel comfortable with something, you are likely right. Get out of there in a hurry.
Fight back. If all else fails, defend yourself. Carry pepper spray. Take a self-defense class. Do something to respond if something ever turned violent.
What tips do you have to keep safe? Comment below!