Safety Devices For Women Traveling
It’s the start of a new year, and that means that many of us (14 percent of us, according to Nielsen) are making plans to travel in 2017. Visiting new places and experiencing new cultures has long been an item on bucket lists the world over, but the modern era has seen a shift in how – and with whom – we see the world. In fact, the New York Times reported that 2015 saw nearly a quarter of international travelers flying solo and sightseeing on their own.
Solo travel can be a very fulfilling experience. You can see the things you want to – on your own schedule, too. You can make new, international friends or dedicate your time to quiet self-reflection. However, solo travel can also be risky. This is particularly true for women, who may feel vulnerable to predatory behavior on their own in a new place.
So how can a woman reap the benefits of solo travel in 2017 while still maintaining her peace of mind? Here are a few safety tips and devices any woman should include in her travel essentials:
Before you set out on your trip, be sure that you know how to stay safe – and, if necessary, fight someone off. Whether you are traveling across the country or around the world, a woman should always be prepared to defend herself from an attacker.
As Tech Republic points out, the need to protect yourself is even greater when you are traveling alone, which is why self-defense classes or instructional fighting DVDs should be part of your travel preparations. Brush up on some key defensive maneuvers in the weeks before your trip; even if you never use them, you’ll feel more secure as you travel in an unfamiliar place.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to personal safety. Let’s say, for example, that fighting simply isn’t your style. That’s fine, and hopefully, you’ll never be faced with that “fight or flight” scenario. However, you should still take steps to protect yourself from potential danger, even if that means using 3 million volts.
Many women consider stun guns an essential item to keep on their person, both at home and while traveling. With discreet options, like lipstick stun guns or cell phone stun guns on the market, you can feel safe and protected while the people around you are none the wiser. However, if you’re flying, be sure you check your stun gun as these devices are not allowed in carry-on luggage!
Pepper spray is another self-defense item that many women keep handy in their day-to-day lives. Many sprays have an average range of up to 20 feet, which makes them great for keeping would-be assailants far from you. The market for mace is vast and varied, too; you can find intimidating gun-shaped spray bottles, discreet keychains, or even a bedazzled bottle in the color of your choice.
Of course, using pepper spray effectively does require a decent aim, so be sure to test your spray (with a practice cartridge!) before you travel. Additionally, this is another item that cannot travel in the airplane cabin with you.
Until now we’ve been discussing technology that can keep you safe in an unsavory encounter with another human. But what can you do when a wild or aggressive animal is in your path? There are many devices, such as dog repellents or bear pepper spray, that you can use to escape a scary situation with an animal.
Typically, these devices involve high pitched noises, strobe lights, or a milder form of your standard pepper spray. While they may temporarily disorient an animal, it will not cause serious harm – making it a humane option that even animal lovers can get behind.
Siren or Alarm Apps
The odds of someone traveling without their phone are pretty low these days. This is why sites like Solo Traveler suggest downloading an app or two that can help you in unsafe situations. One example is the SOS Whistle app, which emits a loud whistling sound and can help alert passersby if you are hurt, lost, or in any other sort of danger.
With these devices in your luggage, you can feel confident that you will be totally safe when you travel – whether you are with your family, friends, or flying solo.
Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA. He has written on behalf of a range of clients including the Livestrong Network and Demand Media. In addition to writing about a range of topics, he enjoys playing basketball and cooking in his spare time.