According to the Global Business Travel Association, 503 million business trips were taken in 2016, which is up from 488 million the previous year. Many of those include solo business trips that can leave the traveler by themselves, in a foreign city, which can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. We connected with the personal self-defense experts at Krav Maga Worldwide, to share some solid tips on how travelers can stay safe while traveling alone for business.
- Research your destination and hotel. Most of the time travelers don’t have a say in what city they are traveling to or which hotel they are staying at so make sure to do your research before heading out on your trip to learn more about the area. Reading reviews online is a great way to get firsthand accounts of visitors’ experiences so you know what to expect or what to be aware of. It is also important to locate where the closest police station and hospital are in relation to your lodging in case of an emergency.
- Keep in touch. Let family or friends know your itinerary and where you’ll be staying in case they need to get a hold of you or they notice something off and need to alert the authorities. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally check in with a text or email to let loved ones know you are okay.
- Don’t make yourself a target. Try to avoid having both headphones in when listening to music while traveling or getting around the city you are visiting. Not only will it distract you if someone were to come up from behind, it can also alert pickpockets that you have a phone or music player on you. Further, leave expensive jewelry at home. It is important to look your best while conducting business, but swap out high-priced jewelry, and jewelry with great sentimental value, for lower-end items that would not be considered irreplaceable.
- Don’t overdo it. Sometimes business trips have downtime where you can explore the city or enjoy a drink at a local pub. Make sure to stick to known safe areas of the city and don’t go overboard with the drinks. It’s important to keep your head on straight and stay alert, especially since you are alone. If you can, do your exploring during the day and stick close to your hotel in the evening.
- Come prepared. Invest in yourself and your safety at home or abroad and learn the basics of self-defense. In addition to learning the physical skills that will disable an attacker, a good self-defense course will impart valuable verbal and body language cues that will deter assailants.
This article originally appeared on ExperFlyer Blog.