Situational Awareness | Easy Ways To Make Holiday Travel Safe.
Self-defense, fitness, and fight training at Krav Maga Worldwide certified training centers will make you safer and stronger. One of the most important self-defense skills that our training teaches students is situational awareness. Learning to develop situational awareness is basically about being aware of your surroundings, understanding them, and understanding what sort of circumstances could possibly develop in them.
When you think about situational awareness in terms of an attack or assault, it’s ultimately about avoiding danger and prevention. A person who is aware of where they are, what dangers are around them, and how to mitigate those dangers has a better chance of reducing the risk of being attacked or assaulted than someone who doesn’t.
Situational awareness is a skill that, really, can be applied to many different facets of daily life to eliminate physical dangers as well as stressful problems. Much of this is about planning, strategy, and being proactive in eliminating obstacles before they arise.
One general situation that presents myriad problems and constantly changing set of circumstances and surroundings is traveling. The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year in terms of travel. According to this survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 47% of those surveyed planned on traveling during this years holidays.
That means a huge number of people are going to be in transit on planes, trains, and automobiles. All sorts of dangerous and problematic situations are going to develop as a result. There will be an increased risk of accidents, assaults, petty crimes, illness, etc. All of these sorts of things should be thought about and planned for in some way. Taking a situational awareness approach to travel will help people stay safe.
Whether you are traveling alone or with friends and family, maintaining personal safety during your trip should be a priority. When we think about the best way to be safe when traveling during the holiday season there are a simple steps you can take to make sure you are staying ahead of the game.
Know where you are going.
There is no doubt that a large group of holiday travelers will be going to a destination they are familiar with. However doing a little research into your destination and where you will be staying is always a good idea.
This means checking sites like Next Door or Citizen for what sort of criminal activity is prevalent in the place your traveling to, reading reviews on hotels, and doing things like becoming familiar with the routes you will be taking. It’s also a good idea to look into where the closest first responders like police and emergency medical services are located.
If you are already familiar with the lay of the land, it will be more difficult to get lost or confused by your surroundings, reduce the risk of ending up somewhere you don’t want to be, and in that way prevent you from becoming a target.
It’s also a good idea to check the weather report in the location you are traveling to so you will know what sort of elements you’ll be dealing with and what sort of delays and/or problems could arise from the weather.
Pack with a purpose.
Depending on where you are going, you should think about what sort of environments you will be traveling through to get there. That is to say, if you are going to be flying, taking a train, or a bus and you’ll have to be moving through an airport or depot of some sort, make sure that you are packing in a way that allows you to move unencumbered. Think about being efficient so that you won’t be bogged down.
Don’t travel with valuables or items that are irreplaceable. There are too many things that can go wrong. From being robbed of your valuables to having them get lost in transit, it’s ultimately just a better idea to leave these kind of items at home and out of the equation altogether. Every wants to look their best when they are celebrating the holidays, but do some planning regarding just what sort of items you’ll really need while you are on vacation.
If you’re planning on bringing gifts for friends and family that you are ultimately going to give away when you arrive, consider sending those gifts to a safe location in advance so you don’t have to carry them with you.
Traveling by car also presents some safety issues, especially if you’ll be traveling to a location with less than perfect weather. Make sure you pack your car in a way that doesn’t inhibit your field of vision or ability to move and react. Don’t overpack the exterior of the car so that things could fall off. Don’t stack things in the interior of your car that could shifting, fall, or fly around dangerously if you have to maneuver.
Have a plan...but be careful who you share it with.
There’s no doubt that you should know where you are going, how you’re going to get there, and what time you should be at various places along the way to your final destination. It’s a really good idea to share this plan and your itinerary with trusted friends or family. That way someone will know where you are supposed to be and, possibly, alert the authorities if something goes wrong along the way. It will also make it easier for friends or family to get in touch with you if they need you.
Trusted people should know where you are going and what you are doing…but consider that not everyone needs to know. One of the fun things about traveling is sharing exciting, interesting, happy times on social media. However this does open up some opportunities for predators.
Think about just how much information about your trip that you want to share. If someone comes across a post from you that indicates you are far from home for an extended period of time, they may seize the opportunity to rob your home…or even target you while you are in your vacation destination.
Don't be a target.
As mentioned above, wherever you go, and whatever you are doing, make sure that you aren’t presenting opportunities for someone to take advantage of you. Try to avoid zoning out into your phone and headphones when moving through crowded areas or around the location you are visiting.
Holiday celebrations with family and friends are almost certain to involve alcohol. Make sure that you aren’t drinking so much that it affects your ability to stay alert and aware. Stick to safe locations with trusted people.
Preventing yourself from being a target also involves taking some steps to protect your home while you are gone. Make sure you have timers for household lights. Set and monitor your home alarm system if you have one. Connect with a neighbor about possibly checking on your home every once in a while, bringing in your mail, and removing packages from your doorstep that might arrive while you are away.
Doing little things like this will make your home less likely to be targeted for a robbery while you are away.
Finally, it’s important to give some thought to situational awareness in terms of your overall health and wellness. Holiday season is generally flu season and even though COVID-19 is not in as many headlines or causing as many restrictions as before, the threat of getting sick while you travel is still very real.
Whether you believe in vaccinations or not…or whether you believe in wearing a mask in public or not, consider that when traveling for the holidays you are going to be around groups of people and frequently exposed to high frequency community touchpoints where pathogens accumulate.
Take steps to make sure that you are protected from pathogens and communicable diseases. Carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes. Perhaps look into sanitizing your clothes with long-lasting disinfecting products like G-Tech.
Learn self-defense at Krav Maga Worldwide.
Taking all of these little steps and planning ahead for the best way to be safe while traveling for the holidays is easy. It will not however completely eliminate the possibility that you might have to defend yourself. There’s just no way that every circumstance can be predicted or prevented.
Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense is a no-holds-barred self-defense system that is designed to be easy to learn and easy to recall under stress. Training at a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center will give you the skills to fight back, get away, and go home safe.
It’s a good idea to be involved in regular training to develop and refine self-defense skills. Krav Maga Worldwide’s mission is to empower every person with these skills. Our certified training centers offer the best in Krav Maga self-defense, fitness, and full contact fight classes. Many of our training centers will let you take a class for free so you can see for yourself that Krav Maga is the best, most effective self-defense system.
If you’re interested in finding “Krav Maga near me” click on this link to find a searchable map of our training center locations. You can also give us a call at 800-572-8624 and we’ll help you find the certified training center closest to you.