Whether you are an avid international traveler or happen to jump around from city to city in the U.S., being aware of your surroundings is key to having a safe and enjoyable time. To do that, you must have a keen sense of situational awareness, meaning that you should be aware of what is going on around you at all times. International travel safety, especially, can become compromised due to a tourist’s inability to assess their surroundings properly and blend in accordingly. Many times, tourists have found themselves at the hands of muggers and robbers who take advantage of a tourist’s vulnerabilities.
Therefore, it is important to become educated on awareness strategies that can help you prepare for any situation that arises while you are on foreign grounds. While much of it may seem like common sense at first glance, many of your native situational awareness techniques may not be enough in countries with entirely different customs and culture.
4 Situational Awareness Techniques for International Travel Safety
Below you’ll find important safety techniques that will help guide you securely through any international travel and react properly to any given situation.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings. The most important and, yet at times, the most overlooked skill is being aware of where you are and who is around you at all times. This includes staying alert when you are traveling through cities and towns that you are not familiar with. Make use of your peripheral vision and assess areas from all fields of vision. Take note of who is walking around you, sitting near you and moving about. While at first this may seem a bit paranoid, it is an essential step to raising your awareness and bringing about sharper survival skills.
- Communication is Key. Taking the time out to speak to trusted locals in the area that you plan on staying in is a great travel safety basic. After all, who knows an area better than the people who reside there every day? Locals in an area can give you a detailed briefing on which areas are tourist friendly, which ones to avoid in the dead of the night, and they may even have some suggestions on spectacular places that you must see.
- Maintain Eye Contact. As you find yourself walking through the streets of the city, be sure to acknowledge people as they pass by you. There is no need to give somebody a ‘scary stare’, but a simple glance where you acknowledge his or her presence is a key safety tip. Many criminals and muggers rely on the element of surprise, and this tactic will be sure to assert your confidence and cause any potential criminals to move on from you.
- Blend In. Making sure to dress safely and blend in makes you stand out much less. Adhere to clothing customs as much as possible and be sure not to walk out with all of your most valuable items all at once. This will leave you less susceptible to any unsolicited advances from people that may try to harm you or rob you.
At Universal Safety & Security Solutions, our highly trained professionals are highly knowledgeable about international travel safety. Our executive team consists of former U.S. Secret Service Agents, FBI, and Special Forces Operators, including the Former Commander of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta. We draw only from the best available proven protocols and techniques. Contact us today to learn more about our travel protective services and how to set up a travel risk assessment for your next trip.