As discussed in Part 1, I really only had a couple of fears about traveling alone in a foreign land. But once I carefully thought it out and prepared myself this is no longer a worry. These included adding more & hidden pockets to my traveling clothes and fortifying my bags & purse. Also, preparing index cards in the country’s language for emergency situations and what to do if you think you are being followed..
Here is more of what I did to prepare and ease my mind.
Your keyring can be very useful, both to keep things handy and to keep you safe. I prefer a 2 section quick-release keyring with a ball-type chain added to connect it to belt loop or other loop on my clothing. I don’t leave it hanging, but tuck it inside a pocket or inside the bag. This is what’s on mine:
- Covered luggage tag with my driver’s license and, if your hotel uses them, your room keycard. If my room uses a key, I keep it in my front pocket, not on the ring. Also in the luggage tag, a single $50 or $100 US bill and a single large denomination bill of the local currency for emergency cash.
- Small flashlight
- Tab/bottle opener (I don’t know about you, but I have trouble twisting off bottle tops & getting soda tabs started).
- If you have a serious illness such as heart trouble you could also keep a small locket on the keychain with a nitro sandwiched in a bit of cotton for immediate access.
- On the quick-release part, I carry a whistle (if in trouble, blow that loud & keep blowing!) and my Weapon.
My Weapon of Choice
On the 2nd section of the keyring, I have 3 keys of about the same length. These are simply for self defense, so they could be any old keys you have. The longer, the better. The pointier the ends the better. The more irregular the cut edges, the better.
When I’m somewhere I don’t feel entirely safe (like walking anywhere at night) I remove this ring, place it in my hand with each of the keys between my fingers and the jagged edges pointing towards my nails and make a fist. I’m now effectively armed with a legal weapon. If someone threatening comes close, raking this down their face or arm will not be comfortable for them, to say the least.
Not deadly force, but painful enough to give you a chance to get away. With the added bonus of having no hassles at security while boarding a plane.
What are your tips for staying safe?
NEXT : What is Frugal Travel?
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