would you take travel safety tips from a detective?

I found this interesting site that had a looong list of tips for women who travel. I found some of the tips pretty obvious, some I don’t agree with, and some a little over the top, but you be the judge. Anyway, here’s a list of my favorites:

CHOOSING A HOTEL

  • Smaller is smarter: you want the staff to be familiar with guests and with you. The smaller the lobby, the more noticeable the loiterers.
  • Aim for a well-trafficked street (neighborhood restaurants and late-night stores mean traffic, corporate offices mean darkness).
  • If you’re still concerned about the area, ask a female employee–not one in reservations–whether she walks around at night. (Call the restaurant, for instance.)
  • A reception and concierge desk near the entrance, and/or the elevators, is more likely to deter non-guest undesirables.
  • There should be privacy for guests checking in: no one should be able to overhear a name, room number, or other personal information.
  • Room numbers should be written on the key envelope, not mentioned aloud or inscribed on the key–this way, anyone finding your key won’t have access to your room.

ROOM RULES

  • The please make up this room sign tells everyone you’re not there. Call housekeeping instead.
  • Conversely, the do not disturb sign can make the room seem occupied (especially handy if you leave expensive items inside).
  • Lock valuables in the front-desk safe.
  • Stand near the elevator buttons with your back to the wall; if threatened, push all the buttons at once with your back.

STREET SMARTS

  • Study a map before going out; once on the street, use a pocket-size guidebook to avoid looking like a tourist. Your hotel’s concierge or a female employee can mark any dangerous areas on your map.
  • Dress down.
  • Avoid jewelry–even a chain that’s fake gold can be ripped off your neck. Do consider wearing a wedding ring.
  • Be wary when getting off a bus or train, or riding stairs and escalators; that’s when pickpockets tend to strike.
  • Divide money for small and larger purchases so you don’t have to expose a wad of bills.
  • Should a car start to follow you, immediately turn and walk the opposite way.
  • If you must ask for directions, approach families or women with children. To be extra safe, say, “Where is the –? I’m meeting my husband there.”
  • On sidewalks, keep your handbag and other valuables away from the street side (and on escalators, away from the opposite ramp).
  • If attacked, run, fight, and yell as loud as possible.

TRANSPORTATION SAVVY

  • Use covered luggage tags. Instead of your home address, write that of your office.
  • On overnight flights, keep an eye on your valuables.
  • Don’t exit a taxi until you’re sure you’ve arrived at your destination. Pay while still in the car so that you can be sure you’ve gotten the proper change.
  • Stay close to your valuables when passing through airport security.
  • Don’t use an unmarked taxi; if necessary, take public transportation to a city center.
  • On the road, if someone tries to get your attention or your car is bumped, don’t stop until you arrive at a well-lit and busy area.
  • If suspicious about “phony” police, don’t open the window. Instead, hold your license against the glass.

GENERAL ADVICE

  • Don’t just check the weather at your destination; also make a note of when the sun rises and sets.
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