Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Travelers, are you planning your next trip? Whether you are a new or seasoned traveler going on assignment, it is always a good idea to review essential travel safety tips.

Here’s why:

Staying safe while traveling away from your home base has a lot to do with preparation and information.

Ensure your travels go smoothly and consider possible situations and safety precautions #safetyClick To Tweet

When you’re prepared, you can check your worries at the door and enjoy an exciting adventure!

For travel healthcare professionals, your safety is especially important to us.

Oftentimes, traveling for work means being away from home for long stretches.

In addition to the general travel safety tips you might find when preparing for a weekend getaway, we’ve curated a list of tips for when you plan much longer trips.

Check out our road, airport and solo travel safety tips to get you in-the-know before you go.


Road Travel | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Road Travel Safety Tips

Are you taking a road trip in your own car, or renting one in your new destination? These tips will help ensure a smooth and safe ride.

You’re probably thinking, these are no-brainers.

However, it pays to review these as a reminder when it comes time to hit the road.

1. Ensure your vehicle is well maintained and all safety features are in working order.

Consider checking these features before driving:

  • Air bags
  • All seat belts
  • Headlights and brights
  • Tire tread and pressure
  • Windshield wipers
  • Brakes
  • Full tank of gas

It’s easy to overlook certain road travel safety tips if you are taking your own vehicle. We recommend inspecting your own vehicle as thoroughly as you would a rental.

2. Familiarize yourself with controls before driving a rental car.

If the rental car is quite different from the one you’re used to, consider driving it around the rental lot to get comfortable with the handling.

Because all car makes and models can differ, be especially aware of the following features:

  • Parking brake
  • Headlights/highbeams
  • Gas tank location
  • Powerlock controls
  • Defrost controls
  • Trunk release

3. Obtain information about the main roads on which you’ll be traveling.

The best way to ensure an easy drive is to be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the speed limit?
  • Is there any construction to avoid?
  • How are the driving conditions?
  • Are any of these roads considered dangerous?

Dont Text and Drive | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

4. Don’t text and drive.

We remind you to never text and drive.

This “tip” is so obvious that you shouldn’t need the reminder!

Using your cell phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and illegal in most states.

Nearly 400,000 people were injured in car accidents due to cell phone-related distracted driving in 2015.

We urge you to put your phone away and only use Bluetooth for calls, especially when trying to navigate unfamiliar roads.

Better yet, just take the time to pull over and make any necessary phone calls.

Nearly 400,000 people were injured in car accidents due to cell phone-related distracted driving in 2015.Click To Tweet

Airport Travel | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Airport Travel Safety Tips

Airport security is at an all time high. You can keep your stress levels low and become the ultimate professional flyer by practicing certain steps.

1. Pre-flight preparation

Staying safe in the airport is easy when you follow these airport travel safety tips:

  • Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to get through the security line and to the gate—two hours is the norm these days.
  • Carry your flight documents in a safe and easy-to-reach place.
  • Move through the security line as quickly as possible by removing large electronics and your liquids from your carry-on. You will also need to put metals into the bin.
  • Pack your carry-on with the items you can’t live without in the event your checked bag gets lost.
  • Be sure to check any items that are not allowed in the cabin.

Children Pets | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

2. Air travel with children or pets

If you are traveling with children, review the airport guidelines at both your departure and arrival locations. You may also want to review the FAA’s guide for flying with children so you understand the specific rules and regulations.

In addition to the FAA guidelines, we recommend calling the airline to ensure your aircraft has the necessary safety equipment for children.

If you plan to bring your pet, we recommend reviewing the FAA’s guide for flying with pets.

According to this article in Time, the Department of Transportation (DOT) advises owners to:

  • Get pets accustomed to the kennel they will be staying in prior to the flight.
  • Check that cages will remain closed throughout the duration of the flight.
  • Refrain from giving pets solid food for six hours prior to the flight.
  • Provide a moderate amount of water and walks before and after the flight.
  • Consult with a vet before giving pets any sedatives.

On Board a Flight | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

3. Safety on board a flight

Of course, safety is very important during your flight as well. With that in mind, use the tips below to ensure a safe flight:

  • Pay close attention to the safety presentation, even if you’re an experienced flyer.
  • Know the location of your flotation device even if don’t plan to be flying over water.
  • Stay well hydrated as air travel can be very dry. Be aware that the pressure from the cabin can accelerate the effects of alcohol.
  • Consider chewing gum to alleviate the inner ear ache sometimes caused by changes in pressure.
  • If flying with a child, never seat them on the aisle. You also want to keep your child’s safety belt on at all times.

Most importantly, always follow directions from the flight crew, especially in the event of an emergency.

Once you’re comfortable with the safety aspect of air travel, consider taking a few additional steps to make your flight enjoyable. You might bring headphones or a good book. You’ll also want to wear a comfortable outfit.

If you’re a very nervous flyer, try some of these tips. As mentioned, a large part of staying safe is being aware and alert at all times. High stress can cause you to miss important details. We recommend practicing calming techniques if you find flying to be stressful.


Solo Travel | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Solo Travel Safety Tips

When traveling alone, it’s important for you to stay observant.

Even once you’ve familiarized yourself with your new surroundings, use the solo travel safety tips below to remain safe.

Awareness is key.

There are a variety of instances when you’ll want to be on “high alert”.

We put together a list of things to remember while you travel that can further ensure your safety. Consider these suggestions:

  1. Avoid stairwells or dimly lit tunnels
  2. Be extra vigilant when walking to and from parking lots/garages and going around dark corners.
  3. Do not reveal personal details about where you are staying—especially on social media.
  4. Keep valuables locked safely in your room, never left in plain sight or in your vehicle.
  5. Avoid wearing expensive accessories if possible.
  6. Do not carry cash unless you must. If you must, keep it hidden.
  7. Use the deadbolt on your door.
  8. Be aware of strangers when you are entering and exiting your place of residence.

Finally, here are a few more solo travel safety tips to keep in mind when exploring your new location:

  1. Take time to explore your surroundings during the daytime.
  2. Locate the nearest hospital and know your route.
  3. Be sure to know evacuation instructions and fire exists.
  4. Learn about which areas are not considered safe and avoid them.
  5. Do not invite people to your location; meet them in public areas instead.
  6. Avoid heavy drinking and stay sharp.
  7. Always keep your phone fully charged and carry an external charger (if possible).
  8. Scan your vehicle (inside, under, sides, front and back) before entering.
  9. Don’t park next to vans or other large vehicles.
  10. Use crosswalks and do not use your cell phone while crossing the street.
  11. Carry a flashlight at all times, even during the day.
  12. When walking in a parking garage, walk far enough away from other cars so you are not in arm’s length of an attacker.

The tips above can help you avoid the unlikely event of an abduction or assault. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, remember to focus on your self-defense training and fight.

Of course, prevention is the best self-defense, but if you find yourself in a bad situation, be sure you’re prepared. Let’s dive into this further.


Self Defense | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Self-Defense Tips

If you’re being attacked, use these techniques to fight off your attacker:

1. Get loud and vocal.

As soon as you realize escape isn’t possible, shout loudly “BACK OFF!” or “GET OFF ME!” and push back. This shows you are not an easy target.

2. Inflict injury so you can get away.

Do everything you can to aim for eyes, nose, neck, groin, and knee because these are the areas where you can do the most damage.

  • Gouge the eyes.
  • Use the heel of your palm to strike up under the nose.
  • Knife-hand strike the side of the neck (go for the artery/throat to stun your attacker)
  • Knee the groin with the full force of your body.
  • Kick the knee at a side angle or straight on to immobilize.

3. Choose to use elbows, knees and head.

If your attacker is already up close, use your elbows, knees, and head to make quick strikes. Your hands and feet won’t be as powerful when the attacker is within close range.

4. Pretend to give up.

If you find yourself completely immobilized by an attacker’s grip and you cannot fight back, feign “giving in”. Going limp may trick your attacker into loosening their grip, giving you another opportunity to inflict injury and escape.

You can learn more about self-defense here.

If you’re a traveling professional, we highly recommend enrolling in a self-defense program.

Oftentimes, the best self-defense classes can be found at:

  • martial arts centers
  • local colleges/community centers
  • women’s centers
  • your local police department

 


Long-Term Travel | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Long-Term Travel Safety Tips

If you’re taking a travel work assignment, you will be leaving home for an extended period of time. There are some steps you can take to prepare for this!

First, consider what you absolutely want during your trip vs. what can stay behind. Traveling light is harder to do when you’re gone for a long time, but it’s one of our major travel safety tips.

The more you have, the higher the chances of losing things or becoming a target for burglary.

You may not want to, but you must leave precious heirlooms at home. For example, bring copies of important photos, not the originals.

Preparing your home is also an important factor when you’re embarking on a long trip.

You don’t want to come home to a flood, so be sure to turn off the main water supply. Save on electricity by turning off the water heater and turning your thermostat to an appropriate temperature.

Be sure to lock all entry points and consider asking a neighbor to check on your residence periodically.

SEE ALSO: What are the Requirements for Travel Nursing Success?


On The Job Safety | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

On-The-Job Safety Tips

Security at work is an important factor for anyone who travels for their profession. For medical professionals on travel assignments, it’s crucial to take extra steps to ensure on-the-job safety.

We’ve compiled a list of workplace safety tips below:

  1. If the hospital is located in an undesirable location, take advantage of hospital security and have a guard walk you to your vehicle.
  2. Even in the safest locations, you still want to find safe areas to park. Many abductions and robberies take place in parking garages so it’s important to be vigilant.
  3. Avoid using isolated hallways, stairways and elevators.
  4. If you find yourself in the elevator with someone who makes you uncomfortable, stand near the control panel by the door so you can easily press the alarm, then exit as soon as possible.
  5. Take precaution when using the restroom. Though privacy is desired, it is safest to use high-traffic restrooms to ensure you’re never alone and vulnerable.
  6. Use common sense about revealing personal details while at work. Even though you may just be chatting with fellow employees, you never know who may be listening.
  7. Seek out your coworkers’ advice regarding the safe areas of town.
  8. Familiarize yourself with local safe zones within the hospital as well as in town (such as the police station and fire station).

Though highly unlikely, it pays to be prepared if you find in a serious situation such as encountering a criminal or an active shooter. The self-defense tips outlined earlier will help you in such situations.


Conclusion | Travel Safety Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Conclusion

Traveling is a fun and exciting luxury. A well-prepared traveler can enjoy their trip worry-free and handle any unexpected situations in a safe and swift manner.

Utilize the following summary of travel safety tips to make the most of your next trip.

Road Travel Safety Tips:

  • Ensure your vehicle is well maintained and all safety features are in working order.
  • If you are renting the car, familiarize yourself with controls before driving.
  • Obtain information about the main roads on which you’ll be traveling before you go.
  • Never text and drive.

Airport Travel Safety Tips:

  • Arrive at the airport with plenty of time.
  • Carry your flight documents in a safe and easy-to-reach place.
  • Review FAA guidelines if you’re traveling with children or pets.
  • While in flight, pay close attention to the safety presentation.
  • Stay well hydrated and chew gum to alleviate effects of the cabin and altitude pressure changes.

Solo Travel Safety Tips:

  • Be on high alert when using stairwells, dimly lit tunnels and walking to and from parking lots/garages.
  • Do not reveal personal details about where you are staying.
  • Keep valuables locked safely in your room, never left in plain sight or in your vehicle.
  • Take time to explore your surroundings during the daytime so you can familiarize yourself with exits, the nearest hospital, and so on.

Self Defense Tips:

  • As soon as you realize escape isn’t possible, shout loudly and push back. This shows you are not an easy target.
  • Do everything you can to inflict injury so you can get away. Aim for eyes, nose, neck, groin, and knee.
  • If your attacker is already up close, use your elbows, knees, and head to make quick strikes.
  • If you find yourself completely immobilized by an attacker’s grip and you cannot fight back, feign “giving in”. Going limp may give you another opportunity to inflict injury and escape.

Long-Term Travel Safety Tips:

  • Prepare your home by turning off the main water supply/water heater and turning your thermostat to an appropriate temperature.
  • Be sure to lock all entry points and consider asking a neighbor to check on your residence periodically.
  • Travel light to decrease the odds of losing your belongings or being a target for burglary.
  • Leave all precious heirlooms at home.

Workplace Safety Tips:

  • Take advantage of security guards whenever possible.
  • Avoid using isolated hallways, stairways and elevators.
  • If you find yourself in the elevator with someone who makes you uncomfortable, stand near the control panel by the door so you can easily press the alarm, then exit as soon as possible.
  • Take precaution when using the restroom. Though privacy is desired, it is safest to use high-traffic restrooms to ensure you’re never alone and vulnerable.

If you’re ready to classify yourself as an experienced traveler, you’ll need to memorize these tips and make them part of your routine.

 

Did we miss any useful travel safety tips?

Share with us in the comments below!