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Krav Maga Self Defense in Cleveland - Fight Fit

Seven Tips for Safe Overseas Travel - Instructor Dan Last

With summer upon us, many people venture out with friends and family to explore the world around them.  I experience an incredible amount of personal growth and satisfaction from travel and encourage others to voyage out to explore our world as much as possible.  With that said, it is important to take a few extra steps to ensure that you remain safe overseas.

Exude confidence 

Behave in the same manner in which you would act at home.  If you appear confident, alert, and move with purpose, you are less likely to be targeted and become a victim.  Appearing as nervous, anxious, or confused will increase your odds of drawing unwanted attention.

Blend in 

This can be difficult if you are in a country where you stand out.  In those situations, avoid excessively bright colors and overly revealing clothing.  Flashy smart phones, high end cameras or other electronics should be stored out of sight when they are not in use.  Don’t stand around in public with your head in a smart phone or buried deep in a map which alerts others that you are both distracted and don’t know where you are going.

Carry minimal cash

Much of the world accepts credit cards and the exchange rate for using your credit card is far better than what is available at foreign banks or currency exchange bureaus.  If you must travel with large amounts of cash, leave it in your hotel safe whenever possible.  When moving between hotels, a money belt hidden beneath your clothing is essential.

Research your destination 

Most people travel to see or experience things that are not available at home.  If you are overwhelmed by everything that is different, your sense of what may be unusual or out of place can be muted.  Research areas to stay away from, follow the local news so that you are aware of any unusual protests or gatherings, and be aware of any travel warnings that are published by the U.S. Department of State.

Don’t be afraid to be offensive 

In our politically correct world we are conditioned not to offend others. When you are in a foreign country you may find yourself extra aware of offending a local which is a very natural awareness to carry with you abroad.  Other countries have different standards surrounding personal space, touching, and what is considered to be appropriate conversation.  A seasoned thief or career criminal is very aware that you may be more tolerant of their unusual or unacceptable behavior. If someone makes you uncomfortable don’t be afraid to speak up with an appropriate response.

Prepare before you go

Dealing with insurance is far less exciting than booking flights or planning your itinerary but it is no less important.  Travel insurance has become very affordable and will not only protect you against the unexpected but it will offer financial protection should you become sick or injured while overseas.  It is also crucial to know where your embassy is located and understand how to reach them if need be.  Finally, be sure provide a detailed itinerary and copies of your passport with a trusted and responsible contact back home.

Hope for the best but train for the worst

This is where our training at Fight Fit comes into play.  Fight Fit strives to place students in awkward situations where they are caught off-guard, made uncomfortable, or forced to react from a position of disadvantage.  I have spent a significant part of my life training for a life threatening encounter that will hopefully never happen.  But if the unexpected should finally occur, I know that I will be ready.  If you train at Fight Fit, you will be ready too.

There is a big world out there that begs to be explored which inherently comes with risk.  A little preparation can greatly increase your chances of making it home incident free and eager to return.

Travel smart and travel safe.  

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