Sometimes simplicity is the best way to manage more complex concerns about personal safety. A recent article in the New York Times entitled, “‘Don’t Succumb to the Fear’: Women Share Travel Safety Tips,” offered a number of practical suggestions provided by women travelers. One suggestion in particular, traveling with a rubber doorstop, jumped off the page as it called to mind another recent news article about a sexual assault of a female hotel guest.
A female business traveler, while staying at a reputable chain hotel, was sexually assaulted by a man who was let into her room by the hotel’s own staff. According to news reports, a front desk clerk provided the perpetrator with a key card without verifying that he was authorized to enter that room. Worse, when he found the bar latch was engaged and he couldn’t enter the woman’s room, he summoned a maintenance worker to open the latch. He then entered the room and assaulted her. Admittedly this horrific scenario isn’t one we see every day. But could one of those simple rubber doorstops have helped prevent this crime?
While we’ll never know the answer relative to that specific attack, the suggestion itself offers insight that sometimes complex concerns can be addressed with relatively simple solutions. Rather than concerning yourself with how well a hotel’s staff is trained, or asking what its verification process is for issuing key cards, wouldn’t it be simpler to bring your own deterrent?
Keep Your Bearings for International Travel Security
There was another suggestion in the New York Times article that was similarly simplistic in nature: keep your bearings, a female traveler offered. Her suggestion related to that sense of bombardment you can feel when stepping off a plane, train or bus. She offered simple insight as to the importance of pre-planning, disengagement and observation when trying to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. While not quite as simple as the use of a rubber doorstop, her advice to step back, stay calm, observe, and then act is a process that, if followed, can yield great results towards keeping you safe.
The New York Times article really seemed to underscore the point that travel safety solutions don’t need to be complicated to be effective. Particularly for female travelers for whom safety is an issue, it’s wise to identify priority concerns and identify solutions before you embark on your journey. Are there simple solutions you can pack, or ones you can download into your smartphone? Whatever your concern, make it a point to know…or ask a travel security expert…what tips, techniques and technologies are available. And most importantly, as these female travelers have highlighted, don’t ever discount the power of simplicity when it comes to keeping yourself safe.