“Congrats on Your Graduation! Summer Safety Tips For Travel”
Congrats to the class of 2023 & any other class who happens upon this in the future. As you move into the next phase of your life, you are awarded more independence and freedom.
Can't live in a bubble!
You cannot live in a bubble. It is important to experience the world and travel. With that being said, some of you will be going on trips this summer to celebrate graduation. Have fun! But be safe!
Basic Safety Tips for Travel
I will start off by saying that most incidents in your age range are alcohol related!
90% of my self defense participants are females 17-19 years old, headed to college. The average 18 year old female is 143 lbs.
A person's body weight and body type are factors which have an impact on blood alcohol concentration. In general, the less you weigh the more you will be affected by a given amount of alcohol because the alcohol has less room to spread out, making the concentration higher.
Most people get intoxicated after taking three to four shots; this influence can happen more rapidly if the person involved is small in stature.
Most of my students believe that they are only in danger of someone puts something in your drink. This is false. If they are able to get you to drink 1 cup, you may be inebriated to the point where you do not know what is going on.
The next step is getting you isolated. So make sure you team up with buddies you trust.
Make sure you check in with your parents when you arrive.
Make sure someone knows your exact location.
Do not pull audibles. Do not tell everyone you are going to one place, then go to another. If something happens it will be harder to receive back up in case of emergencies.
Be aware of your surroundings.
No hitchhiking. Please do not pick up anyone on the way that you do not know. I have made that mistake in the past and luckily I am still here. This can easily cost you and your friends your life.
Boundaries! If you travelled with someone and he or she tries to push you past the boundaries, do not feel like you have to give in because he or she is your ride.
International Safety Tips for Travel
Use the same tips above plus some additional tips below.
Booking the trip. Sometimes it is best to book a trip through a travel agent or agency familiar with the area you are traveling to, and familiar working with students.
Destination-specific safety orientations for students upon arrival. Some programs have this as an option. Have a local guide that can give you the details plus ins and outs of the country.
Example: In January of 2023, a man was killed after he took a picture of a mural while on vacation in Columbia. While he was taking pictures, a group of gang members thought that he was taking pictures of them. As a result, the gang members attacked and killed the man. The slain man was a seasoned traveler. He did not know that gang activity had increased in the area.
Research Country's Laws, Customs & Standards: these differ from country to country. This is especially true for women when it comes to customs in a country.
Another website to take a look at is the Travel Advisory.
The travel advisory sites the threat level for someone traveling to a country.
There are four levels:
Level I - exercise normal precautions
Level II - exercise increased precautions
Level III - reconsider travel
Level IV - do not travel
Have fun, and enjoy the rest of your life, but take the proper precautions!