Traveling home for the holidays is an exciting and heartwarming experience. Whether you're journeying across the country or just a few miles, it's important to prioritize your safety during this festive season.

To ensure your travels are stress-free and secure, here are 11 tips to keep in mind as you make your way back to friends and family for the holidays.

NOV 9, 2023


“Planning for delays will prevent stress on the trip."

11 Holiday Season Travel Safety Tips

1. Planning a Safe Journey

Before you hit the road or board that plane, careful planning is crucial. Research your route and familiarize yourself with the transportation options. Check the weather forecast, road conditions, and flight schedules to avoid unexpected surprises.

• Research Your Route: Whether you're driving, taking public transport, or flying, thoroughly research your route and transportation options. Familiarize yourself with the timetable, station stops, or flight details.

• Share Your Travel Plans: Let a trusted friend or family member know your travel itinerary, including departure and arrival times, modes of transportation, and any layovers. Share your contact information and stay in touch during your journey.


2. Choosing Safe Accomodations

Select accommodations that prioritize safety and are located in a low-crime zip code. Pay attention to online reviews that mention security features such as well-lit parking areas and secure access to rooms. If you are staying alone in a hotel, request a room near the front desk and away from unattended exit doors.

Arriving at your destination during daylight hours is also a wise choice. This allows you to see and be seen as you navigate the hotel property. Request help from the front desk to get your items into the room if it is going to take you multiple trips. This will minimize the number of times you are crossing the parking lot with your arms full and vulnerable to an attacker.

Pack a door stop alarm to sleep safe and shower without worry in your hotel room. Wedge it under the door when you enter your room and be alerted if anyone opens the door with an ear-piercing panic alarm.


3. Carrying a Self-Defense Weapon

While we hope to never need it, carrying a self-defense weapon, such as pepper spray or a stunning device, can provide added peace of mind during your travels. Make sure to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations concerning self-defense weapons before brandishing your personal defense product.


4. Traveling Alone on Public Transportation

If you're traveling solo via public transportation, opt for seats near the driver or conductor. It's wise to have a charged phone, personal alarm, or a self-defense tool within reach in case you feel uncomfortable or unsafe during your journey.

Have a back-up plan in place before you begin in case you miss your stop or connection. Being in unfamiliar surroundings and in a panic are both opportunities for a burglary, abduction or sexual assault to occur.

Trust your instincts. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe, don't hesitate to approach an employee or fellow traveler for assistance. Your safety and peace of mind are paramount.


5. Carrying a Bug Out Bag for Unexpected Delays

A well-prepared "bug-out bag" kept in your car can be a lifesaver in case of delays, emergencies, or unforeseen events. Include the basics such as non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, warm clothing, and a blanket.

Along with survival essentials, including a means to defend your personal safety as well as a power bank to keep your phone charged are absolutely essential. Check out the 3N1 Stun Gun to satisfy three of these essential bug out bag items. This handheld device is a flashlight, power bank and shockingly effective stun gun rolled into one personal safety and defense product.


6. Preparing Your Vehicle for a Safe Trip

If you're driving, ensure your vehicle is in top shape. Schedule a routine vehicle inspection to check your tires, brakes, lights, and fluids are ready to roll. Don't forget to pack essential items like a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, and a basic toolkit.

Consider enrolling in a roadside emergency program such as AAA if you are not already a member. Having a number to call when you are stranded on the side of the road is an immediate anxiety reducer and will get your plans moving in a forward direction again.

If you do not already know, learn how to change a tire and locate the spare tire, if one exists, in your vehicle. If you do not have a spare tire on board, purchase one before venturing home for the holidays.


7. Planning for Bad Weather

Add snow tires or tire chains to your car if you are going to be travelling to a cold weather climate. Even a simple bag of kitty litter can create the traction needed under your tires to get your car moving again if you get stuck on an ice patch or in a ditch.

“Pack extra routine meds in your carryon in case you are delayed without access to your checked baggage.”

8. Preparing for Medical Issues

Layovers and traffic delays are common during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day because many people are traveling to spend the holidays with their families and friends. To make sure your trip goes smoothly, it's a good idea to have a basic first-aid kit on hand.

This kit should include essential items like band-aids, pain relievers, and any prescription medications you need. Also, it's a good practice to have a list of medical facilities or clinics in the areas where you'll be traveling, as being well-prepared is an important part of staying safe during holiday travel.


9. Keeping Cash and Valuables Secure

Keep your purse, backpack, or carry-on bag close to you at all times. Consider investing in anti-theft bags with concealed zippers and RFID-blocking compartments to protect personal credit card information.

Don’t keep your cash and credit cards all in one place. In the unfortunate event that your purse gets stolen or lost, having cash in multiple places (such as your wallet, a hidden pocket, and a diversion safe) can prevent a financial crisis during your journey.


10. Staying Connected While En-Route

Stay connected with your loved ones by sharing your travel progress and location during your journey. Regular check-ins and updates can bring peace of mind for both you and your family.

Additionally, it's a smart practice to give a trusted friend photocopies of your driver's license and itinerary before you start your trip. This way, if you encounter any situations during your journey that require assistance from a friend, you'll have a reliable lifeline in place.


11. Securing Your Digital Footprint

Secure Devices: Keep your phone, tablet, and laptop password-protected. Install a tracking app or use built-in features like "Find My Device" to locate them if they're lost or stolen.

Avoid Oversharing: In the age of social media, avoid sharing your full travel itinerary online. Broadcasting your absence from home can make you vulnerable to burglary or other security threats. Resist the urge to post pics and tag locations until you get home from your trip.


Traveling home for the holidays should be a time of joy and relaxation. By following these 11 safety tips, you can minimize risks, enhance your personal security, and ensure that your journey is safe and worry-free. Take proactive steps now to ensure you make the most of the holiday season by spending more time with family and friends, and less time dealing with travel woes.

Defense Divas® wants you to be equipped to defend yourself not only with a self-defense weapon, but also with the practical knowledge of safety awareness and prevention.

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