National Team

Travel and Swimming Fast: Staying Safe

1/30/2012

Global Travel Guide (medium)Having your wallet or other valuables stolen is a major setback and inconvenience while in your hometown. Imagine the challenge you would face if this happened while traveling around the country or world. After the research and careful planning you have put into your trip the last thing you’d want to deal with is losing your wallet, passport or other valuables to a thief. Staying safe while traveling is another key piece to the travel game plan.

One month out from traveling, begin practicing your situational awareness skills. Observe people and situations and try to predict potential risky situations. Remember that situational awareness is NOT about being paranoid; it’s about recognizing threats and problems before they materialize and avoiding them.

Even after practicing your situational awareness skills and putting together a solid travel game plan, some things will always be out of your control. If something happens such as being pick-pocketed, losing a passport or cell phone, remember to always “go first class” when seeking assistance. Go to the closest 5-star hotel or high end store and tell them what you need (phone, internet, etc.). Usually the individuals there will speak English and can provide you with some assistance.

While we don’t all have the luxury of traveling with the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Chief Security Officer, Larry Buendorf, we can all implement the safety tips he has shared with us over the years.

This week’s quick hitters come from USOC Chief Security Officer, Larry Buendorf: 

  • Register your team with the USOC 
  • Wear non-descript clothing while traveling
  • Use the buddy system at airports / hotels / venues for watching personal items (luggage, equipment)
  • Do not post schedules, name lists, room assignments in places accessible to the public. This includes locker rooms at practice sites / venues or hotel in-house television that lists meetings, etc. Do not leave this information in your hotel room or locker room where it could be taken
  • Do not consult maps in public; this makes you an obvious target for pickpockets and muggers
  • BE AWARE …BE LOW-KEY…BE UNPREDICTABLE

For more on situational awareness and safety tips from Larry check out the Global Travel Guide.


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