Skip to main content
Winter 2020

Safer Solo Travel

It’s 2019, and there are more people traveling solo than ever. In fact, solo travelers proclaim that their individual adventures are some of their most treasured travel experiences. While there are many perks to traveling alone, the truth is that it’s not as safe as traveling with a group—especially for women.

As long as you are careful, smart, and vigilant, most dangerous situations can be avoided. To stay safe while abroad (or within the country), here are four TSA-approved self-defense tools that might be handy to have wherever you are.

Photo by Ashley Evans

Doorstopper Alarm
Perfect if you’re staying alone in a less-reputable hotel or even a hostel, a doorstop alarm is fairly self-explanatory: it’s a doorstop equipped with an alarm, sure to wake you (and half of the hotel) up if an unwanted intruder dares to break into your room. Many doorstopper alarms cost around US $10 and are a cheap, effective way to protect yourself.

Photo from The Kitty Keychain

Self-Defense Keychain
This isn’t your mom’s keychain. Small and unobtrusive, these keychains take the shape of a cat, dog, or other harmless figure. They look benign, but by putting your fingers in the keychain’s eye sockets, you can turn this simple accessory into a pair of brass knuckles. The pointed ears make a ruthless weapon in the case of an up-close-and-personal attack or attempted mugging.You can get these Kitty Keychain-brand keychains for about US $5.

KubotanA kubotan can be a keychain accessory, and it has a cult following that proves it works. The hard, high-impact plastic is shaped into a thin stick, which allows the user to either stab or strike an assailant. It’s most effective when an attacker is hit in a “vulnerable area,” like the bridge of the nose, the stomach, the groin, or the eyes. Kubotans are allowed in checked baggage.

Tactical Pen

Photo by LLORD

It sounds like something out of a spy movie, but it’s real, and you can bring it in your checked luggage. A tactical pen hides a plethora of tools and gadgets used for self-defense. Depending on the pen, it may be equipped with a DNA catcher, a glass breaker, or a kubotan-esque striking handle. Hopefully, you will never be in such a dire situation that this would be necessary, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

—Ashley Evans