Can you believe the holiday shopping season is here? I laugh, now, looking back… My dad always had a backache the day after Thanksgiving; and now I know why. He didn’t want make the drive, fight the crowds, carry the packages and handle the kids while my mom shopped!
The one thing that hasn’t changed is that men still don’t like to go shopping, at least until Christmas Eve. What has changed is how dangerous it can be, if you aren’t aware of your surroundings. This is especially true for folks that don’t normally venture out to the mall or the big box stores during peak hours or with crowds.
Here are 7 simple safety tips to help make your holiday shopping experience a safe one!
- Tell someone where you plan to shop and about what time you expect to be home.
- This is especially important for those who don’t normally go out very early or late.
- Leave a note or tell someone where you plan to shop just in case. This can be very valuable if there is an accident or worse. It gives family, friends and police an idea where and when to start looking if you don’t return.
- Since holiday hours now start in the wee hours of the morning and go very late into the night, be sure to park under a light and as close to the entrance as possible.
- Write down where you parked or even take a picture so you are not wandering looking for your car when you are ready to leave.
- Always have your pepper spray in your hand when you are walking to and from the car.
- Minimize the amount of items you carry in your purse during the holidays.
- Only carry one credit card and a minimal amount of cash.
- Leave all the extra pictures and personal items at home.
- Always put your purse inside the car and lock the door (keep out your keys) before you start loading the car. NEVER leave it sitting out in the cart.
- If someone tries to steal your purse, LET IT GO!! It’s not worth your life!
- Are you carrying more packages than you can manage? Can you barely see over the top of your cart?
- Make multiple trips to your car if you are shopping at a mall or strip center. You don’t want to have so many packages in your arms that you have to lean them against the car or leave them in the cart where someone can walk by and grab them.
- Put all items in your trunk or cover under your hatch. Don’t leave anything visible to the public.
- Avoid the ATM machines when possible. If you have to use one, go to a drive up and keep your pepper spray in your hand, only open the driver side window and stay alert to anyone around you.
- Parking lots are a place where people come and go. Pay close attention if you notice anyone lingering and acting suspicious. If in doubt, call and report it.
The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD and in our new Simple Safety Tips book. Visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.
Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women®