Tag Archives: Tips

10 Must-Know Holiday Hotel Travel Safety Tips


When it comes to travel, it doesn’t matter if you are an Elite Platinum Member or just a grandparent heading out for that once a year trip. You need to be concerned with your personal safety!

Below are 10 must know holiday hotel travel safety tips you should be aware of, before you even start packing. We want you to be ready when you make your first stop along the way.

  1. Let’s start with the basics. Always beware of your surroundings, when approaching your room.
  2. Don’t let the attendant at the front desk publicize your room number. If he or she announces it out loud when giving you your key, ask for a different room. Have them write the number and hand it to you.
  3. When possible, avoid staying on the first floor. Many safety experts recommend occupying a room somewhere between the third and sixth floors — where rooms are high enough to be difficult to break into; but not so high that they’re out of the reach of most fire engine ladders.
  4. Keep the door to your room locked at all times. If you are inside the room, turn the deadbolt and fasten the security chain and or/the boat latch. I would also recommend investing in a portable doorstop alarm. This is an item you can find on our website.
  5. Check the locks on the windows (and balcony door, if applicable) as soon as you arrive, and notify the front desk if any are not functioning. It’s a good idea to check these locks again each time you return to the room, as housekeeping may open them and forget to close them.
  6. When you leave your hotel room, pull the door completely closed behind you. Make sure the latch has engaged. Take a moment before you leave to try the door and make sure it is secure.
  7. Use the security view-port (peephole) to see who is outside your door before opening it. Do not trust someone claiming to be a hotel employee if you are not expecting one. If you are unsure, call the front desk to check. Leave the security chain engaged while opening the door for further protection.
  8. When leaving your room, turn the TV or radio on, and/or put your “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Both of these tricks will give potential thieves the impression that you’re still there. (You can contact the front desk to arrange a housekeeping visit even if the “Do Not Disturb” sign is up.)
  9. The hotel parking lot and hallways should be well lit. Report any outages to the front desk and ask for a security escort if you feel unsafe. Always try to park under a light.
  10. When entering or leaving the hotel after dark, use the main entrance.

The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD. Please visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.

        Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women


7 Holiday Shopping Safety Tips


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!

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Always have your pepper spray in your hand when you are walking to and from the car.
  2. 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!
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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®



It’s not just the trick or treating that makes Halloween fun for me – it’s also my birthday! My husband is one of the few men that can say he’s married to a real “witch” and get away with it!

As a child, I spent my birthdays trick or treating; and as an adult walking with the kids as they went door-to-door. The number one rule for us was only going to houses that had their lights on.

Well, times have definitely changed and I want to share some safety tips with you that you may have not considered.

  1. When picking a costume with a mask check the following:
  • Can you easily see out of it?
  • Can it be quickly removed?
  • Is it well ventilated for easy breathing?
  1. Does your costume have a bottom?
  • Is it easy to walk in?
  • If it’s adult costume, can you drive in it?
  1. Before you head out knocking on doors take time to check the national sex offender registry for your neighborhood.
  • Most local city & county agencies have this information available.
  • Avoid these homes
  • If you know a home is registered to a sex offender & they have lights on and decorations out, report them to local authorities immediately!
  1. Parents always carry a flashlight & peppers spray with you.
  2. If kids are uncomfortable going to a house because it looks too spooky, walk up with them.
  3. Never enter anyone’s home to accept candy even if it’s just for a minute. Always wait outside.
  1. Respect people’s personal space and don’t let anyone within your personal space.
    • Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean it’s ok to walk up to just anyone.
    • If you are uncomfortable be sure to keep your distance or ask that person to step back.
  1. Be mindful/respectful of what time it is.
    • If it’s 10:00 pm & the trick or treaters are long gone, don’t open your door to a random.
  1. ALWAYS walk in groups or pairs. It’s never safe to walk alone.
  2. Check all candy/items before eating them.
  • Only eat factory wrapped candy.
  • If a piece of candy looks questionable, throw it away!

For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® Guest Speaking, Workshops, DVD’s, Security Products or how to bring us to your campus visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women®

Caller ID


(Image Credit: Donald Joski from Fotolia.com)

I just went off on someone who called…which I try not to do.  But, seriously, use your brains.

Caller: “My car just broke down, nearby.  It’s a 1996 Buick Century.  I think it needs a fuel pump; approximately, how much would that be?

Me (in an irritated voice): “Don’t call around, asking for prices on a repair that you have no  idea is a correct diagnosis. Someone will tell you $500 on the phone; and you may only need a relay.  Then, they’ll charge you $500 anyway, because they already gave you a price. Call around and find a mechanic you trust, instead.”

Caller: “Oh, ok.”  Click.

It was harsh, on my part; but I get this type of call all the time.   And it is the exact wrong thing to do.  Instead of finding the cheapest job around, try to find the correct job by a reputable technician.

Questions: DontGetWrenched@gmail.com

Protecting Your Purse: 8 Must-Know Safety Tips

purse_quincychatwin(Image credit: Quincy Chatwin)

You might call it your handbag, pocketbook or perhaps your purse. Whatever you call it, it’s likely where you keep your wallet, debit card, cell phone, driver’s license, car/house keys and many other of your very personal items. Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders! So, let’s talk about some helpful safety tips for those all-important accessories you carry with you everywhere!

  1. ALWAYS zip, snap or button your purse! Don’t leave it hanging open so everyone can see what’s inside. It leaves you vulnerable to a pick pocket.
  2. NEVER leave your purse unattended! Thieves only need a few seconds! If you can’t see it, then you can’t see the person who might be rummaging through it or trying to steal it.
  3. At the grocery store: Secure your purse with the baby strap, or place it at the bottom of the cart placing groceries over and around it. Don’t make it easy for a snatch and grab! If you aren’t comfortable leaving it in the cart, keep it on your shoulder.
  4. When loading your car: Open the passenger door, place your purse on the floor take the keys and lock the door before you continue.
  5. Staying at a hotel? Use the safe if they have one or take it with you. Never leave it in the room unattended.
  6. If you like to keep your purse on the seat next to you in the car, then hook it through the seatbelt. It creates an extra step for someone trying to reach in the window and steal it and it will keep it secure if you need to stop in a hurry.
  7. Avoid hanging your purse on the back of the restroom stall doors. It’s too easy for someone to reach over and snatch it while your “occupied.”
  8. Minimize what you carry in your purse. Don’t carry your birth certificate, you marriage license, grandma’s favorite cookie recipe and so on!

The eight tips above were all good prevention habits when it comes to purse safety. The last tip is the most important!  If you find yourself the victim of a purse snatching, LET IT GO! You heard me; there’s nothing in there that is worth your life. Women have been beaten, dragged behind cars, and killed for their purse. Your instincts will be to fight, because you don’t want to be a victim; but I am still going to tell you to LET IT GO!

More safety tips can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women® DVD and web site www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Women and Cars: 6 Must-Know Personal Safety Tips

Remote on Visor

My husband always says I remind him of a scene from the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”  Marisa Tomei says her “uncle is a mechanic, her brother is a mechanic”; and, for me in addition to that, my father and grandfather were also a mechanics that owned a Gulf station back in the day.  So, I am familiar with good automotive maintenance habits and the personal safety aspect that goes along with them.  When you read these, you are going to think “I knew that.”  But are you doing these?

  1. Do you have a handheld garage door opener on your sun visor?  Remove it, before you leave your car with a mechanic.
  2. Don’t leave your whole key ring, when you drop off your car.  Only leave the ignition key and fob.  (Remember to take your pepper spray off your key ring.)
  3. Never program your home address, in your GPS system.  Instead, use an address of a nearby shopping center.  If you have a portable GPS, remove it from your car before leaving it.
  4. Always remove mail, paperwork and personal belongings, before dropping your car off for service.
  5. Check the air in your spare tire, regularly.  Having a flat tire is troublesome enough; you don’t want to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, by not having a useful spare.
  6. Keep a flashlight in your car that is easily accessible, in case of emergency.


The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women® DVD. Please visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.

Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women

8 Things Women Should Know About Public Restroom Safety

Public Restroom

Ladies, how many public restrooms do you think you’ve visited since you were a little girl? For me, I would have to say it’s been thousands! Patiently, we stand with our arms (and legs) crossed waiting for our turn and hoping that when we finally get there that the stall door will lock. (If we are really lucky, there might be even be a little square left for us to use.) This is usually the case when we are in high traffic areas or busy venues.

Occasionally, we will find ourselves faced with a walk down a long hall to a restroom where there is nobody waiting in line and 10-25 stalls to choose from. Seems like a dream come true right? I guess it could be… You get to pick whatever stall you want, and there is plenty of toilet paper (providing you can manage that spare tire roll they call toilet paper).

The disadvantage to this very empty restroom is your personal safety. Here are 8 tips to keep you safe.

1. Walk with your pepper spray in your hand.

2. If possible try to use a “family stall.”

  • Usually this is a standalone restroom.
  • They are located just outside the entrance of the large row of stalls.
  • They have a full size locking door so nobody else can enter.

3. If the family stall is unavailable, use the cleanest stall closest to the main entrance.

4. Always glance under the door first to see if the stall is already occupied.

5. Push it the door open & look inside before you enter.

6. Make sure the door to your stall moves freely; there are no gaps & the door securely locks.

7. If the purse hook is located high on the back of the stall door, consider keeping your purse on your shoulder instead. You don’t want someone reaching over to steal it.

8. If you are in an extreme remote location listen for others that might enter the restroom while you are in the stall.

  • Does it sound like another woman?
  • Is she with someone?
  • Did she go into a stall?

This is a safety 101 reminder…  Always try to walk in pairs, let someone know where you are going, and most importantly –Trust Your Instincts!

The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD. Please visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.