What do you do to keep yourself safe while you travel, whether domestically or abroad? I will post a few things that I've found helpful, as a wheelchair user who is also in the travel industry.
1) Safety socks:
I have recently come across these, and think they are genius. They are socks that have a secret pocket in them to store credit cards, cash, or other miniature but important things.
2.) All-purpose gloves:
These are gloves without fingers, and with padding in the palm. I find that using a wheelchair and all the pushing can do a number on hands, so these gloves work nicely and they take quite awhile to wear out.
3.) Clean map:
Never use a map and write all over it, then leave it around somewhere, either in your hotel room or a vehicle or wherever. Always keep that with you or discard it if not needed.
But try to clear out all routes you may have put in, to your home or hotel you are staying in, or wherever. If someone were to break into your vehicle, or to steal your GPS, and gets your drivers license, would you want them to know how to get to your home while also knowing that you are not there?
5.) Act casual:
If you travel alone to a new place, do not announce it. If someone comes up asking you whether you've traveled to that place before give them a vague answer and basically lie. They don't need to know that you don't know your way around, especially if they do.
6.) Keep it concealed:
Don't check your phone, electronics, or papers out in the wide open. Someone could be walking past, and since you are distracted possibly talking on a phone or trying to gather information, they can easily listen in and learn about you or your trip. Also, much like an ATM, if you are looking at a piece of paper, they could easily hover over your shoulder to get information that you don't want them to have.
7.) When in Roam:
If you are in a new area, especially a foreign country, try to blend in. Don't wear any clothing that can make you stand out, like bright colors, or sweatshirts with giant logos of the college in the state you are from. You will look very much like a tourist if you do this. I bet you already get attention enough with the wheelchair, so try to act like you know the place like the back of your hand.
Keep information about all locations you are going to visit. Pre-planning would be helpful for this. The name of the hotel you are staying in, the address of it and all places you visit such as museums or restaurants. Business cards are a great resource for this.
9.) Send a signal:
In hotel rooms, place the Do Not Disturb sign on the door, even when you are planning to leave. This can be a deterrent for someone to steal from you, as they don't want to risk someone being in the room to catch them, much like an alarm at your home. Also, when you are leaving, keep your television on to make unwanted strangers think that there is someone in the room.
10.) Lock up:
No matter what floor you are on, make sure your windows and all doors are locked, especially if there is an adjoining one in your room. Make sure your locks are in adequate working order. I sometimes like to put my wheelchair in front of the door when I am going to sleep to block anyone from trying to get in.
11.) Don't get stuck:
Steel wool can help a wheelchair if you remove your tires and find there is a lot of rust in them. Since you are unable to carry any sprays to clean your wheels, this is a nice alternative so that your wheels don't end up stuck to your chair.