Krav Maga POV: Staying Safe While Travelling

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safeguarding from robberings and muggings while travelling

Keeping yourself safe while travelling is important. While travelling to new locations is undoubtedly thrilling, it also comes with unique challenges. One potential risk many travellers face, particularly in unfamiliar territories, is becoming victims of theft, robbery, or mugging.

At SGS Krav Maga, we strongly believe in the power of proactive protection. By integrating Krav Maga principles, travellers can navigate unfamiliar territories with increased safety and confidence.

Understand the Risks

Before stepping foot in a foreign land, it is crucial to understand the risks involved. Among them, opportunistic thieves and muggers are the most common. These criminals often target tourists who appear lost, vulnerable, or visibly displaying wealth.

Your safety should be your priority. You can replace your property, but you can’t be replaced.

Get to safety. If you’re already safe, stay put. If not, find somewhere well-populated and well-lit. If possible, find a police station, hospital or major hotel with security guards.

Don’t chase after the perpetrator or try to track them down yourself. They may respond with violence. Let local police handle it.

Learning a real-world self-defence system such as Krav Maga and practising its principles can help neutralise threats before they escalate into dangerous situations.


Look After Your Health

If you’re injured, get medical assistance.

Local emergency contacts at smart traveller can be found in the travel advice for each destination.

For lists of local hospitals in each destination with doctors who speak English contact your nearest embassy or consulate, or call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305.

Awareness is Your Best Defence

The foundation of Krav Maga is situational awareness. It involves always being aware of your surroundings and potential threats. This principle can be invaluable for travellers. 

Before entering unfamiliar areas, research common scams and crimes, high-risk areas, and local emergency contacts. Cultivate a habit of scanning your environment, identifying possible threats, escape routes, and nearby places to seek help. 

Read our blog on 6 Ways To Improve Your Situational Awareness for some tips.

The Art of De-Escalation

Krav Maga teaches that avoiding conflict is always the best solution. If you sense a threat, your primary goal should be de-escalation. This could involve speaking calmly and firmly, maintaining non-threatening body language, or making a tactical retreat when necessary.

Preventive Measures

Just as Krav Maga emphasises readiness, travellers should take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of being targeted. Keep your valuables out of sight, use secure bags and clothing with concealed pockets, avoid flaunting wealth, and steer clear of deserted or risky areas, particularly during night hours.


aggression training

Preventive Measures

Just as Krav Maga emphasises readiness, travellers should take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of being targeted. Keep your valuables out of sight, use secure bags and clothing with concealed pockets, avoid flaunting wealth, and steer clear of deserted or risky areas, particularly during night hours.

Physical Defence

In the unfortunate event that a mugger confronts you, Krav Maga’s effective self-defence techniques come into play. Remember, the goal is not to win a fight but to create an opportunity for escape. Distraction techniques, strikes to vulnerable body parts, and defensive manoeuvres can provide the chance to flee to safety.

Winter Camp Kick Defences

Mental Fortitude

Being a victim of theft or mugging can be psychologically traumatic. 

Krav Maga prepares you physically and mentally to deal with such situations. It encourages resilience and the mental fortitude to bounce back, report the incident to local authorities, and continue your journey.

Post-Incident Actions

After a mugging or robbery, ensure your safety first, then contact local law enforcement to report the crime. Local emergency numbers can be found in the smart traveller travel advice for each destination.

Inform your embassy or consulate if necessary, especially if travel documents were stolen. Seek medical attention if needed and connect with support services for psychological help.

Be aware that a local crime is a matter for local authorities. The Australian Government is limited in how and when it can get involved. See the Consular Services Charter.

Deciding If You Report It

It’s up to you to report the robbery, theft, mugging or carjacking.

However, failing to report a crime is illegal in some countries. If so, and local police find out about it, they may arrest you. Before deciding not to report it, check the local law.

For instance, if you’re the victim of a carjacking, failing to report the crime comes with other risks.

If the thief uses the car to break other laws (e.g. speeding), the police may think you were driving. They could arrest you for someone else’s crime. With a police report, you can claim the car or travel insurance.

Gather evidence

In the event of an incident, you’ll need to provide the police with everything you can remember about the incident. As soon as you can, write down the details.

Consider the perpetrator’s physical attributes. This can include assumptions on age, weight, gender and nationality. Also, remember their skin, hair and eye colour.

Remember what they said, also how they said it. Details that may seem small on the surface can help the police investigate.

Think about what you were doing at the time. Also, think about what else is happening around you. What you were doing and where can also impact your potential travel insurance claim.

Try to remember who else was nearby when it happened. Criminals often work in groups. For example, a person you interacted with may have been the decoy for a pickpocket or bag snatch.

Be careful about accusing someone of theft. Don’t just assume it’s the hotel staff or another guest. If you accuse without proof, local police could arrest you for defamation.

Be sure to get a police report. Your insurer may also ask for some of these details and a copy of the police report.

Prevent fraud and identity theft

If someone has taken your passport, phone or bank card, you’re at risk of fraud or identity theft (Australian Federal Police). You must act quickly.

Stolen passport

If someone has stolen your passport contact your nearest Australian embassy or consulate, or call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305.

In some countries, you could also be arrested or jailed for not having your passport on you. Without it, you won’t be able to leave the country to get home.

Refer to the Smart Traveller website on information about passports overseas.


Stolen phone

If someone has stolen your phone, use the remote wipe feature promptly.

Otherwise, if someone finds your phone and gets past your lock screen, they could access your personal information. This includes saved passwords and banking log-in details.

Learn more about how to remotely wipe your mobile phone. See what to do if your iPhone or iPad is lost or stolen (Apple) or how to find, lock or erase an Android device (Google).


Stolen credit or debit card

If someone has stolen your debit or credit card, contact your bank to cancel it immediately.

Criminals can use your cards to empty your accounts quickly and run up a debt to the maximum limit. Most Australian financial institutions have 24-hour emergency numbers you can call from overseas.


Contact your insurer


Travel insurer

Contact your travel insurer. Tell them what happened. You may wish to claim to:

  • replace your stolen property
  • repair or replace any damaged items from the incident
  • cancel or change your travel plans
  • get medical assistance if you’re injured
  • exempt the car hire insurance excess if you’ve been carjacked.

Check the fine print on your policy. Confirm what you can claim. Find out how to claim.

You can also find contact details of travel insurers in Australia on Find an Insurer (Insurance Council of Australia).


Car insurer, if carjacked

Carjacking is a violent, road-based crime. It’s also a form of robbery.

The car insurance claims process is separate to your travel insurance claim. Most travel insurance policies don’t include car insurance. However, some include car hire excess cover.

Car insurance is usually through the hire company. There may be a very large excess. Ask the hire company about their car insurance claims process and their excess.


Replace your stolen items

If you need a replacement passport, your nearest embassy or consulate can help. 

If you need cash urgently, contact your travel insurer, family or friends. The Australian Government can’t give you money.

If you need new credit or debit cards, contact your bank. Most have processes to express post replacement cards to your hotel or a local post office while travelling overseas.

To replace other stolen items you need while overseas, try to find local vendors. Understand that some items readily available in Australia may take a lot of work to get overseas. This includes medications.


How the Australian Government can help

Unless it’s a passport, helping with stolen property is not typically a consular responsibility. In most cases, you need to take steps to resolve the situation yourself.

Understand how and when we can help Australians overseas. Read the Consular Services Charter.


In Summary

Krav Maga equips travellers with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to protect themselves from potential threats overseas. The goal is not to instil fear but to promote preparedness and resilience, allowing individuals to confidently explore the world. 

Remember, your most powerful weapon is your ability to think, plan, and act wisely.

At SGS Krav Maga, we are committed to empowering travellers with these essential self-defence principles. Together, we can create safer travel experiences.