Travel and Safety: Gabby Petito


Bailey Earls

Graphic by Bailey Earls

by Bailey Earls, Layout Editor

With the recent interest in the Gabby Petito case, it is important to address not only travel safety but also public safety.

According to CNN News, Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 while traveling across the United States with her fiancé. On Sept. 21, it was announced that Petito’s body was found in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. The cause of her death and the location of her fiancé are still unknown. 

Despite these unfortunate events, Petito did practice some travel safety guidelines. She kept in contact with friends and family, posted on her social media regularly and gave updates on her whereabouts. 

These few practices are essential for others to find you if something bad happens during your travels or everyday life. Family and friends are able to figure out that something is not right when communication ends or patterns become irregular. 

There are many other tips and practices to ensure safety while out in public or traveling the world. 

Most people make travel plans and accommodations before their trip. It is important to stick to the plan and keep all the information to yourself and your travel companions. Other people should not be able to gain access to these details. 

It is important to do your research. Become familiar with the environment and surroundings of your destination. What has crime been like lately in this particular area? Being wary or lost makes you an easy target for thieves and abductors. 

Do not carry cash on you. If you need cash, find an ATM that is out in the open. If you do end up getting mugged, do not fight back. Losing some jewelry and cash is way better than getting injured or losing your life.

It is important to blend in with the locals and to not draw attention to yourself. Act like you know what you’re doing and have a purpose. Try to be discrete when looking at directions or a map. Thieves are aware that tourists are easy targets and can be easily caught off guard when in unfamiliar surroundings. 

Try not to travel at night and avoid hitchhiking. Carjacking can be a problem in some cities so it is important to lock the doors. If you are taking an uber or taxi, do not share the ride with a stranger. 

When it comes to your accommodations, try to find places with unmarked cards. If your card gets stolen or you lose it, then someone would not be able to find what room you are staying in. Locate the exits in your building and become familiar with emergency guidelines and protocols. Always lock the door when you are asleep or not around. If you are meeting someone for business, do not tell them what room you are in. Always meet in the lobby. 

Another tip is to be aware of scams. Thieves may pose as tour guides or even police officers to get your attention and separate you from a large crowd of people. Keep an eye on your drinks whether alcoholic or not, it only takes a second for someone to slip a sedative into your drink.

Lastly, know where to get help and who to ask for information. The hotel manager or travel center is a great source for information. Locate the local police or security within the area and take your own safety precautions such as mace or an alarm. 

Most of your safety depends on the actions you take and the knowledge you have.