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Discussion Starter #1
I am a female that travels Monday-Thursday three weeks each month for my job. While I feel very confident about my preps at home, I am concerned about a SHTF situation while being thousands of miles from home.

While I am limited to what I can actually get through security in airports, can anyone offer some advice on what I should have with me at all times that will help me survive until I can make it back home?

I have learned so much from all of you this month and I thank you for all of the words of wisdom you have shared with me and everyone on the forum. This is one area where I really need advice and I havent found any posts along these lines yet. Any advice is appreciated. :)
 

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Add a bag to your checked luggage with MRE's, cash, and a pistol.
 

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Is there the option to hide or store provisions in the area/s you work like friends, family, office, etc.....Surely your not entirely alone when you get to your destination (or are you). I think more details would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there the option to hide or store provisions in the area/s you work like friends, family, office, etc.....Surely your not entirely alone when you get to your destination (or are you). I think more details would be helpful.
I am in the newspaper business and I travel to our different papers each week. I don't have 'friends' in these towns but I am sure a co-worker would offer me a place to stay if I needed it. I stay in hotels during my visits and rent my own car. I am on my own once the work day is done.

Maybe I am just being too independent, but I don't really want to have to rely on BOB type of items from these folks. I want to know that I have SOME of the basic things they wouldnt have thought of. I would have shelter if I was at one our papers, but what about when I am stranded at an airport? A hotel? Perhaps an airport that my plane was diverted to where I dont know anyone?

Most likely, in that situation, I won't have access to my checked luggage, but I will have my backpack that I travel with every week. A quick review of it today indicates that I am currently ill prepared for my road trips. I have various magazines, lipstick, basically girl stuff and other junk that is not going to help me one bit. (not proud to admit this since I am doing well with preps at home).
 

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Ya unfortunately there will be situations you will just not be able access your resources and have to depend 100% on inginuity and will to suvive using whatever resources are around you at the time. You might even be put in a situation were you basically f****d, lets hope not. You might have to do things you would not normally do in the name of self preservation, you'll probably see things you don't want to see either. Have you considered creating a BOB for just the area/s you travel to, find a remote location near to where you work and bury it. Completely seal it with multiple 6mil garbage bags, duck tape, filled with desicant? It's atleast some thing and will play well for your mental prepardness.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ya unfortunately there will be situations you will just not be able access your resources and have to depend 100% on inginuity and will to suvive using whatever resources are around you at the time. You might even be put in a situation were you basically f****d, lets hope not. You might have to do things you would not normally do in the name of self preservation, you'll probably see things you don't want to see either. Have you considered creating a BOB for just the area/s you travel to, find a remote location near to where you work and bury it. Completely seal it with multiple 6mil garbage bags, duck tape, filled with desicant? It's atleast some thing and will play well for your mental prepardness.
I travel to 2-30 different locations per year. This would be hard to do. I guess what I need is more of a "prep" approach to what I should have in my backpack at all times (that will go through airport security). Thoughts?
 

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Ah yes, 2-30 different locations does somewhat put all that I said to rest however there are basics you can pack in you carry on (provided the airlines let you) like water, protien bars, simple med kit, ballons. Hmm I'm kinda of having trouble with this one cause I don't fly and I don't think they really let you take much of anything any more, do they?
 

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Water filter instead of water might be the best you can do. Plastic collapsible jugs for storing water. Those are two things I would bring.
 

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Get a passport. I know you do not need one to fly but it is the most liked form of ID. You can not 'beat the system' but you can play along with it. Remember the security guards are mostly poorly trained wage slaves. They change the security every week on purpose so just let them lead. Be patient and calm and they will be more likely to disregard odd but benign things like a little plastic light. Make double sure you have your paranoia pouch for any liquids. Include any make up; it is hit or miss whether the security guard will call it a liquid/gel but you want to error on the safe side. They are particularly picky about that now so you want to be careful. Also try your best not to set off the metal detector. Put foil packaged gum or drops in your purse. I saw a woman trying to bully the metal detector, once, not the attendant... the machine. Needless to say no one was impressed with her attitude.

Woman can get away with carrying more on the plane because you get your purse along with laptop bag and piece of luggage. Bean counters in accounting permitting. Pick an airline and stick with their rewards plan. With that much travel you will get levels pretty fast. Once you get Aeroplan (StarAlliance) privileges you can board first. This usually lets get first dibs on the overhead bins. I saw one guy put his case in a bin over isle 10 then go back and sat in isle 20. The people around him get bin space so they were all happy and someone else had to put up with cramped feet. Plus you will get the occasional upgrade. Business class is much nicer :thumb:. Make sure everything including the purse has a zipper closure so you do not have to worry about things falling out.

Take your own shampoo, soap, and such. You never know what you are going to get at the hotel. Sometimes it has additives, sometimes not. It is a lot nicer to have your own stuff. Feel free to pinch the little bottles though, for easy carrying. Store these things in clear plastic pouches. I heard a woman complaining one day about her fancy new make up case by Zip-loc but it is much easier for the screeners to see so they will not rummage around in your luggage as much.

Can you expense dry cleaning at the hotels? If so you can wear an outfit on Monday, have it cleaned on Tuesday and mix and match Wednesday and Thursday. If you fly out on Monday with a slightly rumpled black skirt or pair of pants not too many are going to recognise it when it is fresh and pressed from the cleaner on Wednesday. (I know that is more relevant to males and our boring suits but females can pass if their office dress fashion is not too flamboyant.) Most people do this so they can carry less stuff but you could use the space for some sturdy close. Some tennies or hikers, durable pants, sweatshirt, socks, hat, etc. If you squeeze pack them you could transfer them to your pack as soon as you get your bags. Pack extra unmentionables. There is nothing worse than a bad dinner and nothing to change in to afterword.

Do not buy black luggage. 95% of travelers have black soft sided rollers. I like the plaid ones but red or pink work well too. Shipping containers are good if you can spring for the oversized fees. They go to a special place for pickup and there are usually not may people there. This way you can spot your stuff easily in a crowded area full of people and other luggage. Also, it is easier for the handlers to find and identify it when it does get occasionally lost. On the outgoing trip, put a copy of your itinerary in the bag with your name and the hotel you are staying at, if the outside tags are removed they will eventually look inside. Include your departure date so they can ship it to your home if you have already left. I always carried a thin nylon stuff sack. My coat went into that so I did not have to worry about anything left in the pockets falling out and getting lost.

Scan or color copy your passport and travel documents including your office ID. Make two copies. Stash one and include some business cards. Make a laminated full size copy of your passport and the outside cover. Just flash that at anyone who wants ID. Real officials will want to see the real thing most of the time but it should be fine for many times it will be enough. You can have it handy and be less worried about loss/theft.

Have a couple personal credit cards with enough limit to get you a rental or air fare. If you have someone you can trust leave them with copies of the cards. If you lose the cards (or they are stolen) and you are bugging you can leave the job of canceling them to your friend. Most business cards have a ridiculously high limit. Mine was a quarter of a million dollars though I never spent more than $5k a month. If it is a jam, do not be afraid to use it within reason. You company can go jump if they will not extend you $5-10k credit in an emergency. Plus the cards often have guarantees that will ensure you get a rental. Check your travel insurance. They do not like to tell you this but if your luggage is not retrieved in a couple hours you can just go shopping. If you can not find anything suitable under their limit just pay more; nine times out of ten all you have to do is complain and they fix it.

If you have the rental car there is very little they will do to make you return it. They do not want to report it stolen to the cops. Even if you have to drive half way across the country just call them and tell them you need to one-way it to visit some clients along the way. This will cost a lot but, well, if SHTF you may not care. Rental cars are are generally very safe because they are only drive 30k-ish miles and you always get them full of gas and fluids. Make sure you have both the roadside numbers from your company CC and the rental car. Buy good road maps with a street index and land marks for each city you will be in. You will use them very much so do not be hesitant about writing notes on them: bad areas, traffic nuisances, good restaurants, and the like. You may not want to do that when co-workers are around. I was the only person who every knew where I was or where I was going. A button compass might be nice to have, one of those fob kinds would probably not be questioned.

Prepare to loose anything valuable that you pack in your checked luggage. iPods, cameras, Leatherman tools, the baggage attendants will steal them. Take out the memory card from a camera so they do not get the pictures on it. If you can, put any valuables in a zippered case with some junk and put that in a zippered compartment. The airlines claim, "things can just fall out of luggage, they are moved around a lot" but that is just a line to try to get out of insurance and responsibility. Close your suitcases with a small cable tie. If the TSA searches your bag they will seal it with their own tie. Thieves tend to tied bags unless their see something on their shopping list in it. The locks are no good because they are easily opened and closed again. The tie will show it has been tampered with When you loose stuff, file a police report. When the cops get enough reports they will sweep, again.

Will your office courier packages ahead for you or let you? Can you stash some stuff in there. Do you have to carry tools of your trade? power tools, projectors, flip charts, brochures? If so you can ask you bosses to send it ahead since it is too much to carry. Check the weight restrictions on luggage. They keep getting smaller and smaller so it might be as cheap to ship them. Alternately you can courier them out and carry them back. A good excuse is you have to be prepared :)rolleyes:) for that meeting and can not afford to have luggage delayed.

I checked a small tool box with a bunch of crappy tools. Mini-mag-light, CDs, box cutter, pry bar, several colored rolls of tape, cheap Phillips screw driver, mound of cable ties, a label maker and some other things I needed for work. That survived about 40 flights without anyone messing with it probably because it was not worth the bother. You could probably add a sewing kit but there will probably be one at your hotel. If you do any kind of meeting, conference, demo, or training you can always say you need the tools to deal with crappy presentation aids. There are TSA-safe multi-tools you can carry on. They are pretty puny but would work fixing glasses or removing splinters.

Maintain your awareness in the airports. Make sure you keep aware of your belongings. Outside of security you have to worry about theft. Inside you have to be worried about security thinking your bags are "unattended" and giving you a hard time. If you are really tired then get a cart or a porter to help you. Scope out the power plugs in the terminals. They are there for the cleaning staff but no one seems to care if people use them for gadgets. Get to know their flows and read the warning notices about crime and prohibited behaviour. Beware of shadow cabs; especially as a female.

Get a couple spare batteries for the laptop. A friend of mine spent 4 hours on the 23rd floor of a hotel during a power black out. The emergency light conked out after 20 minutes and her laptop forty minutes later. About an hour later a bellman showed up pushing a cart of water bottles and glow sticks. He told her not to drink the tap water as it was probably contaminated (luckily she had not), gave her two bottles of water and a little glow stick. She knew she could get out of the hotel but getting back to her room on the 23rd floor would have been a real challenge if the power did not come back so she just sat with her little light.

People get all stressed out about airports but I find them quite relaxing. I spent eight hours in Calgary while a maintenance crew tried to fix my plane. It was great; just like theater. They kept coming out with more and more people each with their own special sized ladder. People say Orlando is a terrible airport but when I went through there it was empty. I chatted with the security guards for twenty minutes. They were very nice people.

I have walked out on customs (they hate that). I have missed connections; some guy in a red hat rebooked me right in there terminal and off I went. I have lost my luggage. It was delivered to my hotel room so I did not even have to carry it. I boarded a plane only to have to unload because it was broken and then we found out the replacement only had 2/3rds as many seats. Worked out great for me because they bumped me to a more convenient flight and gave me points.

Getting caught in Katrina would probably have been hell. Getting snowed in during crowded seasons would be tedious. My slips were hassles but, frankly, the transportation industry does a pretty good job and getting things sorted in the end. Most of the time all I did was give them a wan smile and ask, "what do I have to do now?"

Your backpack would be nice to double as a pillow; a bit better if you can put a hat and scarf in there. Always wear a jacket or coat. If it will be hot then a light one that will double as shade and concealment. Pockets are too convenient and if you do not want to wear it just roll it up and put it in the pack. Leave off the electronic entertainment but make sure you have your backup USB stick. Also, your luggage will surely get lost if you put your computer power adapter in it ;). Pack ear plugs, chap stick, tissues. I always kept a cheap plastic hotel pen and pad in my pocket. That is really handy for jotting down thoughts in the cramped confines of a plane. You probably already carry a change purse but males should get one. Always take a book.

Well, I am not sure how much that ramble had to do with prepping. I am not sure how long you have been flying on this schedule. There are a bunch of travel hints in there that I wish I had learned earlier to allow me to keep my head and keep moving forward during the inevitable minor emergencies.
 

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Be very carefull when checking a firearm. It must be unloaded and no ammo in your luggage. it must be in a locked case inside your checked luggage. You will have to declare it at the check in desk. If you have a concealed carry license then you need to know the laws of the state to which you will be traveling. Their laws now apply not your home states. You would have to buy ammo at your destination if you can. You will have to dispose of the ammo when you fly out. Be prepared to be held up at one airport or both. Also understand that the ramp rats have keys to all locks and will go through your checked luggage for goodies. My ex was a flight attendant.

Bottom line don't try to carry a gun with you. At some point you would forget and carry bullets on a plane and that is a felony.

YOur best bet is to put together a kit with items that could help you. Things like compass, multitool, clothing and walking shoes, dust masks, latex gloves, first aid kit. Lots of ID. cash on you. Maps, maps, maps. The paper kind. get ones with lots of detail. have plans for how to get out. During Hurricane Hugo back in the 80s we got a rental car and agreed to take it inland to a place where the rental car company wanted it to wind up in safety. They made us a deal since we were willing to work with them. it got us out of harms way and we got to another airport that was not closed.

Keep your head. Your mind is your greatest tool. have plans for what you have to do. Keep some munchies and a water filter small in your kit. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you ALL for your fantastic replies! I have been traveling for 2 1/2 years and do get all the perks from the airlines due to that.

I just realized how unprepared I have been as far as supplies/preparedness and I knew you would all have some great ideas. Thank you so much!
 

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Can you pick a city in between, say within 100-200 miles of where you travel, you could put your preparedness items in storage. So if the SHTF, you will have your items in a drivable distance.
Maybe choose 3-4 'sites' you could drive to, grab your equipment.
Could you then use your rental car to drive home with your survival gear?

Just a thought
 

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Oh. And another thought. We have all been concentration on the S being where you are. What if the S is where you thought you could go back to? Now your house/apt is gone including all your possessions. Maybe your city and your job are gone or in no shape to take you back.

My first though would be secondary rally points and remote contacts for your family members and other important contacts. Reading through "Lessons from Katrina" might be a good as the author has a lot to say about being displaced. A cache in a storage locker would be more reasonable since you know you will be there almost half the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh. And another thought. We have all been concentration on the S being where you are. What if the S is where you thought you could go back to? Now your house/apt is gone including all your possessions. Maybe your city and your job are gone or in no shape to take you back.

My first though would be secondary rally points and remote contacts for your family members and other important contacts. Reading through "Lessons from Katrina" might be a good as the author has a lot to say about being displaced. A cache in a storage locker would be more reasonable since you know you will be there almost half the year.
I can't even fathom not being with my family in a SHTF situation. I mean, really, I can't. While I am doing the preps for Bug In, I am not anywhere near surviving on my own without my hubby ( I call him Jeremiah Johnson sometimes :) ) He is my best friend and I count on his strength everyday. I fly out of town every week and he is the one always freaked out about what could happen to me. I have been blissfully ignorant of everything that could go wrong when I am on the road. I always imagined just driving my rental car home to Texas- but what if I couldnt get gas? Yikes- I think I need a new job!
 

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I can't even fathom not being with my family in a SHTF situation. I mean, really, I can't. While I am doing the preps for Bug In, I am not anywhere near surviving on my own without my hubby ( I call him Jeremiah Johnson sometimes :) ) He is my best friend and I count on his strength everyday. I fly out of town every week and he is the one always freaked out about what could happen to me. I have been blissfully ignorant of everything that could go wrong when I am on the road. I always imagined just driving my rental car home to Texas- but what if I couldnt get gas? Yikes- I think I need a new job!
Siphon gas from other cars like in a mall parking lot away from other people. Keeping a siphon in your BOB might not be practical so you may have to keep a list of stores that sell them.

Learn to steal a car. Seriously. I drive a semi and am in kind of the same position only I could drive about 1,000 miles on full tanks with no trailer. If that fails I will steal a car and not regret it. It will probably end up stolen or burnt up anyway.

If its a real SHTF situation the cops probably wont even get the call cause they will be too busy with other stuff.
I wont say how to do it cause I dont think the Mod's would like me doing that but its not hard and that info can be found on line.

I know it sounds crazy but if you wanna get home you may have to get a little crazy.
 

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cute is not always enough
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<SNIP>

Yikes- I think I need a new job!
Well, not so fast there. You may want to get a new job but you do not want to do anything rash. You do not want to abandon a good job right now. You can start looking but I certainly would not take a significant cut in pay or responsibility to get rid of the travel. Not yet, anyway.

You seem like a capable and strong willed person so I think you will be fine with whatever gets thrown your way. Corporate travel is generally quite safe.

That kind of travel schedule is punishing. It would not be unusual to burn out in three years. You may be able to work a transfer.
 

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can you elaborate on this????
In many of the international airports in Canada the inbound drill goes like this: you get off the plane and walk to the customs booth, they interview you and check your papers (I have never been stopped so I do not know what happens when they are not happy), then you go pick up your bag from a carousel, then you leave the customs area and either head to check in for a connecting flight or leave the terminal if this is your destination city.

You have to get your bags before you go. They will not let you back in once you leave the customs area. The problem is there is usually very little stopping you from leaving. Usually there is just a guard that looks at the card from the first interviewer and waves you on. The guard does not tell you you can not come back in. Half the time they do not even speak just wave you on. (Once I had a guy not even acknowledge me and he seemed pissed when I stopped and waited... :confused: you have to stop at every other checkpoint :mad:) There are signs but if you are rushed and a little confused they do not mean much to you.

Once I was out and realised my mistake I was almost immediately grabbed by a handler who directed to some convenient courtesy phones where I called the airline. I described my bag (a medium sized roller in black; I could hear the guy cringe) and they sent an attendant to get it and take it to another area where I was interviewed by another customs agent and sent packing. This is one of the few things I really wonder why it is not done better.

Another tip; keep your boarding pass and claim stubs until you get home.
Another tip; all adults in a group must keep their boarding pass, ID, and itinerary on their person at all times. Do not put it in ma's bag or your case for "safe keeping". I have seen people walk out of the secure area with no way to prove they were supposed to be there; departures lounges often have places where you can just walk out. I really hate to think what would happen when someone does that in a not so friendly foreign country.
 

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One thing you could try is that your going to stay in hotels. When you’re are at your destination, go to the supermarket and buy a couple bottles of water, a couple of tinned foods, couple of cup a soup, energy bars or whatever that needs little to no preparation. So if some SHTF and you can’t get you the airport or your flight is canceled for a couple of days, or you have to wait for a long distance bus. And it is too dangerous for you to venture out for food in while waiting for some transportation, at least you know you have couple of days worth of food in your hotel room or rental car. And if no SHTF that week and you don’t want to carry a couples days worth of food in your luggage, give to some homeless shelter.

I know what I said above wont help much in a bad SHTF scenario, but at least you won’t have to worry initially about a hungry tummy on top of all the stress and chaos happening around you.
 
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