Travel Tips

BOOK REVIEW OF ‘THE TRAVEL SURVIVAL GUIDE

‘THE TRAVEL SURVIVAL GUIDE’ by Lloyd Figgins.

Available on Amazon: The Travel Survival Guide: Get Smart, Stay Safe

I recently wrote a blog entitled ‘Farewell to Fear’ trying to highlight the joys and benefits of travelling outweighing the associated fears and the risks (which several people recently have seemed to delight in ramming down my throat)

I have had my own travel scares and near misses on a few occasions; I had an unwanted visitor in a hotel room in Turkey when my daughter was just 2, a year later she almost drowned in front of my eyes when her foot got sucked into a filtration pipe and trapped her in a swimming pool in Cyprus. In 2014 we were caught up in an earthquake in Barbados and staff at our beachfront hotel were absolutely clueless as to the potential threat of an incoming Tsunami.

I have however spent 6 years in the police force in a past life, I’m a very experienced traveller and have an former partner who is highly respected in the security, risk management and due diligence sector. I like to think that when I am travelling I am risk aware and always call upon both common sense and intuition when planning a trip and whilst abroad….especially as a single mother travelling with at least 1 of my 2 children. The safety of my children always has been and always will be paramount to our adventures.

When I first saw Lloyd Figgins book ‘The Travel Survival Guide’ being recommended on Twitter recently it immediately caught my eye. The fact it was being recommended by a friend of a friend who I also know to be highly experienced & respected within the Security Profession immediately gave me some reassurance that it would be a worthwhile read..it didn’t disappoint.

As I am just about to set off around the world as a single mother with my 6 year curious and adventurous son – a.k.a ‘The blonde bombshell’ I amused by how Lloyd set the scene with tales of his own childhood antics and numerous injuries often caused by accepting dangerous dares laid down by his over enthusiastic brother Mike, who clearly had no concept of danger..or made a darn good job of disguising it!! Lloyd however proves that even as a young lad he wasn’t scared of a challenge and of pushing the boundaries.

Lloyd is now extensively travelled, a respected expedition leader and security adviser. He has experienced scares to his own personal safely through human and mechanical (flight) issues, a serious case of malaria, and has been caught up in natural disasters (earthquakes) during his travels, to name but a few. His book is easy to both read & comprehend and is packed full of insightful advice combined with his own experiential stories. Subjects covered range through personal safely, air travel, natural disasters, medical issues, vehicle and boat safety, accommodation security & terrorism.

Security Tip in event of mugging – old phone with no sim, credit card from a closed account, $1 note.

We all know that many of these issues are ‘low risk’ and yet we should ALL be aware that anything could happen to any one of us at any time.

As I have mentioned in my earlier blog 3 years ago I was in Barbados when we got hit by an earthquake and last year (2017) the first night we arrived back in Barbados we were immediately given instructions to prepare for an incoming Tropical Storm. That tropical storm went on become ‘Hurricane’ Harvey which did no end of damage in other parts of the Caribbean and Texas. We subsequently also escaped incoming Hurricane Irma just as we were leaving – with our homeward flight having to make a 90 minute de-tour around it.

‘Monster’ Tropical Storms bears down on us in Holetown – Barbados. This storm went on to become ‘Hurricane Harvey’

Two months ago I stayed just overnight in a London hotel with my son when we were evacuated in the middle of the night from our 6th floor room with fire alarms raging. Though it turned out to be a false alarm, it is true that no matter how prepared you think you may be, it is very easy to become disorientated in an emergency and especially when others around you start to panic. My son actually vomited in the stair well because he was so scared by the thought of a fire and the panic of people pushing down the stairs!

My son wrapped up in a scarf (kindly offered by a passer by) on the streets of London, having just been evacuated from our hotel in the middle of the night following a fire scare. March 2018

Whether you are looking to take off on a long term travelling adventure or simply a family holiday I would highly recommend this book. I was glued to this every page and read it cover to cover in 24hrs. I certainly feel a lot more confident and aware as I set off around the world with a young child in tow but as I highlight in the paragraph above, emergencies can occur even if you are away for just one night.

To echo the words of Sir Ranulph Fiennes “Entertaining, informative and essential. A must-read for every traveller”

Read the book- use common sense – stay safe – HAVE FUN!

Mum’s Travel Blog Rating 10/10 – You can’t put a price on safety

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