Top 5 Travel Safety Tips from Greg Ellifritz

Gun Tote’n Mamas is serious about women’s protection. The team behind the concealed carry purse line wants you to be safe and secure in your upcoming travels. With this in mind, we wanted to check with Greg Ellifritz, and asked for his top five travel safety tips.

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Top Five Travel Safety Tips

1. If traveling by air, clean out your carry-on bag and luggage. 

Some of my friends fill up bags and backpacks with ammunition and supplies for their excursions to the shooting range. I start seeing problems when those people use the same bags for their travel luggage. Using the same bag makes it far more likely that you will accidentally leave some prohibited item in your luggage. Empty your carry-on bag completely before you repack it to ensure you don’t get arrested for smuggling a prohibited item through airport security. Note: This includes knives.

TSA luggage check travel safety tips Greg Ellifritz

2. Pick a hotel or AirBnB in a safe neighborhood

In the USA, it’s safe to say that luxury food and expensive clothing stores aren’t usually found in bad neighborhoods. If I don’t have a local hotel recommendation, I generally look for one near a Whole Foods grocery store or a very high-end clothing store (not attached to a shopping mall). The owners of those types of stores generally only place them in wealthy and relatively safe locations.

luxury clothing store Greg Ellifritz

3. Pack two door stops.

Door stops are great for providing an extra layer of security in your hotel room. Shove a door stop under the closed and locked door to make it even harder for someone to enter your room. On doors with significant gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor, you can place two door stops on top of each other to better secure the door. I’ve had the best luck with the “Wedge It” brand, which is available online.

wedge it travel safety tips Greg Ellifritz

4. When checking in to your hotel, request two room keys even if traveling alone. Some criminals pay hotel employees to identify females traveling alone. Requesting two keys tells the clerk that you likely have another person staying with you. That might keep you from being victimized.

hotel room keys gtm travel safety tips Greg Ellifritz

5. Have a way to secure your firearm in your hotel room

You will likely visit locations where you can’t legally take your firearm during your travels. If you are traveling by air, you already have a locked box. I will attach that box to a structural element inside my locked suitcase or to an immovable point in the hotel room. You can do that with a small chain and padlock or even a pair of police handcuffs.  

Mace and flashlight travel safety tips

If you aren’t carrying your gun, consider carrying pepper spray and a small impact weapon like a flashlight or tactical pen. If you don’t have pockets to hold these items, the zippered compartment in a Gun Tote’n Mammas concealed carry purse is a great place to store them. 

tactical pen and flashlight

Meet Greg Ellifritz

Greg Ellifritz is a seasoned traveler, spending nearly two months of every year traveling in third world countries alone or in a small group. He’s traveled through more than 50 different countries and has visited all seven continents. 

greg ellifritz
(Tamara Keel photo)

Greg recently retired after serving 25 years as a full-time police officer. In his career he served as a patrol officer, bike patrol officer, firearms instructor, tactical training officer, weapons armorer, and sniper for his agency.

Greg owns Active Response Training, a business that allows him to travel around the world teaching students how to win gunfights, outsmart terrorists, provide medical care in austere environments and generally become more formidable adversaries.

 For more travel tips, see Greg’s book: Choose Adventure: Safe Travel in Dangerous Places

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, first entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president and trainer at a national training company. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and FASTER Saves Lives. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.


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