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Risk Mitigation Episode 7: Holiday Travel/Gatherings

Holiday Travel/Gatherings - Listen here.


Stacy Mandock, LSDS Collegiate Travel Program Lead / Research and Development Lead

Brittany Coppock , LSDS RIsk Mitigation Researcher

Stacy Mandock provides support to the LSDS Risk Mitigation team as a program lead for collegiate travel and assists in doing the initial research for travel destinations and identifying potential concerns and/or risks before and during travel. Her specialty is working with collegiate travelers and ensuring that they’re thoroughly prepared before travel as well as tracking potential risks or threats throughout their trips.

Brittany researches and analyzes locations for travelers who are traveling abroad and identifies any risks or concerns that need to be made aware of prior to departure. Brittany grew up traveling and living in different countries and states, including Canada and Iceland, and understands the importance of knowing the risks and concerns associated with traveling to areas that are unfamiliar.

On this topic: Holiday travel can be a stressful time of the year. Whether visiting family or friends or vacationing, learn how to better prepare and protect yourself and loved ones for a healthy and safe holiday travel season.

Key Takeaways

  • Whether you are driving or flying, plan accordingly and Check. The. Weather!

    • Winter travel has its own prep needs:

      • Blankets and extra hat, gloves etc in the vehicle,

      • Tires that can handle the snow (and ice as best possible),

      • Speaking of ice…pack a bag of kitty litter &/salt to help you get out a slick spot

      • Water and snacks in case you get stuck

      • Kids? Age-dependent planning is crucial to the sanity of every person involved in this trip.

      • Bringing pets? What do they need?

  • Give yourself some cushion time to allow for unforeseen travel challenges. if you need to make a special event on a specific date.

  • Don’t post travel dates on social media.

    • Check that all windows and doors are locked securely.

    • If neighbors are staying home and can keep an eye on it, even better. Pet sitters? House sitters? Etc.

    • Security cameras- be aware of any areas of the house that aren’t covered. Not every robber is going to try the front door.

  • Check our most recent podcast on specific Air Travel Tips.



  • Avoid shopping at malls and markets with not well lit parking garages.


  • Online shopping has increased over the last several years, it’s expected to have its smallest growth this year which means more people may be in the stores.

  • Keep track of your orders. Lots of scams pop up targeting online holiday shoppers. We have a podcast coming up focusing on Scam, but the general rule of thumb: never click on a link sent via text or email. Log in to your shopping account via the internet browser.

Large Gatherings - Festivals, Outdoor Markets, Holiday Fairs, etc

What you want to be aware of for your physical safety:

  • Large crowds are prime locations for pickpockets and petty theft type crimes. Lots of people jostling around and often distracted by the event and/or shopping.

  • Outdoor markets and festivals are similar in that they’ll attract petty crime as well, though there’s an additional risk of being accessible to drivers.

  • Term “soft targets”. This is the extreme end of things, but these large events that attract big groups of people have been targeted by terrorists in the past. Holiday markets in Europe saw some of these attacks.


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