Spotting Danger for Travelers : Build situational awareness to keep safe while traveling - Gary Dean Quesenberry

Spotting Danger for Travelers

Build situational awareness to keep safe while traveling

By: Gary Dean Quesenberry, Tony Blauer (Foreword by)

Paperback | 4 April 2023

At a Glance


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Spotting danger before it happens while traveling alone or with your family is a skill that can be developed and may even save your life.

So, you've decided to go on vacation. Good for you! Unfortunately, when planning a getaway, you must think about more than just the fun stuff; you must also consider your personal safety and the safety of those you're traveling with. This is where situational awareness comes into play.

Domestic and international vacationers spend nearly 1.1 trillion dollars annually in the U.S. alone. Any time there's that much cash involved you can expect there will be someone nearby looking to take advantage of you. When traveling, you must acknowledge and prepare for this potential danger.

In Spotting Danger for Travelers, you will learn how to develop a solid foundation of situational awareness, preemptively spot danger, quickly implement escape plans, and take control of your own safety while traveling.

Details include:

  • Conducting a threat assessment on your destination
  • Properly securing your home while away
  • Taking travel precautions on the road and in the air
  • Securing your temporary accommodations
  • Building situational awareness techniques specific for traveling
  • Becoming familiar with your surrounding area
  • Developing an appropriate cultural awareness
  • Dealing with so called "common" encounters
  • Creating contingency plans when “incidents” occur

Regardless of your location, criminals tend to stick to specific patterns of behavior. This book will teach you important skills including how predators choose their victims, how to establish behavioral baselines, the process for identifying baseline anomalies, and how to harden your personal defenses. By implementing what you learn here, you can travel confidently and be secure with the knowledge that you can spot danger before it has the chance to spot you.

 “Today more than ever, it is imperative that we pay close attention to our surroundings and learn how to interpret what's happening around us. Tragic events can often be both predictable and preventable.” -Gary Quesenberry Federal Air Marshal (Ret.)

Industry Reviews

"In his latest book Spotting Danger for Travelers, Gary Quesenberry draws on his nineteen years of experience as a federal air marshal to enlighten readers about the importance of situational awareness while traveling. Far from dry or clinical, Gary expertly weaves the technical aspects of situational awareness with personal stories and experiences to give the reader a deeper understanding of the critical role awareness plays in personal safety. The result is a comprehensive yet easy-to-read guide that covers everything from setting up home security before you leave to post-travel considerations once you return home. So whether you're planning a big family vacation, solo business trip, or a quick weekend getaway, I highly recommend reading this book."

-Steven Pressfield, New York Times best-selling author, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, The War of Art, among others

"The term "Spotting Danger" is more relevant today than ever before in this increasingly dangerous world. Gary encapsulates why we need to be a lot more aware of our surroundings in simple and straightforward terms that everyone can understand and relate to." -Rick Collins, founder and CEO of S.A.F.E. Inc.

"Every environment is different, and what is normal in one place may be a warning sign in another. Unfamiliar environments have inherent risks, and understanding this can be the difference between a memorable trip or a tragic experience. Spotting Danger for Travelers is an important addition to the Spotting Danger series as it breaks down everything from preparation to pre-incident indicators in a sequence that is easy to follow and fun for an individual or for the whole family." -Joseph Koury, US Army, Special Forces; federal agent, special agent in charge, Newark Field Office

------"Anyone who is a frequent traveler or is planning a domestic or international trip needs to read Spotting Danger for Travelers. Gary has taken the key fundamentals of international safety operations and applied them to a realistic and sensible approach. Like Gary's other books in this series, he has presented principles of safety and security that are easily remembered and applied to enhance anyone's safety. I've had the honor of meeting and working with Gary at the Federal Air Marshal Service and co-instructed many of the topics he covers specifically in this book. Gary is spot on as he describes his processes and taking situational awareness on the road. Having been in some questionable security situations with Gary, I can attest that the guidance Gary offers in this book works. I've been fortunate to be one of the founders of two security companies that has worked with hundreds of churches across the United States. Many of the preparation and operational principles outlined in Spotting Danger for Travelers has been taught to church staff and volunteers serving on mission trips. The examples in this book brought back a lot of memories of my personal world travel but most important the reminder of the everchanging world and the need to be more vigilant then ever in our travels." -Troy Szotkowski, founder and CEO of ACG Security Consultants and National Tactical Security

"Gary Quesenberry does it AGAIN! In this exceptionally well-written book, Gary effectively leverages his decades of experience in the counterterrorism and protection realm to succinctly communicate essential awareness fundamentals for traveling safely. The fourth book in Gary's awareness series Spotting Danger for Travelers seamlessly complements his previous work. This book is timely, especially given ever-evolving global threats that many societies are currently experiencing from the effects of geopolitical tension. Gary brilliantly articulates what is often lacking in the awareness industry: practical application of situational awareness and what to do before and during travel. As a personal protection instructor, my clients constantly request additional enhanced domain awareness resources and training for their day-to-day operations. I now have a "go to" resource I trust and rely on! Not only for them, but for my family and loved ones as well. Gary's ability to effectively communicate and tackle complex topics is sorely lacking in the awareness training industry. We should all be thankful for his commitment to equip others for success and for releasing another epic book on awareness. Spotting Danger for Travelers is a must-read for every traveler!" -Maury Abreu, CEO and chief instructor at Omega Protective Concepts, former sergeant (United States Marine Corps), federal correction officer (Federal Bureau of Prisons), and supervisory federal air marshal (Department of Homeland Security)

"I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Gary for twenty years. I always knew that he was a true expert and professional when it came to firearms and counter-terrorism tactics and principles. His lifetime of serving and protecting our nation has been poured into the Spotting Danger book series. His latest book Spotting Danger for Travelers is another useful and insightful work where Gary shares his expertise in keeping you safe while traveling at home or abroad. There are few people with more understanding about the dangers in this world than Gary. So if he is sharing, I highly recommend you listen! It may just save your life or the life of someone you love." -Matthew Cubbler, thirty-year LEO, former federal air marshal, author of A Brother's Love: A Memoir, host of Two Dates and a Dash podcast

"Before your next vacation or business trip, read Spotting Danger for travelers by Gary Quesenberry. You are responsible for your own safety, and the most important thing you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to practice effective situational awareness. Quesenberry not only teaches you how to do this better, he also shares what you should be aware of while traveling and ways to better pay attention to your surroundings and your own behaviors. I really like that Quesenberry highlights things to be aware of that many people might never consider. But once you read this book and think about it, you will remember what it has to say on every future trip and be safer because of it. Practicing what Quesenberry teaches in this straightforward and practical guide will allow you to get out and travel, see more of the world, and enjoy life safely." -Alain B. Burrese, J.D., martial artist, author of Survive a Shooting, Hard-Won Wisdom from the School of Hard Knocks, How to Protect Yourself by Developing a Fighter's Mindset, among others

"I've been a travel advisor and have owned my business for the last fifteen years. I've had the opportunity to travel by land, air, and sea. There are some points about safety I often stress to my clients, but Gary Quesenberry's book has all the questions and answers when it comes to safe traveling in an easy-to-read format. He teaches that the scenery may change, but one thing that remains constant is the ability to identify potential problems before they become a danger to your safety. The concept I thought most important, on he reiterates throughout the book, is how to grasp the "mechanics of situational awareness." His anecdotes are a big help in getting a grip on this concept. They are short, concise, sometimes amusing, but always to the point. You can imagine yourself in the situations that he describes. And you will certainly ask the question, "What would I do in this situation?"

I will recommend this book to my clients so that they will become more of aware of the mechanics of situational awareness." -Mary House, travel advisor, franchise owner, Cruise Planners

"Once again Gary Quesenberry provides actionable information to keep his readers safe. This book builds upon other insights from his Spotting Danger series to inform travelers of what a predator sees in a tourist or business traveler, how to spot anomalies in new or unfamiliar cultures and locations, and how to manage every aspect of a trip from planning to safely returning home. Gary has compiled many useful tips into a comprehensive resource that helps his readers travel with confidence. As someone who frequently zigzags the country to host firearms training classes and matches, I will definitely put Gary's travel strategies to use on my upcoming trips." -Robyn Sandoval, executive director for A Girl & A Gun Women's Shooting League

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