As you will read below, your best defense is to plan your holiday down to the last detail. The more planning you do prior to going on your holiday, then the better your chances are of avoiding danger and never having to be forced into defending yourself. In general, the tourist areas in Europe are safe and civilized, but as always, your holidays will run smoother if you take some necessary common-sense precautions and have a sense of street-smartness. The biggest risk in any airport / city / public transport is shoplifters. Make sure to carry your purse, cellphone and stuff in such a place that they cannot be easily picked. Never place your things out of sight. Be sure to have a smart and efficient system for carry your stuff. Inside pockets are great!
Your best holiday defense is caution
This means planning your route and your day and not venturing into places you know nothing about. It means staying in public places and going in groups. It means doing research in advance, so that you are not stuck in a place where you do not know where you are or that may be dubious.
Most importantly, you must always have a backup plan for your holiday. This means you must know what you are going to do if you are thrown out of your hotel, if your hire car breaks, if your coach does not turn up and if one of your party becomes ill. Check accommodation sites like booking.com (see the search box on this page) for alternative places to stay if something would go wrong with your current location. Also, be sure to be somewhat familiar with the area in which you are staying and locate health care centers and police stations.
You cannot carry weapons in most countries
Even in countries where they allow handguns, you are unlikely able to carry one around with you. You need to research what types of defense weapons you are allowed. Things such as rape alarms are a given, but the country may allow you to carry mace and/or even a stunner. It is better to carry one around just in case, so long as it is legal to do so within the country/location you are visiting. However, remember that if you are in a country where weapons are banned, that means the risk of running into someone carrying a firearm is very small. People in Europe simply do not run around with guns, unless you are in a very bad neighborhood.
Run first, run second, and run last
Running should be your first instinct in every case, but there is always the problem that an attacker may grab you, an attacker can outrun you, and you may be leaving someone behind.
If you are on your own, then run into a populated place, where there are lots of people. Most attackers are not audacious enough to chase people through a crowd. If you are with someone and you cannot run and leave him or her behind, then you have to encourage him or her to run. If they are more vulnerable, then you have to have them run whilst you stay behind.
Self-defense: Fight all the way
People are taught self-defense moves on the on the Internet and on YouTube, and it makes them forget that there biggest resource is all around them. Watch a movie where someone is being chased and throwing things in front of the chaser. That is the way you are supposed to run away. Most people in movies will run down an ally, or across a field, a never consider throwing anything in front of the attacker or closing the doors behind them. Watch the scene on “Scary Movie 1” where the girl runs up the stairs and throws things at her attacker–that is what you should be doing.
Inexperienced attackers will expect their victim to go down like a wounded gazelle when caught. What they will not expect is a kick in the crotch, leg, face or neck. If your attacker gets close enough to grab you, then turn around for a surprise attack and as soon as he is wounded you should continue running. You have to make the chasing experience as inconvenient as possible for him.