Are you a woman who wants to see the world but fears criminal and other possible risks? Exploring a new country is risky and overwhelming for women traveling alone.
There is a reprieve for women who travel themselves in foreign countries. Life Advancer shows you how to satisfy your wanderlust safely.
Women traveling alone can do a lot to ensure their safety. Taking the following precautions ensures a secure, enjoyable vacation.
Essential Safety Tips for Women Traveling Themselves
1. Do some research
First of all, find out about the places that you will be visiting. What transport is safe to take, and where should you stay? What about their safety ratings? Are there medical facilities nearby? What have other travelers said about them?
Speak with a doctor about the places that you will be visiting. Are there local health issues for which you must prepare? What are the risks of participating in sporting activities?
A woman should arm herself with these details before your trip begins.
2. Don’t bring unnecessary valuables
Also, don’t bring valuables that you won’t need. Technological progress makes cellphones necessary, but expensive kindle readers may not be. A high-end digital camera is not essential unless you are a professional photographer; most people use their cells for the task.
Have a day bag to store your passports and other necessary items. Never put these in your backpack or in luggage that you will keep in the bus. That is a sure way to misplace them.
3. Go out with only what you need
When going out, take what you need and store other valuables in the hotel safe. Almost all hotels will have safes available.
Use a portable safe if the hotel does not have one. Of course, you should find out if the hotel in which you want to stay has one before your vacation. While this cannot guarantee your valuables are 100% criminal proof, they do make theft and other misdemeanors difficult.
4. Don’t be too trusting
You will need friends, especially if you are traveling by yourself. Con artists are experts at befriending weary travelers and stealing valuables. When in groups, don’t trust others to guard your valuables. Pairing off with romantic partners is tempting, but protect yourself.
5. Watch Your Drinking
Alcohol dulls the senses and slows your reactions, making you a vulnerable target. While you shouldn’t avoid drinking, do consume alcoholic beverages slowly. Eat before taking them and have a glass of water in -between cups. Be aware of what you are drinking and only take drinks from the bartender. Resist the pressure to keep up with others.
6. Blend in as Much as You Can
Women traveling alone should dress to fit in with the crowd. Don’t wear shorts and T-shirts when in Paris, as Europeans dress quite neatly. Avoid short skirts and showing too much cleavage when in Muslim countries. The more you stand out, the more you seem unfamiliar with the location and the more you will be a target for criminals. Do some research in advance and try to pass as a local as far as possible.
Walk with a purpose and hold your head up high. Pretend that you have to go somewhere important. That way, you won’t fall prey to harassment. If you are lost, consult your map before proceeding.
7. Spend Extra Money on Staying Safe
It’s tempting for women who travel alone to devote their shoestring budgets to fun activities, but it’s wise to spend a significant part of them on safety.
For example, if your flight lands in a rough part of a country in the middle of the night, you are better off spending money on a guesthouse that will pick you up from the airport instead of one that is in town and will require you to make part of the way on foot. Spend money on cabs instead of going about yourself.
8. Prepare documents and a cash stash
If your purse gets stolen, have a contingency plan. Save the front and back of credit cards and passport in cloud storage hubs like Google Docs or Dropbox. Keep your bank details and phone number there as well.
In addition to the documents, keep a backup cash stash. Keep at least $50 in US dollars hidden in a secret spot deep inside your luggage,
Keep a stash of cash in the deep regions of your luggage. Have a backup credit card as well. Should your purse get stolen and you find yourself with literally nothing financially, this will serve as a cushion.
9. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you do need it. Should your luggage get lost or you end up in a political or natural disaster, travel insurance will serve as a financial safety net. You won’t have to spend thousands of dollars coming home.
10. Check in Regularly
When traveling alone, leave your itinerary with a trusted family member. He or she should also have your flight numbers, accommodation, and a schedule that shows where you will be. Provide insurance information as well.
Make use of social media and update your status frequently. Your family will know that you’re safe. They can locate you quickly if there is a need.
Women Traveling Solo: Safe travel methods
Public transport is a viable option for women traveling by themselves on a budget. Unfortunately, anything can compromise your safety when you are on a train, bus or in a taxi. Here are some tips for taking it safely.
11. General Tips
First of all, public transport is daunting when you’re in a foreign country. It always helps to find out about the different modes of travel available in the area beforehand. Get a map with transport routes and even schedules. Use it to plan your travels before your trip begins.
Use multi-ride tickets if you plan on using public transport throughout your stay. Determine which you would use – train, taxi, or bus- and purchase the ones you need.
Sit in front when on buses or trains. You will not only have the best view but also be in the best position to ask the driver questions. Write down those that you may need answers to, such as “Where is the X Hotel?”
Hide your valuables. Split them up so that thieves will not get everything.
12. Safety on buses
Buses are the most inexpensive modes of transport for anyone traveling abroad but are also the riskiest. That said, you will move around safely on them if you bear these pointers in mind.
Before boarding the bus, ensure that you are traveling on a safe route. Check that it is not notorious for robberies. Spend on a first-class bus when you can, and make sure that at least two drivers are managing the route.
Choose whom you sit with carefully — state your preference when purchasing tickets.
13. Taking Taxis Safely
Taxis are more costly than buses and an excellent travel option because taxi drivers are top sources of travel information (yes, they know all the local hotspots).
Ask about prices and tipping ranges. Dispatchers will be able to provide quotes beforehand. Confirm the price with the drivers before paying them. Call ahead instead of flagging one down as snatch thieves often pose as drivers. Calling ahead ensures that you will get into the right vehicle.
Don’t take a taxi by yourself if you are drunk. You won’t be able to defend yourself from criminals. Look for a radio, meter, or ID badge as laws often require drivers to display them. Furthermore, update your travel insurance as a claim for a taxi accident will give you financial peace of mind.
Women Who Travel Themselves: Accommodation
14. When Selecting Accommodation
Women traveling alone have to be careful when selecting hostel or hotel rooms, as the wrong one can be a crime haven. Here are some tips for choosing the right one.
Choose one in a hotel that has a 24-hour lobby. Criminals avoid hotels or hostels that are always active because it’s hard to get victims alone. Avoid sharing rooms with people that you’ve not met before.
Bear in mind that rescue ladders only reach the top five floors. Select the rooms on those floors if possible. Make sure that they are close to emergency exits. Check reviews to get an idea of the quality of service your hotel provides.
In all, women traveling alone can enjoy their vacations without being vulnerable. Bearing essential travel tips in mind makes this possible.
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