Dying to hop on that flight to a gorgeous beachside resort? Perhaps Paris is where you see yourself. Or could it be the breathtaking mountains in Nepal or the sprawling Sahara desert that beckon to you? Ready to shelf your dreams because you’re worried about safety? Don’t!
While we understand that going on a solo female trip can be unnerving and stressful, following basic safety tips will mitigate risks and ensure that you have a wonderful time.
Without further delay, here are some travel safety tips for women.
#1. Do Your Research
This tip probably applies to anyone who’s traveling anywhere, but it’s especially helpful if you’re a woman who’s traveling alone. Visiting a new place is exciting, but it comes with downsides— your unfamiliarity with the language or the local way of things, for instance.
Don’t be vulnerable—research your destinations thoroughly. From figuring out the best places to visit to convenient ways to commute around the city, jot it all down in a handbook before you go on that trip. You might also want to check up on neighborhoods that are safe to visit and those you should avoid altogether. Research and book your hotel beforehand so you have a comfortable and safe lodging experience.
#2. Blend In With Your Surroundings
When you’re visiting a new place, avoid standing out. The simplest way to do this is to dress down. If you usually wear diamonds and other precious bling, leave these at home. If you’re in a warm place, stick to a simple tee and jeans. If you’re going beach-side, ditch the string bikini for a one-piece or a tankini. Carry a cover-up in case you’re going somewhere more conservative. Don’t forget the footwear. Yes, you want to look gorgeous and stylish in your photographs, but be practical. Stick to flat sandals or sneakers.
Dressing to look like a local rather than a tourist will make you less of a target.
#3. Refrain From Carrying Large Handbags
If you’re traveling alone and are visiting crowded marketplaces and local streets, having a big handbag is a recipe for disaster. Pickpockets always target those who have a lot of things on them. It’s easy for them to slide a hand into your bag and pull out whatever they can. To keep this from happening, carry a dummy wallet and preferably a much smaller purse that clings to your body with a buckle and fastening device.
#4. Keep A List Of Important Emergency Numbers Hand
Let’s hope you never have to use these numbers but if you’re in a new and strange place, having local emergency numbers handy is always useful. For instance, you might feel safer knowing that you have the contact number of the local police station or the hospitals nearby. You might also want to keep your embassy’s phone number on speed dial in case of an emergency.
If you haven’t jotted these numbers down before leaving your home country, check with the concierge at the hotel you’re staying for a mini directory of numbers you may need.
For easy access, use a phone-based method to store emergency contacts. Apps such as TripWhistle can help you do this easily. Don’t forget to keep a backup of important numbers in a diary or pocketbook.
#5. Listen To Your Instincts
On a solo trip, trusting your instincts can help you make the right choices that will keep you safe. For example, if you don’t like the vibe of a place, leave. If a watersport or another activity doesn’t look safe, don’t go. If a person you’ve encountered on your trip is a bit off, trust your instinct and don’t give out information that will compromise you, like where you’re staying or whether you’re traveling solo.
If you’re taking a cab to your hotel and the route doesn’t feel familiar, check the map on your phone and end the ride. If a bar or a restaurant is too full or not full enough, step out and find another.
The bottom line is that you should trust your instincts and not wait to see if your gut feeling was right or wrong. Don’t worry. The more you travel solo, the more you’ll develop your instincts, the less time you’ll spend second-guessing yourself.
#6. Refrain From Walking At Night
While some cities never sleep and are completely safe for women even after sundown, some are dangerous. If the streets and lanes are quiet after dark and you barely see a soul around, stay in for the evening and step out in the day instead. Since it’s harder to find help and assistance at night, staying in at night and exploring the place in broad daylight is the best way to feel and be safe in a new place.
#7. Duplicate Your Important Documents
When you’re visiting an unknown city, anything could happen. You could misplace your passport, leave your ID card somewhere, or simply lose track of important documents in all the excitement. Instead of roaming around town with originals, make copies of all your important papers, cards, and insurance claims. Maybe you could leave a copy back home as well, so someone from your family or friends can access it when required. You could also click pictures of your documents and back them up securely on your laptop, your hard drive, or a cloud server.
#8. Let A Friend Know Of Your Plans
Even if you’re getting away on a quick and secret, solo trip, let at least one of your friends know your whereabouts and plans. Hopefully, the need won’t arise, but if something happens, your friend can help locate you if you’re lost or inform you of emergencies and threats beforehand.
Traveling solo, especially for women, can be an extremely liberating and rewarding experience. As long as you have these travel safety tips for women in mind and you trust your gut, nothing can stop you from having a good time, safely. A quick tip for the road? Go easy on your drinks, and make sure you don’t leave your drink unattended when you’re out at a bar or event. Finally, always carry a whistle with you to alert others of any trouble that may come your way. Happy Traveling!
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When Keren is not actually tapping away at her keyboard, you’ll find her staring into space or drinking copious amounts of coffee. But make no mistake, she's hard at work even then. Come close enough and you’ll hear the whooshing noise of countless words as they go whizzing by - in her head of course.