The idea of traveling alone is usually unsettling for women; they often feel scared, uncertain and always have to be aware of the scams, thieves or other unfortunate individuals and situations. However, every woman can always take some extra steps to stay prepared for the worst-case scenarios, but also to enjoy the trip fully and readily.
I have too traveled alone several times, and even though I was familiar with the culture or even spoke the language, there were times when I felt completely unsafe. Whether I was merely outside my hotel room, or somewhere crowded in the city, the feeling of constant wariness and caution can take away from the joy and happiness one should feel when traveling.
However, during my solo adventures, I have learned a few useful things that helped me stay safe, which I am now going to share with you.
Know Where You Are Going
Even before you embark on a journey, it is always important to familiarize yourself with the designated destination. You need to conduct extensive research of the country you are traveling to; its culture, climate, customs, possible threat and even things you may not be allowed to do.
There were times when I was, for some reason, certain I know everything about the place I am visiting, which is a common mistake. You can never know too much about a foreign country, as every place has its own dynamics, principles, and ways of living and functioning in society. A good way to do research about a country is by reading blogs and articles, so make sure to hop over to thesis writing services for some useful writings.
Moreover, in some cultures, and foreign countries, women are not, for example, allowed to dress freely or to mingle with other men; there are also countries where women are usually victims of theft, violence and similar happenings, so by doing your research, you are preparing yourself for these situations beforehand. Or, even better, you will learn how to avoid them in the first place.
Make E-Copies of Important Documents
I never thought this would be something to worry about before traveling, but making electronic copies of your legal documents is not only smart, but it’s a must. Regardless of whether you are making these copies for the safety reasons or in case you lose the original, e-copies are simply essential and necessary in the modern times.
So, make sure to create an electronic backup of all your legal documents necessary for a particular trip; visa, passport, plane ticket, travel, and medical insurance card, etc. Once the copies are done, save the files on your Google Drive or email them to yourself and keep in the e-mail inbox. This way, you can be sure to access the document any time in case of, for example, theft.
Dummy Wallet and A Whistle
Many female travelers suggest using a dummy wallet if you want to keep the most essential valuables safe during a trip. A dummy wallet is a fake wallet in which you should put things you don’t need, like canceled credit cards, or some change. If a thief gets their hands on the wallet, they will think they got something valuable, keeping your actual stuff safe and sound.
Therefore, your real wallet should be hidden, somewhere under the insole of your shoe, for example, or in a so-called money-belt which you will wear under the shirt or a jacket.
Another critical precaution on a solo adventure is a whistle. This little, but the loud tool will come in handy in situations of robbery or physical attack. If you are to travel to some exotic places where animals wander around freely, you can use the whistle to ward them off.
The ‘Bling’ Stays At Home
Of course, women like to carry all of their most beautiful clothes, shoes and jewelry wherever they go. Ok, maybe not every woman, but I certainly did carry everything with me, which was a huge mistake. I got robbed several times in a hotel, and two times in a restaurant, which are unusual locations to get robbed.
However, if I hadn’t decided to carry my most expensive rings and necklaces with me, I would probably still have them. So, the moral of the story is that all of your ‘bling’ should stay at home. Need I say that by wearing jewelry, expensive clothes and appearing like a tourist is automatically making you a robbery target. So, if you don’t look like a target, you won’t become one.
Speaking of clothes, shoes, and jewelry, if you don’t want to stand out as a foreigner in a foreign country, make sure to dress like a local. Standing out will make you look like an easy target, and it will surely increase the risk of annoying catcalls. Even though we live in the 21st century, in some countries women still need to cover up in order to avoid unpleasant situations.
There are a lot of, for example, Muslim countries where you shouldn’t be wearing revealing clothes, as you may offend the locals. Therefore, it is important to do some research beforehand on what is appropriate to wear, so you know what to pack.
Few More Travel Security Tips:
- Learn to say ‘No, thank you.’ to strangers
- Stay alert of your surroundings
- Don’t carry too much cash with you
- Avoid traveling by foot or alone at night; try to explore the city during the day
- Don’t share a taxi with strangers; if possible, rely on hotel taxi transport. You may learn how to overcome laziness and use public transport if it looks like a safer option
- Program the phone with key contacts and ensure it is always charged
- Be sensitive to local customs and traditions
- Use your common sense
- Be confident and stay calm in uncertain situations
- Try to blend in as much as possible
- Let your friends and family know where you are
- Don’t use technological devices in public
- Don’t use back pockets
- Learn the local emergency numbers
- Get advice from locals through communities like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet or even Facebook groups
- Check your health and get the necessary vaccines
What tips do you have for traveling alone as a female?