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Safety Tips for Women Who Travel Alone

“It’s a man’s world.” We have heard it before, but it is an important consideration for women who travel alone. Let’s face it women are simply at greater risk when they travel so it makes sense for women traveling on their own to take reasonable precautions in order to avoid unnecessary risks.

First of all, do some research on your destination even though you may have traveled there before. It pays to know about your connections and accommodations before you go. If you are traveling by air find out about the destination airport and the route to your hotel, be careful about ground transportation and if you can, try to arrive in daylight hours, especially if you are headed out of the country.

Dress appropriately for your destination. You wouldn’t wear a sun dress to Chicago in January and you shouldn’t wear a mini-skirt to the Middle East. Every location has different cultural attitudes, even within the US, so improve your cultural and situational awareness by doing research about your destination before you disembark. And, unless you are traveling by private jet, you may want to leave the expensive jewelry at home.

Always have a backup plan. Unscheduled layovers and cancelled flights can leave you in unfamiliar territory, or your luggage can be lost and along with it valuables important to your travel safety such as cash or your computer. Don’t assume things will go smoothly so be smart about what you stow in your carry-on luggage it could be all you have to survive when your travel plans are upended.

Be careful about telling strangers where you are staying; everyone has heard the horror story about a woman being followed back to her hotel from a bar or restaurant, so be discrete and keep the location of your accommodations to yourself. Don’t assume that knock on your hotel door is room service or hotel maintenance, be careful opening your door to anyone when you are not absolutely sure who it is.

Finally, don’t accept food or drink from strangers. We all like to be friendly and in foreign cultures sharing may well be the norm, but it can be dangerous. Use your judgment and be careful about ingesting things from strangers, no matter how appetizing it may seem; you could wind up losing your belongings or worse.

Smart travel is a function of being aware of your situation, be careful, have fun, but most of all pay attention to your surroundings!

1 Comment

  1. Camille Coyle

    Great tips! Another tip is to never hang a filled-out breakfast card on your door; doing so lets people know you’re alone in the room, and means there’s a situation already set in which you’ll be expecting someone at the door. If I’m not sure about my accommodations, I bring along a rubber door stop to wedge under the door in case the lock is unreliable.

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