Although violence against women is higher in some countries than others- an attack can happen anywhere around the world when traveling. While this doesn’t mean that females should avoid travel or be restricted to traveling with a partner, it does mean that being a smart female traveler can save your life. Here are a few top tips when traveling alone as a female to keep you safe.
- Know where you are going. Walking off the beaten path and letting your feet take you where wherever they want to go can be exciting- but it can also be very dangerous. This can lead you to an area high in crime or get you lost which opens the door to danger. Since stopping to ask for directions or looking at a map can give you the label of being a vulnerable tourist- always appear that you know where you are going. If possible, wait to look at your map until you are out of the street and in a more private location such as a supermarket or restaurant. If you need to ask for directions look for a police officer for assistance.
- Follow the advice of local women. If you are in a potentially dangerous situation and a local woman tells you to run or scream chances are you will want to take her advice. You will also want to observe the dress code and demeanor of women in the country you are visiting and try to follow suit to avoid from standing out and being targeted for crime.
- Even if you have it- don’t flaunt it. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or clothing with expensive labels. Appearing to have expensive materials will make you stand out to thieves.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If streets become less crowded, consider turning back since it’s always best to stick to main roads. Additionally, if you notice that you have seen a face more times than you should in one day or hour, take note if they are following you. If you think you are being followed pretend like you are calling a friend and ensure your follower hears you say into your phone “I will see you in a few minutes”. If they continue to follow you then walk into a restaurant and chat with one of the staff or someone who appears safe.
- Have protection. Protection can come in many forms, here are a few ideas that you might want to choose from. If you have time before your trip take a few self-defense classes. This will allow you to see how a thief would attack and how you can get away. If a self-defense class isn’t possible, look into purchasing and carrying mace spray (if legal in the country you are from and visiting) or a heavy flashlight. A flashlight can not only come in handy if lead down a dark street, but also if needed as a last resort weapon.
It’s important to stay safe but not allow fear of the unknown to ruin your trip. Simply follow these top tips when traveling alone as a female and listen to your gut instinct to help ensure you come back safe and sound from your journey.