10 Ways To Stay Safe When You Travel As A Female
Is it possible for a woman to travel the world and stay safe? Absolutely. Even if you stay clear of resorts. Even if you go to developing countries. Even if you don’t speak the local language. Even if you’re traveling alone.
I get it. Solo travel IS scary and your concerns are valid. You ARE taking a risk by wandering the world alone, There's no doubt about that.
Solo female travel can be safe and fun! Risks and danger lie everywhere - even in your hometown. The best thing you can do is take the necessary precautions before entering a risky situation. There are so many ways you can prepare yourself before taking your first solo trip.
HERE ARE 10 TIPS TO STAY SAFE AS A FEMALE TRAVELER
Keep Your Valuables On You While in Transit
Today people travel with an amount of technology that was unfathomable a decade ago. Most travelers bring a smartphone at the very least; many bring laptops, tablets, Kindles or other e-readers, DSLR cameras with pricey lenses, and more. When you consider the costs to replace any one of those items, they definitely count as valuables.
Never put these items into your general backpack. Never put these items into the luggage hold on a bus. Never put any of those items into your checked luggage on a plane. If you let them out of your sight, there’s a fair chance that they could be taken away from you forever.
Trust Your Gut
There’s much to be said about the power of intuition. If something or someone gives you an uneasy vibe, there’s no shame in walking away or saying no. If your gut is telling you that something doesn’t feel right, listen to it. This sense naturally becomes more heightened over time.
Research Before You Go
First and foremost, do your research. Learn everything you can about a country before visiting. Read personal accounts/stories on blogs, ask questions on popular forums & facebook travel groups. As a female traveler, it's best to ask other female travelers about their experience visiting a country.
Read up on weather/natural disasters, bad areas, current political climate/unrest, cultural norms & dress, scams, and other helpful things to know before visiting a new country. Understand that life may be very different and even feel like a different world than your own country.
Remove all scary assumptions about a place from your head and trust the facts.
Watch Your Drinking
This is a tip that doesn’t get said often enough. It’s applicable whether you’re at home or on the road. When you drink alcohol, you dull your senses and slow your reaction time, which in turn makes you vulnerable to others.
That doesn’t mean that you should avoid drinking altogether. Instead, drink slowly. Pace yourself. Eat beforehand or during. Have a glass of water in between each drink (your body will thank you in the morning). Be cognizant of what you are actually drinking, and always take drinks directly from the bartender.
Most importantly, resist the pressure, gentle or otherwise, to keep up with others who might be able to drink more than you.
Leave Your Passport Behind
It may seem smart to keep your passport on you at all times but what happens if you get robbed or pickpocketed?
Lock your most important travel document in a safe & secure place to only carry with you when you NEED to use it.
Sometimes stores or rental companies(bikes, cars, etc) will need to confirm your identity and purchase by ID. In this case, I’ve just been able to show them the copy I have stored on my phone.
Don’t Tell People Where You’re Staying
Blinding flash of the obvious – if you are traveling alone as a women and you meet people, don’t mention where you are staying, especially if you feel uncomfortable.
No one really needs to know the name of your hotel, and if you make plans to meet someone, meet at a local landmark or point instead.
Carry A Whistle
You never know when you’re going to need a travel safety whistle. Many great backpacks have built-in whistles in the straps.
Get Travel Insurance
Do you really need travel insurance? Absolutely. It could save your life, and in this day and age, with so many online providers, there’s no reason not to get it.
Whether your luggage is lost, you end up in a natural disaster, or you need to go to the hospital while on the road, travel insurance will reimburse your expenses. If you’re robbed, travel insurance will provide you with the security you need.
If the very worst happens and you end up losing your life, good travel insurance will allow your family to bring your body home without paying tens of thousands of dollars and getting wrapped up in mountains of red tape.
Be sure to examine prospective travel insurance policies in depth, because they might not cover your personal situation. Many insurance plans won’t cover certain adventure sports or particular countries or regions. Most plans will only cover a fraction of the value of your electronics.
Get Advice From Locals
Make full use of the platforms available online to understand what to look out for in the area you are traveling to, especially if it’s your very first time traveling in the area. There are many online communities such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and Facebook groups where updates are shared by locals, expats, and experts. I find asking safety questions on these platforms is sometimes more reliable than some travel information websites as they are much more current, though it wouldn’t hurt to research common scams and dangers in your destination on them. For Americans, that would be the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
Ask employees at your hotel or guesthouse which scams to look out for. Find out not only what you should see during your visit but also which areas to avoid. Nobody knows this better than the people who live there year-round.
Be Smart On Social Media
We all love to 'do it for the gram', every once in a while, but you have to be very careful about this.
Don’t post in real time - wait until you’ve left a certain location or attraction before posting a photo.
I know, I know….you want to post that really cool treehouse you’re sleeping at! Fair enough, but you should try to wait until you’ve left to share.
As a blogger, I never post in real time. I usually only post photos or videos in a place once I’ve left. You never know who’s watching or following!
If you meet up with someone from social media, be sure to meet in a public place.
This list is far from complete, and there are plenty of other tips out there, but the travel safety tips on this list will give you a solid foundation for traveling safely in the future.