There is hardly anybody who does not love to travel. From visiting different places in the city to spending vacations abroad, we are traveling more than ever because of ease in transportation. We travel for many reasons, sometimes for business and sometimes for pleasure.
Whatever the reason for our travel and whenever or wherever we travel, there is always a risk of unknown threats (thefts, sexual harassment & scams) and accidents. This is more so in case of women traveling alone.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in number of solo women travelers, which I love. But, to keep our passion for traveling alive and at the same time be safe from any harm that may come our way, we have to travel smart. So, here are some useful safety travel tips for women:
Travel advice for solo women travelers
1. Ask around for advice
Before traveling to a new place, it is always a good idea to ask around for advice and do a little research on the place. It is helpful for you to know more about its history, culture & traditions i.e. what is acceptable and what is not. You will also have a clear idea about the means of transportation and the routes to get around and explore the place safely on your own, preferably without getting lost in the middle of nowhere.
You can get these useful travel advices from your family and friends who have traveled the place or have lived there for some time. And, there is the ever-growing and ever-knowledgeable world-wide-web. Look for authoritative sites with expert advices from veteran travelers, especially women.
2. Travel insurance
When it comes to travel, make sure you are properly insured for all emergencies – from medical and dental insurance to theft and lost luggage. Like the saying “Prevention is better than cure”, you have to be prepared for any possible mishaps. Be financially covered when you go traveling, so that you could enjoy the experience rather than having to worry about something going wrong.
3. Inform your family
When you make travel plans, share them with your family or a close friend, someone to stay connected with throughout your travel. Give them a copy of your itinerary and contact details. Keep in touch with them via calls, emails or skype with them often.
They will know where and when you will be traveling, and will be ready to help out, if you get in trouble. They could help you in case you require some assistance with travel documents and finances, as well as if there is some emergency back home.
4. Safeguard your travel documents
Travel documents and other important papers such as passports, credit cards, flight tickets and reservations should not only be kept within hand’s reach, but also safely. First thing – Don’t lose them! Make some extra copies of them, so that you’re not in trouble if you happen to lose them.
The other simple thing you can do is, take pictures of them, or scan and save them in your email. Believe me; you will save yourself from a lot of hassles in case you’re needed to submit your documents somewhere, or while creating new ones.
5. Make locals your friends
There are so many benefits for making trustworthy local friends. First, you know for sure that if you ever get in a tricky situation or need help, he/she will be there for you. They can also be a guide and show you around the place, while being a wonderful company to hang out with.
Locals are the best people to explore any new city, as they know the place well, its hidden treasures, plus the bargain on shopping deals becomes way easy. They are a great help in learning the language, so that you can atleast say a couple of sentences, rather than ‘Hello’, ‘Thank you’ & ‘Help’, which I think is a great ice-breaker with other locals.
Wondering how to make a local friend? It’s simple. Find reliable networking sites for travelers, and you can connect with fellow travelers from various origins.
6. Transportation safety
A city’s public transportation is a great way to move around the place and see more of the city, otherwise unexplored and unseen, if you came on a tour. It is also a great chance to meet array of locals and have interesting conversations. Plus, it’s cheap.
Having said that, you cannot ignore the fact, if you are a single woman traveling alone in a new city or country for that matter, sometimes public transportation is not the best way to travel. This is true especially when you are traveling at night. When you are using public transport, know your route and stops with the help of GPS or maps, whatever you have. And, don’t sleep on buses and/trains.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Hire a reliable and trustworthy licensed taxi service for your travels, especially when you don’t feel confident traveling alone in public transports.
7. Dress discreetly
Cultures and beliefs of different places are different, so, when in Rome do as the Romans do! Look at the local women and see how they dress. You also have to be comfortable, so, dress to match the climate but be modest about it. This is a great way to blend in with the locals and not stand out as fresh off the plane/boat tourist, at least for most of us.
I hope that you explore new places and cities, as well as discover new sides to you, while traveling safely, using these travel advices for solo women travelers. If you have your own safety rules & pre-cautions while traveling solo, do share with us in the comments. We love to hear them.
Have great journeys!