Travelling continues to reign as among the top passions of people around the world. Solo Female Travelers are trotting the globe more than ever. A desire to break free from the mundane daily routine and an even bigger desire to spread your wings and explore the world has empowered women of today to travel solo. Women are leading the stakes in travel and are setting off to all kinds of travel destinations.
As exciting as it may seem, travelling for our girl gang is not easy. There are all kinds of dangers lurking around. Assaults, getting robbed of your valuables, injuries, lost luggage, pick-pocketing, lost trails-the list is long. Our safety is in our hands and should be tended to with utmost priority.
Here we present 10 important safety tips for solo female travellers. They will help you travel smart and secure so that you bring back pretty memories of the trip and not nightmares.
Solo Female Travelers
1. Hold your head high
For women travelling solo, this is the best piece of advice. Your image of a strong, confident and robust woman is just not limited to your workplace and home, but during your journeys as well. The more vulnerable and confused you look; the more you become susceptible to targets.
Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and the routes. Check maps, or travel sites online, or gather information from local guides. Even if you get lost, move into a café or a shop, to seek advice or consult a map, rather than standing confused out on the road. Avoid moving aimlessly alone without intent. Your vulnerability will make you be easily picked as a target and invite trouble.
2. Choose your destination thoughtfully
Choose destinations that are free from political and communal conflicts, military interventions and ongoing natural disasters. Yes, the adventurous streak in you may prompt you to take an extra step, but save your energy for other times. While planning your exciting itinerary, take out some time to understanding the history and geography of your destination as well. The more planning and research you would do, the better you would be prepared to handle all kinds of grey situations.
3. Take cues from local people
Make sure you dress the way the locals do in that place. It will help you to blend in with the crowd, and avoid unnecessary trouble. Travelling is all about freedom and doing what your heart desires, you would say. It’s your life after all, so why so many restrictions? Yes, it’s your life after all. Why risk it for a thing as small as an untimely cloth mismatch?
Study the way the people in a particular place dress up so that you can pack your bags accordingly. Each place has its fashion sense. What may be casual at one place, might be seen as offensive or provocative somewhere else. Carry a combination of dresses that suit your fashion sense. You are your best judge. So use your brains and dress and behave accordingly.
4. Pack light
You know you don’t have to go out and impress the whole world when you are travelling. Take only the essentials with you. Carrying a range of stuff may be a challenge for you may be hiking at one point and attending an opera show the next moment. Try to carry pieces of clothing of one base colour and another contrasting colour, so that you can mix and match together.
Carry sturdy pieces of luggage that you can handle alone, even if you are stranded. Clothes, medicines, travel documents, your gadgets, a few extra snacks, and other travel essentials-keep them safely and on you. Don’t leave your luggage unattended at any time or with any stranger.
5. Keep your valuables with you
Trips call for carrying a lot of valuable things in-person- cash, your cards, passport, and other important documents, your gadgets, cameras. Make sure to assign specific places in your luggage for them. As far as possible, try to keep these things with you in a bag which is different from your general backpack. Keep this bag always with you. There is no need to mix it up with other pieces of luggage or throw it carelessly around in a bus or train or even the checked luggage in your flight.
6. Choose a safe Accommodation
Your room should be yours alone. Don’t unnecessarily share rooms with strangers until it becomes necessary. Also, your hotel room is the only safe place you have. Don’t disclose details about it in conversations with strangers. At the same time, there is also no need to isolate yourself from others on account of safety. You can choose day tours and buffet dinners or themed parties for the company. Staying in hostels, if necessary, should be chosen with care.
7. Keep a check on your drinking
Getting drunk while travelling may prove hazardous if you are not aware of the people around you. Be cautious with your drinks and keep a check on them as well as your drinking habits. Don’t accept drinks from strangers or fellow travellers, no matter how friendly they may seem. Alcohol dulls your senses during consumption, so resist the temptation to make yourself vulnerable.
8. Spend extra on your safety
Your safety and security while travelling should be your utmost priority, even when it may mean shelling a few extra bucks. There is no need to choose isolated cheap accommodation if you land late at night in a city. Spend a little extra in choosing safe transport while travelling late at night. As far as possible, avoid traveling through deserted areas without proper company. You know how to take care of yourself. Just do that every time, prudently.
Get travel insurance. Whether your luggage gets lost, or you get injured and need to go to the hospital, your travel insurance will provide you with the necessary assistance.
9. A ‘NO’ is not always rude
No one can predict the future. Women are blessed with a very strong sixth sense. Make use of that ability. No need to get paranoid, but if you feel something or someone is wrong or making you uneasy, be on your guards. There is no need to mingle with everyone everywhere. Say No, if you feel pressurized in any situation. No need to feel embarrassed about asking or screaming for help. Don’t worry about offending people. You should be polite in your dealings, yes, but that does not allow others to overshadow you.
10. Stay Alert
The gist of all that we have discussed so far is: Stay Alert at all times. You should know how to read situations and people. If you feel something is not right, leave that place. Your body, your senses, your luggage, your money, your mood-protect everything like you do at home or your workplace. Trust your instincts and build experience. Be open but not vulnerable. Be vigilant, not suspicious.
Travelling solo comes with its own sweet and sour tastes. Let not those tastes become tardy with carelessness and sluggishness. Travelling is meant to enhance your life experiences. Be prepared for the worst but don’t forget to enjoy it. If you are a woman and planning to travel solo, these tips for your safety will go a long way in ensuring a safe and happy trip for you. Stay strong, help yourself, and other fellow travellers as well.