23 Nov 9 Tips For Female Travelers To Stay Safe
Out of all female travelers, safety is their number one concern. An estimated 42% of women attributed their reported negative experiences to their gender.
Women are more vulnerable and easy targets for predators. The risk of sexual assault and violent crimes (such as targeted attacks and human trafficking) is higher among women than men.
While not every destination is safe, some pose a higher risk for female travelers such as South Africa, Iran, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia.
Before your next trip, have a look at our 9 tips for female travelers to stay safe.
The 9 tips for female travelers to stay safe
- Watch your surroundings
Being distracted and letting your guard down makes you an easy target for predators. Be vigilant and watch your drinking. Avoid earphones when walking and talk to the locals. They are a great resource on things and places to avoid.
- Have a backup plan
Before you travel, make a list of alternative accommodation and the physical addresses. It will help you in case things do not go as planned or your gut tells you to leave. Keep a list of emergency numbers with you. Ensure you have travel insurance in case you get sick or lose your valuables in a foreign country.
- Follow your gut
Your intuition is one of the best in-built tools for detecting unsafe situations. Listen to your intuition. If you feel uneasy about something or someone, exit the environment.
- Leave your valuables at the hotel safe/home
Walking around with your 24k diamond ring or gold bracelet will attract the eye of a mugger very quickly. So is cruising around with your expensive phone, laptop, and cameras in plain view. Leave your expensive jewelry and possessions at home or in the hotel safe. Opt to travel with cheaper phones and avoid placing your bags on the floor or away from sight.
- Poise and confidence
Nothing will throw off a petty thief than seeing you act like a local. Walk with confidence and surety in your steps, even if you do not know where you are going. Keep your head high, straighten your back, and maintain eye contact with locals. Dress like them to blend in instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.
- Be cautious
Being polite in a foreign country can land you in trouble. Con artists have mastered the art of taking advantage of female travelers. Politeness should not override your safety or instincts. And never be afraid to say NO.
- Avoid night travel
Avoid walking alone at night. If you find yourself alone, walk close to a couple or a group that is ahead of you. It will make you less of a target. If you feel that someone is following you, pop into the nearest restaurant, alert the staff, and wait for a while. Where possible, avoid taking public transport (such as a bus or train) at night. It is easier to know and mark your surroundings during daylight than at night.
- Check in with loved ones
Stay connected with your family and friends back home. Share your travel itinerary with them so that they know where you are at all times. Update your status on social media so that your friends can track you in case of anything.
- Fool them
Have a decoy for your money. Keep small notes in a dummy wallet and hide the larger amount in your money belt or lockable safe. That way, if you run into a mugger/thief, you can give him the dummy wallet.
Carry miniature hair spray or mosquito spray bottles with you. They make good alternatives to pepper spray. Take a small whistle and a flashlight with you too.
Bottom line, there is no perfectly safe destination. What women can do is to avoid being an easy target for predators. The 9 tips will help female travelers to stay safe. And while safety is your number 1 priority, do not forget to have fun and enjoy your travel experience.