All who love solo traveling have one thing in common and that`s living life on their own terms. It`s also a great challenge to try and improve yourself while doing the things you love against the backdrop of a beautiful foreign country.
Regardless of gender, all travelers face the same challenges and sometimes find themselves in dangerous situation while traveling alone. We must admit that sometimes the road can have greater affect on the ladies and that`s why we`ve decided to share these Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone:
Crowdsource your information.
It`s always a good idea to read reviews from sites like TripAdvisor, Oyster and Hotels to double-check your accommodation and the surrounding neighborhood. This way you can make sure which areas are the safest.
When using sites like Airbnb or CouchSurfing only choose places with lots and lots good reviews.
This means checking the reviewers’ profiles and making sure they are reviewed more than just that one place and look legit.
Connect with local female travelers.
There are many super networks where female travelers can connect and exchange information about customs and things to do and see in their area. You can even make arrangements to meet up for a cup coffee and maybe a local tour.
Tell your journey plans to someone close back home.
At least one person close to you should know the details of your travel plans or at least a general idea where you`ll be and when, just in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
Make a backup of all your documents (take a picture at least) and store them on a locked and secure site like DropBox of Google Drive.
In this way you`ll be able to access them from any computer anywhere even if you lose them or you lose your personal laptop or phone. So take a snap of your passport, ID`s, reservations, tickets etc. and store them as a backup plan just in case.
Travel insurance sounds like a good idea.
There are excellent travel insurance options that cover all unexpected coast. For a certain fee they will cover all you unexpected medical emergencies and compensate for your lost baggage, rental car damage, trip cancelations, delays and more.
Check-in with someone back home on a regular basis.
It`s a good safety precaution to check in and use travel apps like Viber, WhatsApp or just a regular email will do. In this way you can also take advantage and brag about your travels :).
Register with IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance) and with U.S. Department of State if you are a US citizen.
In this way you`ll be informed if something unusual happens in the country you`re in or plan going and they`ll offer help in locating nearby medical facilities with reliable English speaking doctors.
You`ll be more mobile, and carrying less baggage is not that inviting to someone trying to rob you.
Never keep all your cash in one place.
Always keep some money and a card on you, some in your bag and leave some in your hotel if it looks safe.
P.S. Store your extra money on the bottom of a tampon box… no one’s gonna look for it in there 🙂
Try to blend in by dressing like a local.
You don`t need any extra attention. If you don’t look like tourist, you want be the obvious target for local hustles and pickpockets.
Carry hard copies of important phone numbers and other valuable information.
These days losing your Smartphone is like losing your identity. So include a hard copy of emergency numbers from the closes Embassy, hotels, emergency contacts, rental companies and so on.
In some situation having a wedding ring at hand can help.
Even the U.S. State Department recommends single woman who plan to travel in the Middle East wear a wedding ring. Do your research about what other solo traveling woman did in more “risky” countries.
A slash-proof bag might come in handy.
If you are staying in cheap hotels or hostels and carrying more expensive equipment (laptop, camera, iPad) stashing them in a slash-proof bag. It`s like leaving them in a portable safe.
Bring a portable alarm.
There are plenty easy to use and cheep portable alarm devices that can be easily placed on doors or windows. Now you can take a shower in sharing bathrooms without worrying too much and feel safer in general.
Carry any self defense mechanism you feel comfortable with.
Anything from whistle to cat keychain can help as long as you can carry it on a plane.
If you plan to take lots of pictures than bring a selfie stick.
You don`t have to hand your camera or phone to someone you don`t know just to take a picture of you. Plus, the selfie stick can also be used as a self-defense mechanism.