Are you afraid of going abroad alone either for business or pleasure? Travelling alone as a woman may be intimidating, but it can also offer adventure.
When planning to travel alone, safety is a priority. Whether tripping domestically or internationally, there are precautions that should be followed. By doing research before your trip will ensure that you have a fun, safe adventure and meet other fascinating travellers. Often the more effort and time you put into planning a trip, the better the results.
Following 8 simple travel tips can help make your trip safer and more rewarding.
1) Hotel safety
Arrive during the day. It means you’ll be able to find a place to stay and get your bearings before dark. Choose a hotel where security is good and public transportation or taxis are readily available and close by.
At check-in, you might consider asking for a room near the elevator so you won’t need to walk down long, potentially ill-lit hallways to reach your room.
Once you arrive in in your room, check to make sure that all of the doors and windows has working locks. Leave the door open when hotel employees deliver bags, room service or make other deliveries. If it’s an awkward situation, you can say, “Thank you, I can take it from here. You don’t need to come into the room.”
Verify that there is a telephone in the room and that it works. Always get a room with dead-bolt locks and keep your room secures at all times. Always use your peephole before opening your door.
2) Don’t publicize the fact that you are a woman traveling alone
If you plan to use the pre-order menu that typically hangs on your room’s door handle, make sure you avoid publicizing your first name and the number of people in your room to anyone walking by. No need to let everyone know who you are and that you’re alone in your room. Avoid discussing your travel plans in detail with people you meet along the way.
3) Try to get a room on floors three up to seven
Not to scare the living day-lights out of you, although many hotels are using private access card but most thefts occur on the first two floors. However, few fire engine ladders can reach above the seventh floor. You may also ask for Executive Ladies Room. Anything between three and seven is fair game.
4) Keep your phones ON
With many free-wifi facilities at the hotel, we feel most secure with our phone in-hand. You can make a Travel “Favorites” list in your contacts for easy access of emergency contacts such as taxi/local public transportation, co-workers, hotel, airlines, hospital, insurance, embassy etc.
5) Keep your documents safe
Keep copies of your passport and credit cards in a separate and secure location. Keep your passport, extra stores of money, and other important documents tucked away, and use a bag or purse for carrying daily spending money.
Bring a couple of extra passport photos with you; this makes it easier to replace important documents if they do get lost or stolen. Leave the following at home with family, friends or relative at home:
- Your detailed itinerary include names/addresses/telephone numbers of every place you will be staying
- Photocopies of your passport identification page
- Your flight and ticket information
6) Exude confidence
Be Confident– look, act and move as though you know where you’re going and what you’re doing. This will prevent you from looking like an easy target and may help you avoid potential danger.
Whether you’re on a street at home or 7,000 miles away, walking confidently and with direction is an effective technique for deterring unwanted attention, since appearing lost or confused can make you vulnerable. If you are lost, walk into a shop or restaurant and ask for directions there.
Try to avoid obviously looking at maps while you’re in the street. Study your route before you go, or find one of those wallet-sized maps that you can discreetly palm and refer to on the sly.
It will be better if you ask for directions before you set out from your hotel, asks the concierge or other hotel staff for directions to the places you plan to visit each day. This will help you avoid unsafe areas and also prevent you from looking confused and potentially vulnerable. If you get lost, ask directions from a family or a woman with children.
It’s always best to dress conservatively and inconspicuously when traveling. Whenever possible, take your fashion cues from local women. In some cultures, what you consider attractive casual clothing may be seen as provocative or inappropriate, even offensive, which could spark harassment.
In addition, your style of dress, or the amount of makeup and jewelry you wear, could make you a more likely target for thieves.
8) Use your common sense
Think twice before listening to sob stories or getting into conversations, especially in airports and train stations. Some scam artists hang out in locker areas, telling people that their bags have been stolen and that they need money or food. Stay in well-populated, well-lit areas. Don’t take shortcuts down alleys, and don’t walk alone at night.
Buy something at a local grocery store, and carry some of your valuables in the plastic bag with the store logo. This is a great way to disguise your camera as a bag of cheese!
Awareness and a bit of street-smarts are the keys to safe and happy travels. Have fun with it…and travel safe.
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