Friday, April 8, 2011

How Can Women Stay Safe When Traveling Solo

Today we're featuring a Guest Post by new travel site

-- hope you ENJOY!

Traveling alone can be one of the most rewarding experiences an individual can ever have, providing opportunities for self-growth and discovery it can be extremely enlightening. The best part about traveling alone is that you can do anything and everything that you want to do, there’s no one holding you back. Unfortunately, traveling alone is becoming more and more daunting, especially for solo female travelers because of safety reasons. Women are intimidated by the horror stories about female travelers being kidnapped, raped or worse because the woman was caught in a vulnerable situation. Yet, if you are smart about the decisions you make while traveling and use your common sense you can help prevent a dangerous situation and still enjoy the pleasures of traveling alone.

Before you start your solo trip the best thing to do is to provide your friends and family with a general itinerary, a basic idea of where you’ll be and when so they can track you. Once you’ve arrived at your destination try to email them as often as possible, also let them know if they won’t be hearing from you for a few days to not raise concern. Regular contact and updates will keep everyone posted on your whereabouts and they’ll be able to notice if anything is off beat and if there’s need for alarm.

When you finally arrive, your next step would be choosing the right sleeping accommodations. If you’ve made reservations ahead of time you should have researched the area and location to determine the safety and reputation of the place. If you’re going to be making your arrangements when you arrive, seek out a place that appears busy & ask about occupancy. The busier the location the more comfortable

you’ll feel staying there. Also consider location, choose a place that is close to your sightseeing destinations that way when you’re walking back you don’t have to go far. Once you’ve chosen where you’ll be staying there are several other measures you can take to ensure your safety:

Request a room near the elevator – in order to avoid walking down long hallways

Avoid ordering in or using house cleaning –this way no one comes to your room and learns you’re alone

If you’re in a hostel:

Always use the lockers provided – make sure to bring your own lock

Never leave your room key unattended – if there are communal restrooms take your key even into the shower (put it in a plastic bag if necessary).

After getting settled in, it’s time to start your adventure! There are a few things though to consider before stepping out and exploring, which includes dress and culture. Knowing how to dress accordingly is extremely important, make sure to do your research. For example, in countries such as Morocco or Egypt, majority of women dress conservatively and don’t show a lot of skin because of their Muslim

beliefs. For your own safety and to avoid any lewd stares or obscene comments your best bet is to dress modestly; don’t wear excessively short bottoms or shirts that are too low cut, you’ll draw unwanted attention from men and possibly offend the locals. If you do find yourself being verbally harassed, ignore the catcalls, unless you feel like you’re in real danger, if you don’t make a fuss then they’re likely to leave you alone. Understanding the regions culture determines your behavior, study what is acceptable

and what is taboo. Things like simple gestures, eye contact and physical contact vary on acceptability; familiarizing yourself with the simple norms can help you avoid any awkward or misleading situations.

Once you head out the door take some general precautions:

Know where you’re going- map out your route, to avoid looking lost

When you do look at your map make sure you’re discrete – sit down and use a small map to not draw attention to yourself

Keep your belongings close at all times - try a money belt or better yet a Portapocket to hide some extra cash or hide some in your bra

Use a cross body bag as a purse - carry it in front of you at all times to prevent pickpocketing

If you’re ever in a mugging situation give up your bag without a fight - by doing so you’re less likely to be physically harmed

Trust your instincts - get out of any scenario that makes you feel uneasy, your gut feeling is your best indicator of a dangerous situation

If you decide to go out in the evening make sure to do the following:

Try to go out with a group - people that you may have met on your travels or at your hostel

Beware when drinking - never take a drink from a stranger or leave yours unattended

Take a cab - avoid walking alone or riding public transportation at night

There’s no reason why you should be afraid to travel alone just because you’re a woman. If you take the right precautions you can have a safe and enjoyable vacation. Traveling alone is a pleasure and if you’re lucky enough to be able to do so just make sure you’re smart in your travels.

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  1. i don't know why the font & size on that top section refuses to fix...tried editing 4-5X and no luck. sometimes technology stinks Augh! :(

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  3. These are all great tips. I never thought to ask for a room near the elevator.