Travelling alone as a woman or in a group of women is exhilarating. Having the freedom to explore and learn about other cultures while forgetting about responsibilities back home is a gift. However, there are lots of places and people who will target female tourists if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are a few tips on staying safe as a woman while travelling.
Do Your Research
Planning your trip well will give you some insight into the kinds of things you might experience. For example, are there any neighbourhoods that are well known for pickpocketing or places that should be avoided while you’re there? How do you plan on transporting yourself from A to B? It’s a good idea to visit sites like TripAdvisor and look at the reviews left by other people on hotels, restaurants and tours so you know what’s worth going to and what’s not.
Keep Valuables Close
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your passport with you while you’re exploring your destination. Mainly, if your bag is lost while you’re out and about, it’s very difficult to replace your passport in time to get your flight home. However, leaving your passport in the hotel can be just as dangerous. Whatever you decide, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll take some valuables out with you. Your money, credit cards and phone are all things most people take with them. When you take valuables with you, it’s always important to keep them on your person. Carry a small bag that you keep with you. Never put them in luggage bags, store them in bus holders or check them in to your flight luggage on the plane.
Take What You Need
The majority of hotels and hostels will have lockers or safes to use to store your important belongings. If you’re travelling with a lot of cash, it’s unwise to take all of it with you while you’re exploring. Take a percentage of your money with you every day and put the rest in your safe. Not only is this the best way of making sure you have money left over if you lose some while you’re out for the day, but it’s also a good way to make sure you don’t spend too much. The last thing you want is to find you haven’t got enough money to last your holiday.
Keep Your Guard Up
You may take things for granted when you start your travels. Perhaps where you come from, people can be easily trusted, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can trust people wherever you go. For example, the city of Barcelona is known for pickpockets. Female gypsies wander the streets asking you to buy a flower. While you’re distracted looking at the flowers, another person will attempt to steal from you. Something seemingly innocent could be something a lot more sinister. Keep your guard up and don’t automatically trust the people who approach you.
Know Your Area
You may have researched where to visit and the main attractions for the place you’re visiting, but many people forget to research two essentials- local hospitals and pharmacies. With any luck, you’ll never need to visit either. But, if the worst happens, it’s important you know where to go and how to get there. In the event of an injury Wetzel Law Firm may be able to offer advice but you’ll still need to receive treatment before travelling home. There are lots of illnesses you may suffer from that a pharmacy can help with, from minor headaches to food poisoning.
Avoid Excessive Drinking
You should be able to relax while on holiday, but that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself at risk. Drinking excessively can put you in dangerous situations. You may not recognize the transport you use to return to your hotel. You may leave a restaurant with a stranger without questioning him first. When you’ve had too much to drink, you make yourself vulnerable and lose a significant amount of control. If you want to stay safe while travelling, limit yourself to two glasses of wine per meal and travel with others you trust when you have been drinking.
Don’t Stand Out
If you’re travelling and visiting attractions, a pick pocketer will be able to spot you a mile away if you don’t attempt to blend in. Look at the type of clothing the locals are wearing. You won’t often see women in France wearing shorts and t-shirt. They tend to dress more neatly and take pride in their appearance. However, you’d stand out like a sore thumb if you weren’t wearing a bikini and shorts in California. Watch the locals and try to blend in so you don’t stand out as a clear tourist and target for any kind of thief.
Invest in Safety
Did you know that you can’t use the Metro in Rome during the night? That means, if you’ve got a night flight into Rome you could be stranded at the airport if you haven’t arranged transport. Small things like transfers directly to your hotel will go a long way to keeping you safe as you travel. If you’re on your own, arrange your transport to and from restaurants if you don’t want to walk the streets at night. Alternatively, spend a little extra on all inclusive packages so you don’t have to leave the hotel to eat. Spending a little more to ensure your safety isn’t a bad thing.
Copy Your Documents
Copying your documents is a great way to have a Plan B if the worst should happen. You can scan the back and front of your credit cards, the details of your passport and all of your travel papers and upload them to Cloud or Google Docs. That way, if you were to lose any of your documents while you were travelling, you have proof that they belong to you and a quick way to get replacements put in place to continue travelling with ease.