One of the biggest concerns for women traveling alone is safety. With the same skills you use to stay safe when alone at home, you can travel safely anywhere. Just be aware of what is going on around you and trust your instincts.
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Your best defense is your instinct. That little voice in your head is right most of the time. When dealing with strangers, especially men, listen to that little alarm in your head. If your intuition is telling you something is off, there is a reason. Stay with a crowd and don’t let someone corner you. Better safe than sorry when traveling solo.
Having a good time is great, but don’t overdo it. Never drink too much alcohol when traveling solo. Just say no to another drink. Statistically, drunk travelers report more robberies or muggings than sober ones, so pace yourself.
Use a Dummy
Keep your most important valuables safe by carrying a dummy wallet. Put canceled credit cards and a small amount of cash in a spare wallet and keep your valuables hidden in your bra, your shoe, or a concealed money belt. If someone does try to rob you, give them the dummy wallet, and the thief thinks they got something.
Also, always carry a whistle. It helps scare off suspicious people by causing a distraction. In foreign countries, many animals run loose in the streets and a whistle scares them away, too. Don’t use mace or pepper spray in a foreign country because police consider them weapons. Instead, carry small bottles of hair spray or bug spray to squirt in the eyes of a would-be attacker.
A T-shirt and shorts are proper clothing for women in the United States, but not in all countries. Before traveling abroad, check the customs of foreign countries. Some nations require women to cover up, especially the shoulders and knees. If in doubt, cover yourself and don’t risk offending others.
Make photocopies and take pictures of any important documents or valuables with which you travel. Leave your expensive jewelry at home, but leaving passports and other documents is usually not an option. Make sure you keep at least one hard copy of everything and a digital copy if possible. If you lose something important, you have proof of the document and a picture of the item. It makes talking to an official or filing an insurance claim easier.
Ask the Locals
Talk to the employees at your hotel or hostel, and ask about local scams and areas to avoid when visiting. Walking tours are a terrific way to get to know a city, plus tour guides can point out dangerous parts of the town. Doing research on the internet before you travel also helps you avoid bad areas.
Remember basic safety rules such as never go anywhere alone at night. Trust your instincts if something does not feel right. Keep yourself safe when traveling alone by following regular safety rules and keeping your eyes open. Then, just enjoy yourself.