Safety Tips for Women Travelling Alone
In the age of the independent woman, it's become commonplace for women to travel abroad alone. Whether it’s because you’re young, free and single, or just don’t share the same travel aspirations as your friends, there’s no better time to go it alone.
As with any travel, however, it’s imperative to take steps to stay safe. So take a moment to check out our safety tips for solo travel:
Research your destination carefully. We don’t just mean the country, but also the region and city you’re staying in, and most importantly, the whereabouts of your accommodation.
Check that it’s well lit at night, that it’s busy, not off the beaten track, and that it’s close to public transport routes.
Tripadvisor and similar websites give detailed and accurate views, so check them out.
Before you leave, make sure you give details of your travel plans – including details of flights, hotels etc. – to a close friend or family member.
It’s also worth including copies of your travel documents and passport, so that if they are lost or stolen, your copies will make it easier to get replacement.
Keep those at home in the loop by touching base every day or two – a simple text, a quick call, email or Facebook message will help those at home relax, knowing that you’re safe and well, and having a blast.
Don’t go anywhere without travel insurance. With the correct policy, you'll be covered for more than just your luggage. Policies can cover medical expenses, repatriation, flight cancellations or delays, sports activities, and even tour operators going bust. It won't cost the earth and the peace of mind it gives you is priceless.
If you’re travelling in an EU country, be sure to pack your EHIC card too – this doesn’t replace travel insurance but helps you obtain emergency medical treatment.
Make a Friend
Websites such as thetravelettes.net, sheswanderful.com and gogirl.com are great sites that help you meet up with fellow single female travellers, and also put you in touch with ladies who are experts in the countries and regions you’re travelling to. It’s a great way to find out hints and tips from those in the know.
Download some map apps before you go so you can get yourself home if you stray off the beaten track – Google Maps is great on smartphones.
Spread The Cash
Never keep all your money in one place. Each day, take with you what you need plus about 10% more for emergencies. Always invest in a safe if your accommodation offers one. If not, spread out your money in your room – there are some great hiding places such as taped to the bottom of drawers, underneath the TV set in your room, as well as being locked in your suitcase.
If you’re going somewhere culturally sensitive then dress appropriately. Wearing the brightest, western fashions will make you stand out like a sore thumb when you’re in a rural temple. Even in modern cities be sure to try and blend in rather than standing out.
Keep jewellery to a minimum, and when looking at your map, step to one side.
In some countries it’s advisable to wear a ring on your wedding finger to avoid unwanted male attention.
Accommodation Post It
If you’re in a country where you don’t speak the lingo, write down the name and address of your accommodation so taxi drivers get you back to where you need to be.
If you’re travelling by train, always board a carriage that is busy. Never fall asleep on a train, and if you need the toilet, take your belongings with you.
To save asking strangers to take a picture of you in front of famous monuments or such like, pack your selfie stick.
Wherever you're travelling, have a safe, happy holiday, and don't forget to book your Gatwick meet and greet parking.