15 Best Safety Tips for Women Travelers

Traveling out of the country will always pose certain dangers for both individual and group travelers. But as a woman who’s traveling, especially alone or with children, it’s important to take precautions and carefully plan your international trip.

So in this post, we’ll go over a few ways that you can help reduce the chances of being scammed, hurt, or simply met with a ton of last-minute inconveniences.

1. Try to blend in with your surroundings

It’s best to try to look like a local. It’s easy to make yourself more vulnerable to con artists if you’re carrying a massive backpack, two cameras around your neck, a bunch of fancy jewelry, and gear. You’ll draw much less attention if you make an effort to blend in.

Try to use your self phone indoors unless you absolutely must use it outdoors. Also, if you’re visiting places of worship, make sure to dress modestly in order to prevent upsetting the locals.

2. Take health and sanitation precautions

Make sure to have a supply of any over-the-counter essentials like hand sanitizer (whatever you can carry on plan and then purchase more locally if possible), motion sickness pills, probiotics, pain killers, and bug repellants.

It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor and get the proper vaccines before traveling. Ensure that any prescription pills are filled for about 3-5 more days than the intended length of your travel.

3. Research Local Scams

Always research your destination beforehand. While many travelers research their itinerary plans, the essential things you should research are the local dangers, such as popular tourist scams and prevalent crimes. If you know about them, then you can spot and avoid them.

Check out sites like Travel.State.gov for travel alerts on the country before visiting. This is a government website that gives up-to-date information on whether a country is considered high risk or not for American travel.

Typically, this is based upon political, environmental, and health factors–all of which affect the destination country and which could spell a travel risk in regards to American safety.

4. Get Additional Room Keys

Always ask for one or two additional room keys. This will help hide the fact that you’re traveling solo. Keep both with you, one on your person and one in your purse/bag. That way, if your purse is snatched, you can still get into your room.

5. Scan All Your Documents

Before you leave, scan all important documents (or simply take a photo of them), such as passport, ID, driving license, international health care, or visas. Send these copies to your email account or save them online somewhere, e.g. Google Drive or Dropbox, so you can access them from anywhere at any time. So if your bag with these documents gets stolen or you lose it, you still have the copies.

6. Prepare for Long Flights

An international fight can take anywhere from 12 to 36 hours, depending on where you’re headed. If you’re traveling with kids, take as many toys, books, hand-held games, and crayons. Also, load your tablet with new apps to keep them busy.

Kids have a tiny attention span, so you’ll need to keep them engaged from takeoff to landing. And bring a small stock of snacks too. Waiting for in-flight meals to be served can lead to anxiety and frustration in children (and blood sugar crashes).

7. Forward Itineraries to Friends and Family

It’s good to entrust your friends and family of plans and whereabouts beforehand. Always give those close to you your travel itinerary and update them regularly to let them know when things change.

8. Get Travel Insurance with COVID-19 Coverage

Travel has always invited unexpected things. However, Covid reshaped travel, significantly making it more challenging. Insurance with covid protection is similar to normal travel insurance, covering 180 countries and all the standard trip emergencies like flight interruptions and lost baggage.

However, it also has COVID-19 coverage in case you get sick. Not only does it cover quarantines but if you contract the virus while you are traveling, you’ll be covered medically.

9. Know Your Emergency Numbers

Knowing the number of the local/ tourist police or your embassy is helpful. But it helps to carry other emergency numbers like your bank contact (so they won’t flag foreign ATM use and purchases), credit card, and insurance policy numbers.

10. Remain Acutely Aware of Your Surroundings

A pickpocket has more opportunities to lift a wallet when you’re distracted by friends. When you’re alone, you need to be extra vigilant. Always be wary of strange people (particularly men) approaching you for on-the-spot help or that seem too curious about you (asking questions about your whereabouts). If you feel unsafe, be sure to go to a public-facing area or inside a nearby building.

11. Don’t Be Too Talkative

Piggybacking on the last point. The stranger on the train ride or the guy at the bar might seem trustworthy but there is no need to share too many private details about yourself. Be careful to not hand out information to strangers.

You shouldn’t tell them the address where you’re staying, what exactly you do for work or how much you earn. Also, don’t share things like what kind of travel equipment you carry around with you, your visa details, or what your future trip plans may be.

You can have great conversations with strangers without giving out too much sensitive information.

12. Use a VPN

You will probably use public WIFI networks all the time on airports, buses, markets, cafés, or hotels. But try to use a VPN (virtual private network) on your laptop and phone to protect your data. The VPN network and hide all of your online activity, private data and other details, as well as prevent your computer or a tablet from becoming hacked.

13. Do Research on Lodging Before Booking

Research your hotel lodgings and their customer reviews to ensure they are safe. Women traveling alone are at their most vulnerable in their lodgings because it is a place where they have their guard down. Always ensure that your door is locked before you go to bed.

Also, be sure to check the windows or any other openings in your lodging area– and don’t think you’re paranoid if you want to please some type of barricade up (Especially in dangerous areas or third world countries) while you’re sleeping.

14. Spread Your Money Around

Don’t keep all of your money in one bank account or bring only one card with you. In case the card gets stolen, and thieves are able to ask you for money, they won’t get it all.

Spread your money on two accounts and bring at least a credit card and debit card. If you can, store some cash with a family member or friend. In case you can’t access your accounts anymore for whatever reason, they can transfer you your money via Western Union.

15. Pack Very Lightly

The less you carry around, the less can get stolen. Plus, it’s easier to watch only one piece of luggage than a pile of it. Also, be sure not to take anything valuable while traveling overseas.

Things such as wedding rings, hand-me-downs, expensive jewelry, these are things that you may want to keep at home especially if you are going to underdeveloped countries. Packing light is also important to stay flexible and safe.

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