Safety Tips for Women who travel alone

Safety Tips for Women 1500 X 600

 

If you’re the adventurous type, or you are thinking about touring the world on your own – for business or pleasure, here are a few tips that might come in handy for women travelling on their own.

Choosing a Hotel

  • Smaller is smarter: you want the staff to be familiar with guests and with you. The smaller the lobby, the more noticeable the loiterers.
  • Aim for a well-trafficked street (neighbourhood restaurants and late-night stores mean traffic, corporate offices mean darkness). Affluent residential areas tend to have more reliable transportation and fewer threatening street people.
  • If you’re still concerned about the area, ask a female employee–not one in reservations–whether she walks around at night. (Call the restaurant, for instance.)
  • A reception and concierge desk near the entrance, and/or the elevators, is more likely to deter non-guest undesirables.
  • There should be privacy for guests checking in: no one should be able to overhear a name, room number, or other personal information.

Street Smarts

  • Study a map before going out; once on the street, use a pocket-size guidebook to avoid looking like a tourist. Your hotel’s concierge or a female employee can mark any dangerous areas on your map.
  • Dress down.
  • Avoid jewellery-even a chain that’s fake gold can be ripped off your neck. Perhaps consider wearing a wedding ring.

Room Rules

  • The please make up this room sign tells everyone you’re not there. Call housekeeping instead.
  • Conversely, the do not disturb sign can make the room seem occupied (especially handy if you leave expensive items inside).
  • Put expensive clothing on hangers under other garments. Robbers usually “shop” what they can see.
  • Lock valuables in the front-desk safe.
  • Carry just one credit card and photocopies of important documents. Divide money for small and larger purchases so you don’t have to expose a wad of bills. (When sharing with friends, keep a kitty for common expenses to make digging for cash in public places unnecessary.) Become familiar with foreign currency before you need to use it.
  • If you must ask for directions, approach families or women with children. To be extra safe, say, “Where is the –? I’m meeting my husband there.”

Transportation Savvy

  • Use covered luggage tags. Instead of your home address, write that of your office.
  • Talk to female passengers and flight attendants on the plane about the safety of your destination.
  • Stay close to your valuables when passing through airport security.
  • If you place your carry-on bag on the floor when sitting in a restaurant or other public area, put your foot through the strap; don’t leave it loose.

On the Road

  • On the road, if someone tries to get your attention or your car is bumped, don’t stop until you arrive at a well-lit and busy area, or lacking that, stay in the car and blow the horn until someone comes to your aid.
  • If suspicious about “phony” police, don’t open the window. Instead, hold your license against the glass.
  • In your car, keep items out of sight (especially maps and guidebooks). Hatchbacks leave your luggage in plain view.
  • When possible, park so you won’t have to back out. It makes for a speedier departure.

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