The world is your stage, and it’s yours to own and conquer. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more women traveling around the globe with their girlfriends or by themselves. And while the experiences are giving them worth-treasuring memories, they are also becoming more vulnerable to different types of crime including rape, theft, and abduction.
In life, nothing is guaranteed, and traveling means exposing yourself to different risks. However, there are also many ways on how to improve your security and enjoy traveling at the same time:
Watch out for news advisories. Stay tuned to news about violence, weather disturbance, and other important news about your potential destination. Channels such as CNN and credible websites like U.S. Immigration can be a great resource. You can also read up bulletins from various embassies. The golden rule is that if the climate, whether political, economic, or weather, isn’t good, don’t push through with it.
Travel with a group. More women are now practicing solo traveling. Nevertheless, you’ll feel safer when you’re with a group or even with your best friend. At the very least, they can be your voice of reason if you decide to do something dangerous while on a journey (like going to a seedy club to satiate your curiosity). Attackers and criminals, moreover, are less likely get attracted to groups.
Know the place’s culture. In some places, you’ll definitely stand out with your appearance. But often, the locals can immediately get over it. You are likely to gather longer attention and worse bad reactions if you dare to veer away from their culture. For instance, in Muslim countries in the Middle East, you are not allowed to mingle with single men or wear very skimpy attire. You are requested to remove shoes and wrap yourself with a sarong or a garment when entering a temple. With the help of the Internet and travel books, knowing their cultures should not be too difficult. It’s a matter of being sensitive to their known practices.
Avoid problematic countries. Some countries are not women friendly, and it may be best to avoid them at all costs until their practices and policies have significantly eased. These include war-torn Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Colombia and Egypt.
Stay in good accommodation options. Where you stay during the journey is part of your adventure, but your choices should never compromise safety. If you can, try staying in modest hotels with good security features like magnetic key cards or 24-hour surveillance camera. Seek hostels that have excellent guest policies. Some accommodation options also cater to women only like Catalyst Housing in the UK while hotels like Naumi have dedicated floors for females.
Enjoy but be sensible. Keep your mind and body alert at all times. If you are threatened by someone, ask for police or embassy help as fast as you can. Update your loved ones regularly, keep digital records in case your things have been stolen, and don’t give any personal information to strangers.