It has become quite a hit for women to travel alone or with their women friends. Sadly, this means they need to take great care when not accompanied by men, especially in many developing countries. Though being well prepared is always the key to stay safe.
Whether it is for holiday or business, women traveling alone are an easy target. For that reason, it is always wise to follow a few simple guidelines which may help increase women’s safety when not on home ground.
Being prepared is the golden rule. Learning as much as possible about the destination, local customs and traditions is crucial. Dress code is one of the first things to pay attention to. Even if many women like to dress sexy, there is a place and time for it. Wondering the streets alone in the dark in a short skirt might be more than provoking for many locals.
The hotel choice is also a very relevant point. Talking to the hotel concierge is very important, they do possess valuable local knowledge, will provide information on transport, safe places to go, and generally are great to befriend. Before leaving the hotel, it is wise to take a card or matchbook from the front desk with the name and address of the hotel. The taxi driver may not speak English, though will be able to find the address.
What always proves practical is to know the area. Standing in the middle of the street with a confused look on one’s face and an opened map makes anyone an easy target. When out at night, careless flirting may sound adventurous, yet this may invite the men to very wrong assumptions. Women should pay attention to who they hook up with and not trust easily. Some women even choose the old yet smart trick of a cheap fake wedding ring. Many cultures do perceive married women as other men’s property, thus a target no longer worth pursuing.
Sparkling jewelry also tends to send out a clear ‘take me’ signal. It’s not worth to draw too much attention to posh clothes and pricy accessories. If mugged, it is always wiser to just let go; it is more risky to argue with the thief and anger him. All travel documents should be locked away in the hotel room, never in one’s wallet. One credit card is more than enough and it won’t hurt to carry only small amount of money. The rule number one is always using common sense and being informed.
Women-only Hotel: Good or Bad?
I would emphasize modest clothing - many western women think that the approach to naked arms and legs is the same all over the world. But it is not - actually most of the world is quite conservative.