Women Traveler are the most vulnerable travelers in any part of the world however developed the nation is. It was so, a century ago and still the same after 100 years and might as well remain the same 100 years from now. Yes, it implies the men have not changed at all irrespective of their education, culture and the laws protecting the interests of the women.
Of course, women rarely travels alone but if at they do, the Women Traveler should remember the following quote by Virginia Wolf.
“As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”
I guess there may be disagreements even to that as women are no longer safe in their own country.
Generally, solo Women Traveler start off confidentially but the moment they are surrounded by strangers in the plane, they start getting doubts. Moreover, in a strange land, everyone knows that you Women Traveler are a new comer. That awareness itself would make the Women Traveler fret.
Here are some tips to guide Women Traveler make it through safe traveling. With this safety first advice for Women tourists, you can iron out your concerns.
Think again after you choose your dress.
Don’t shout about women’s lib or the bromide, “I know what I am wearing…” etc. Most of the times, you cause your own trouble and the way you dress is the major cause. Remember, you are a newcomer in a new place and if you are found wearing something that the native women don’t, you quickly attract attention but only, it won’t be out of appreciation. Do you catch what I mean?
I read long ago somewhere that “your attire can reveal what lies in your handbag”.
Before you board a plane either alone or with your spouse, you should read what the natives wear and try not to deviate too much from that. Wear as simple as possible; avoid glaringly expensive branded hats and shoes; they confirmed invitation.
Women Traveler should Avoid Direct Eye Contact.
During my recent trip to Singapore, I have learned one thing from the Chinese women there. They never look at anyone passing by even if they are accompanied by their spouse or friend. I think it is a very good safety measure.
Do not go too far away from the heart of the city where there is considerable crowd walking on the streets.
Be wary of the people behind you. You are not being paranoid; don’t argue on that line.
Oh yes, a big “NO, NO” to jewelry. Do not show off your fine taste when you abroad.
What Should be carried with Women traveler?
- A match box
- A flash light preferably water proof
- Any self-defense weapon that is portable in your handbag such a can of pepper powder or vial of laughing gas
- A small knife inside your stocking if it is not much of a discomfort
- Plenty of small changes.
Emergency supply of medicines
Women travelers; Carry your usual basic medicines always. If possible, carry your doctor’s prescription though I wonder if they would be honored by the drug stores abroad. Never reach a point where you have to stop for something unnecessarily.
Carry a map.
Carrying a local map is very handy because you should not stop any stranger to ask for a way to your travel destination.
Leave behind your travel plans with someone back home.
Your detailed travel itinerary should be printed on a paper and handed over to someone back at home. He or she should be dependable and available at all times over the phone. Communicate with him on a daily basis and assure that you are alright and everything is going as per schedule.
Copy of your papers
Keep a copy of all your travel related papers and your own ID documents online such as Google Drive or a Drop Box. In addition, always carry the printed copies of your itinerary and important phone numbers that include the phone number and name of the place you are staying and phone number of your dependable contact back home.
Women Traveler Don’t Forget to Take travel insurance.
I am sure there is no dearth of travel insurance providers these days. You can definitely afford to buy an insurance plan that covers:
- Medical and dental emergencies,
- Baggage loss in transit
- Flight cancellations and delays.
If you are going to a country, where English is spoken very less:
Women Traveler must be aware of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). You can get in touch with them and they will help you locate a nearby medical clinic where they speak English.
Advice by the U.S. State Department
The U.S. State Department recommends the single women traveler traveling to the Middle East to wear a wedding ring.
It is better to book a taxi through the hotel reception than hail a taxi for accountability and traceable purposes. It is very wise to pretend that you are speaking to someone near your destination and that you are on your way. This faked conversation should be loud enough to make the taxi driver listen.
In fact, it is better to travel by local transportation such a bus or a metro rail than by a taxi.
Turn down offers of help
It is normal to receive an offer of help from the local people; they know that you are a foreigner and can use some help. However, politely refuse.
Try to look and act smart.
It is wise to show that you women traveler are street smart by looking confident and smiling when you refuse offers of help to show as if you are sure of what you are doing. If at all you really need help somewhere in the middle of a street, approach a woman in a shop or in a restaurant.
It’s all that comes to my mind. A single woman traveler even if she hails from a village will be smarter when she travels to a foreign country the second time. Women are naturally more cautious than men are.
Note: There is a Women’s Travel Club that is founded and operated by women and for women. They arrange holiday travel for women. Their women only tours are certainly a safe bet.