We are always trying to break gender norms, but it’s just a fact that it can be more dangerous for women to travel alone. Of course, this can be dependent on where and when you travel. Women planning on heading to the Middle East or Eastern Europe may want to be a bit more cautious, but those traveling to, say, France or England may be a bit safer. No matter what, it’s important to stay aware of surroundings and keep the below tips in mind.
1. If you’re planning on taking a purse, take one that is small and can be worn across the body. Carrying a smaller purse means a few things. For one, wearing it across your body creates less opportunity for thieves to snatch and run. Secondly, they won’t hold much which forces you to take just the essentials when out and about. In addition, they’re just more convenient when out and about for a full day of exploring.
2. Throw a few bucks (or the equivalent in the country’s currency) in your bra. You may think this sounds comical (and it totally is), but if something happens to your belongings, at least you have some money with which to get around. If you don’t wear bras, throw it in the waist of your panties. If you don’t wear either, I’m not really sure what to tell you.
3. Know the basic of your destination country’s language. Go to a country that speaks your language, use Duolingo/Rosetta Stone on the plane, get a quick reference book/dictionary – do what you need to. But, when in a bind, it can be helpful. Some good words/phrases to learn include: Hello, do you speak (insert language)?”, “Hello, can you help me?” (followed by “Do you speak __?”), “Help!”/”Fire!”. While you don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf, the last phrase will certainly get someone’s attention if “Help” doesn’t. The more you can learn, the better.
4. Meeting people can be great, but try to avoid going to private places with people you don’t know. This should be a given. Chances are, you’re a grown adult and can make your own choices, but know the dangers of being in an unknown place with a stranger. Taken is real, people. But, in all seriousness, gauge the potential danger.
5. Have fun! As cheesy and cliche as it is, it’s true! No matter where you go, you can have fun. Be safe, but have a good time. Traveling can be a beautiful, wonderful, eye-opening thing, but people will want you to come home in one piece. And if you don’t have someone, YOU should want you to come home in one piece!
And, if all else fails, here are some kick-ass moves to kick some ass.
If you decide you want to travel with a group of women, check out Wanderful (previously Go Gril Travel). It’s an organization that gets groups of women together to talk about and do travel. Between meetups, stories, and trips, you may find just what you’re looking for with like-minded women.
Updated: February 22, 2017