The good news is that an increasing number of women are going solo on their travels, and coming back with heartening stories of their own to tell. The bad news is that world is still not as safe for our women as we would like it to be. But the slightly better news is that there are ways and precautions following which women can feel safe on their journeys, and make the most of their time on the road.
Here are our top travel trips for an independent woman who wants to travel to her heart’s content without risking her safety.
Research, Research and Research
Being lost in a foreign land is romantic but only till the time your safety is not at stake. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to research all you can on the place of your visit. Read latest guidebooks, blogs and gather information from travel forums. Any contradictory information about the timings of buses and local transport as well as sightseeing locations must be verified before plan your itinerary. Try to speak to at least one person who has travelled to the destination in the span of past 2-3 months, and always keep local travel apps handy as also the emergency contact details of nearby police stations, hospitals, local embassy of your country and at least one local friend or acquaintance.
Always Reach Your Destination before the Nightfall
Cheaper tickets at odd timings, clumsy planning and overconfidence in the knowledge of your destination are all reasons that can cause you to book flights/trains/buses that leave you at your destination late at night. Solo female travellers should, however, make sure to avoid these pitfalls and reach their destination while the locals are still up and about so that they can process their surroundings better; get any local supplies, if needed’ and steer clear of being isolated in dark places with their luggage clearly identifying them as tourists.
Have A Backup Plan
A lot of us have found ourselves perplexed, irritated, endangered and at a loss of a solution when our travels have not exactly gone as we planned them to. Just because a guidebook said that it’s okay to catch that last train between the two cities on your itinerary doesn’t mean you cannot find a creepy man making you uncomfortable on that train. You can find unexpected crowds, miss your flights/trains because of the traffic, attract unwanted attention at the places you least expected but you must always have a backup plan for these sticky situations so that you don’t feel out of place and lack confidence to carry on.
Always Keep At least One Person Update on Your Whereabouts
It’s a thrilling and liberating to be on your own, cut away from the mundane lives, soaking in beauty, cultures, architecture at a foreign location. So much so that you might not always be motivated to update your family and friends of your whereabouts. But it’s sensible to keep at least one person you totally trust updated every day. You might also leave a trail on social media with your check-ins if calling/messaging is distracting. Also, always give the number and address of your local hotel, resorts and tour guides to your friends or family so that they can be contacted for your whereabouts in case you can’t be.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times
You safety is truly in your own hands, and you can feel a lot safer with just a little keen observation of your surroundings at all times. Always be aware of the people you are travelling with, and trust your gut instinct while forming judgement on them. Don’t ever leave your luggage unattended no matter how tempting and immediate the calling of a certain view is. In public places, always keep your purse close to your body and the zip’s done up at all times. Never underestimate the warning of your gut, and leave a place as soon as you feel even slightly threatened. Always remember that no experience is worth risking your safety.