One of the most dangerous situations a woman can put herself into is traveling to a foreign country alone. Women are prime targets for pick-pockets, thieves, kidnappers, and rapists, so traveling alone is a very risky situation that you should avoid at all costs. However, this isn’t always possible – sometimes there comes a scenario where you have to travel alone. Here are some tips on how to stay safe when traveling alone.
First of all, it depends whether or not you have to leave the country or not. Most of the time people don’t plan sudden trips to a foreign country, so I’m just going to expect the only situation where you have to travel alone is within the country. Nevertheless, if you are going to a foreign country, you need to really do your homework and research and know as much about the country as possible. Figure out what religions are there, what the crime rate is like, where popular places are, bad parts of town, etc.
Wherever you’re going, your transportation is very important for a solo female. Flying is probably the most popular option as it is often times the safest. When you’re on a plane you’re stuck with the same people for extended periods of time. You get familiar with your surroundings and with a staff on board the chances of being the victim of a crime is very small. However, most crimes don’t happen on the plane, they happen at the airport. Be wary of this and try not to schedule any red-eye flights where you have to wonder around the airport at 4 in the morning with just a few hours of sleep in the gas tank. Sure, the price might be inspirational, but don’t be afraid to pay a little more to ensure a comfortable, safe flight.
Trains and subways are probably the most dangerous options for transportation because the stations are often times overpopulated. It’s easy to get caught in the middle of a crowd where no one on the outside can see you. This is why it’s best to walk with somebody and try to get to know some people heading in the same direction as you. That way if you don’t make your stop, there will at least be a little bit of caution raised. I’m sure, if you ask nicely, someone wouldn’t mind letting you sit or walk with them if they knew you were just watching out for yourself. However, be sure to ask families and/or other women.
Another very common piece of advice is to dress conservatively. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself and make it known that you are a tourist – this is just begging for someone to take advantage of. Chances are if you’re going to somewhere unfamiliar, you ARE going to get lost at some point. This is why using a phone to constantly keep track of where you are is good tool to use. If your phone is no good, you can not panic. Wondering around looking lost will draw attention to yourself; you need to relax and find someone who looks trustworthy to ask for directions. Someone like a cashier at a store, a police officer, or, like I said, a family.