Concerns of being robbed and harassed often stop women from traveling internationally. Don’t let visions of worst case scenarios stop you from seeing the world. Most criminals are opportunistic, remove the opportunity. Be aware and use these travel safety tips to minimize risk.
Travel Safety Tips Before You Leave
Consider purchasing travel insurance.
Purchase an international phone card, just in case.
Check for health risks and get vaccinations.
Learn the politics, customs and religion of the destination.
Create an email folder or google drive folder to store all your important information online including a copy of passport, driver’s license, credit cards numbers, emergency contacts, travel plans.
Give a copy of your itinerary to a family member or a trusted friend.
Check the crime rate of the hotel’s location.
Build a buffer into your budget and use it in situations where you would feel a little bit safer if you spent more money.
Attempt to arrive at destination during daylight. It will be easier to find your way and there will be more people around.
Educate yourself about travel scams. Awareness is the first defense. If you know about it, you can spot it and avoid it.
Learn basic self-defense. At least watch these 8 Self Defense Techniques For Travel from Teacup Travels.
Do not use a camera case. Do not use bags with fancy names or special padding. It will draw attention to you.
Travel Safety Tips When You Arrive
Keep a color copy of your passport with you.
Leave a note in your hotel room of where you will be that day.
Grab several hotel business cards in case you get lost and need help finding your way back.
Ask the hotel’s front desk to show you on a map the bad areas of town. Also, ask if there are any scams you should be aware of.
Use Uber if it is an option. The app tracks you and payment is electronic.
If you take a cab, snap a picture of the license plate and track yourself on google maps.
If you rent a car, keep the gas tank full.
If you take the bus, sit close to the driver and tell him where you are going.
If you take the train, chose a car with other people.
Lock your valuables in the hotel safe or a personal safe. Put belongings in your locked luggage before leaving for the day.
Leave the Do Not Disturb sign on the door with the TV turned on.
Ensure the windows are locked each time you come back to the room.
Always keep your phone charged.
Keep luggage with you at all times or use a wire cable to lock bag to the luggage rack on the train.
Do not keep anything in your back pocket.
Keep your valuables in front of you close to your body, place one arm over them.
Take your bag to the bathroom with you.
Only withdraw cash from ATM’s during the daylight on busy streets.
Do not carry a large amount of cash; request small bills.
Do not keep all your money in one place. Consider concealing some cash in an empty tampon container in your luggage.
If someone wants something you have, give it to them! Consider creating a fake wallet with old cancelled credit cards and a few small bills, if robbed hand over the fake wallet.
Do not wear flashy jewelry, it will draw attention to you.
Dress modestly to avoid unwanted male attention. Consider wearing a fake wedding ring if you are single.
Do not tell anyone you are traveling alone. Lie. Say your husband is waiting for you at the hotel.
Do not tell anyone where you are staying, be vague.
Smile and walk with confidence. You will not blend in, but you can look like an expat.
Chose safety over politeness. If you are uncomfortable, walk away.
Do not look at your map on the street, step into a store.
If you need assistance ask a family, women or store for help.
Try to walk close to other people. If you think you are being followed step into a store. Yell, scream, act crazy, blow your safety whistle and use your personal alarm without hesitation.
Monitor how much you drink, alcohol makes you vulnerable. Take your drink directly from the bartender and never leave your drink unattended.
What is your best travel safety tip?