In this article, we’ll talk about safety tips for women traveling abroad.
1. Blend in with the Locals
The very best way not to be a target is to blend in. Pack light and try to buy clothing at your destination country. Remember that clothing in other countries is a little different than what you’re used to.
2. Dress Modestly
Don’t show a lot of cleavages and avoid wearing short shorts. It makes you less of a target the more modestly you are dressed.
3. Use Local Grocery Bags to Carry Your Stuff
This will make you either look like a local or at the very least, look like an expat. Go to a grocery store and buy one of their reusable grocery bags. Put your water and your guidebook inside that instead of carrying a backpack. By doing that, people who want to take advantage of you will less likely think that you’re a tourist.
4. Leave the Bling at Home
Don’t be flashy. Avoid wearing big, ostentatious jewelry. Generally, women don’t wear large engagement rings in most countries outside of America. If you need to wear one, wear something simple that won’t attract attention to yourself.
5. Use the Right Bag
As much as possible, avoid walking around with bags that don’t close at all. It basically invites a pickpocket to stick their hand in there and take whatever you got. Make sure to have a bag that closes, like a crossbody bag.
6. Walk with Confidence and Awareness
If you’re confident, people are less likely to pick you out of a crowd. However, if you look like you’re uncertain or afraid, that makes you an easy target for opportunists.
Also, watch the people around you. Follow your instinct. If you feel you’re unsafe, don’t freak out. Turn around and leave calmly and just go somewhere else. Always remember that safe is better than sorry.
7. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It’s not a bad thing to watch shadows at night when you walk alone in the streets. In a way, it will give you a general sense if someone is trying to sneak up on you. That also means peeking around every now and then to see if something has changed in your environment.
8. Take a Self-Defense Class
Don’t just take it for your upcoming trip, but to better protect yourself. Not only will it give you piles of confidence, but you will be physically stronger. You’ll also be smarter about yourself and your surroundings.
9. Feel Threatened? Ask Them a Question.
It works like a safety question and it doesn’t have to be relevant. If somebody comes up to you and you feel uncomfortable, just ask where the police is or the grocery store is. The idea behind is that you’re going to take that person out of the situation for just a split second. And that’s enough for you to turn and walk away.
10. Plan Ahead to See Places
Plan where you’re going, when you’re going and how you’re going to get there. If you’re going somewhere and you’re not really sure about the area, ask the hotel if it’s okay to go there at any time of the day. Also, ask whether or not it’s a good place for you to go at all.
Know how you’re going to get somewhere because if you already know where you’re going, you’ll be more confident and therefore less of a target.
11. Let Someone Know Where You’re Going
If you decide to take a last-minute day trip somewhere, let your hotel know where you’re going. Just make sure people are aware of where you are. In that way, if anything were to happen, there is a record of where you last were.
12. Know the Word for “Help!” in Local Language
This is important. The very first thing to learn in the country you’ll visit is how to say “Help!” in their language. Also, know the local number for emergency numbers.
13. Watch Your Drink
When you’re out and about and you get a drink, watch them, make sure people aren’t slipping something in your drink. As much as possible, drink things from bottles because you know where they came from.
14. Don’t Take a Ride from Strangers
If people are friendly, that’s great. But if they’re overly friendly and they offer you a ride, it’s probably not a good idea. They may or may not have good intentions and your life is worth more than that.
15. Make Sure You Take a Real Taxi
Wherever you go, research that specific place to make sure you get on a real taxi. In some countries, there are illegal taxis that will charge you an exorbitant amount of money. And since you’re a tourist and don’t know much about the place, they can drop you somewhere dangerous.
Traveling alone can be scary at times, but these are just some of the tips to make sure you have a safe trip.
Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of SIA Online Magazine which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.