At the beginning of my travels, I was a little timid about traveling alone as a female. After all, ISN’T IT DANGEROUS? I imagined myself getting taken and my father coming to save me like Liam Neeson. However, I learned that most people in this world are not out to get me and actually wanted to show some type of hospitality. But taking extra caution never hurts. Here are 10 safety tips for female travelers that I learned from personal experience and from other female travelers I met along the way:
STAY IN A HOSTEL
For many women, staying in a hostel feels unsafe or un-secure. While I can understand why staying in a hostel can seem daunting, I would argue it is safer than staying in a hotel alone. Hostels are great at building community so you are never out alone. During my travels, staff have often given me great safety advice and tips. If you feel a little uneasy about staying in a mixed dorm hostel, you can often choose to stay in a female only room for a little extra price.
BRING A WHISTLE
Okay, so I personally did not do this. But I have heard from many women that keeping a whistle on them makes them feel a little more secure if they are in a sketchy situation. If a little whistle can give some peace of mind then I would recommend it.
DO NOT WALK ALONE AT NIGHT
Your mom and dad were right. Seriously, just do not do it. I would give this peace of advice to both men and women. Walking alone during the late hours instantly makes you an easier target. Don’t. Do. It.
DO NOT PUSH YOUR ALCOHOL LIMITS
I know, I know, taking another shot of that tequila seems reallllly fuuuun. Especially if you are already in that buzzed, feeling-good stage. HOWEVER, drinking lowers your inhibition and makes you much more vulnerable. Know your limits and do not push it.
AVOID BEING ALONE WITH ONE PERSON
Notice I said person, not man. Although I would take extra caution staying alone with the opposite gender, do not assume that same gendered people are not capable of doing equally bad things.
STAY IN PUBLIC PLACES
Make sure to stay in fairly lit, crowded places. I personally love going down weird alleyways, but I make sure to be extra careful with the context. I never do this at night or in more run down areas. Use your intuition with this one and you will be a-okay.
WEAR A FAKE WEDDING RING
Again, this was another tip I did not personally use. Although, I did usually wear my university ring on and another ring on. When I wore these two rings, I swear I got less unwanted attention. I know a few people that use this trick and said that they received some skeptical questions such as “where is your husband then?". But hey, it is worth giving a shot.
ONLY WEAR ONE EAR POD
I received this tip from youtube somewhere (I could not find where again). This was something I did not think of at all, but it is one of the best tips. Wear one ear pod only, so that way you can take extra caution to the sounds and environment around you.
NEVER TELL ANYONE YOU ARE ALONE
I tried to stray away from telling people I was alone. Although I was often asked this question from people I met along my travels. I usually would answer and say “right now I am alone, but my boyfriend or friend is coming to meet me tomorrow”. I found that this is the most effective way to respond. It would often stop any further questions and from this point I would change the topic.
KIDS, JUST DON’T DO DRUGS. SERIOUSLY.
I feel like this is the MOST OBVIOUS tip. But there is a reason behind me suggesting this tip. I met many, many solo female travelers that enjoyed dabbling in drugs during their travels. I am not here to judge anyone, but taking drugs while you are alone is possibly one of the worst things you can do. First off, you do not know if what you are receiving is what it really is. Just don’t risk it. It’s not worth your precious life for a buzz.