Globally, women are identified as the group most at risk from pickpockets, thieves, and other anti-social elements while traveling. Wishing for a world where people won’t be douches to other people is..an empty wish. Therefore, it’s prudent for women travelers going abroad, to follow these 7 basic safety rules to safeguard themselves.
Research a place thoroughly before going there. Use crowdsourced websites like Tripadvisor and Tripoto to get to know which parts of the city you are going to, is safe for women, the common tourist traps you can expect to see there, the good things you shouldn’t miss out and the bad things you should.
2. Stay under the radar
Dress appropriately and avoid attention. Different cultures have different views on dressing sensibilities, and the last thing you’d want is to dress outlandishly and stand out in an unfamiliar place. Just like dressing down, avoid attention to yourself by your actions or your possessions like costly electronics, jewellery etc. Best not to be on the radar of unruly characters.
3. Be aware
You should awareness of your belongings and surroundings. When a person approaches you always stay on the alert and try to gauge what their motives are. No need to be on spy mode all the time but a little situation awareness can be really helpful while traveling.
4. Travel in groups
As a person in a foreign land, it’d be good for you to travel with fellow travelers wherever possible and also let someone trustable know where you are at any given point of your travels. Not only is it more safe to stay in groups but lifelong friendships can be made this way. The most important thing is, it’d take off the “foreign girl walking alone” tag off you.
5. Self-defense basics
Ok so this point is pretty much self-evident but why does it deserve a mention? The reason is that almost nobody going abroad considers it necessary to learn a few moves to help in the case of dire situations. It’s because of our inability to consider the worst happening to us and this can prove costly. Take the time to go through few basic self-defence moves that can be found in countless tutorial videos on Youtube.
6. Dealing with strangers
Strangers can be genuinely curious about you and may just want to get to know you, but things may not be so innocent always. If a stranger offers you something, ask at the outset if it’s free or if they are expecting payment for it. Also, while traveling you may be offered food by someone you are talking to, be polite and refuse if you are not sure about them. Don’t feel guilty in asking these questions and saying no. It’s your life on the line.
7. Carry a simple whistle on you at all times
You’d be surprised with what a simple whistle can do for your protection. The travel blogs on the internet are filled with stories of how whistles have saved lives of women and men alike when being attacked by someone in a foreign land. The noise immediately gives away your location and serves to attract passers-by, which acts as a deterrent to anyone who is trying to attack you.
We are not saying that your travels abroad are a continuous course of fending against unscrupulous elements. You may, in fact, have a very smooth travel experience. However, it makes sense to be prepared for trouble. Better safe than sorry! Have any tips to add? Tell us in comments below.