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5 Top Safety Tips for Women Travelers

Learn how to travel smarter and safer

Traveling solo can be an exhilarating experience. There's a freedom that comes when you realize you can do what you want, when you want and that the day's enjoyment lies solely in your hands. For me, there's a certain thrill that comes when I rent a car in a foreign country and set off all alone, just me and my music and the road ahead. Getting lost (and found) is empowering in its own delish way.

Safety Tips for Women TravelersSafety tips for women travelersI travel a lot by myself and I never view my "femaleness" as a disability but rather an advantage. It might be my openness to engage in conversation or my non-threatening status as a solo female traveler, but I've been privy to some incredible travel experiences that I might have missed if I were with someone else. 

But traveling as a solo female has its fair share of risks too and staying safe is always top of mind. If you travel as a single woman, feel free to steal my safety tips:

Take note of what's around you

GoGirlfriend, Happy in the CaribbeanGoGirlfriend, happy in the CaribbeanAs someone who spends an extraordinary time getting lost, taking notice of my surroundings is paramount to my survival. Beyond landmarks, I take notice of people too. If I'm approached by someone, I'm very aware of my personal space. If the same person keeps cropping in my vicinity, I change my habits, stay in a public area or ask for help if I sense danger.

Trust your gut

If you're stepping into an elevator late at night and there's one man in there and no one else, as a woman traveler, what does your gut tell you? I'd rather be called paranoid than a victim. If I sense danger, I start listening very closely to what that little voice in my head is telling me - it's rarely wrong.

Crime-proof your walk

A woman with a purposeA woman with a purposeA woman who walks with purpose, as if she knows where's she's going and why is not a woman to be trifled with...Confidence keeps you on the offensive, rather than defensive in risky situations. Getting lost on the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras is a frightening experience but I faked nerves of steel until I found a safe harbor. It worked.

Know where to find safety

When you're lost, alone and in a foreign country, where do you look for help? Shopkeepers and hotel employees, authorities and tour guides are your best bet. But in a pinch, an adult with a child is a great option. Men and women can both be predators but a couple or single adult with a child is almost a 100% guarantee of safety. And they almost never say no to someone in need.

Be your own DD

Over indulging when you're traveling alone is like putting a neon sign above your head that you're victim status is ready to be activated. Alcohol muddies your ability to see danger ahead - and you can forget about your instincts. Enjoy the nightlife, but get high on the energy, not the drinks.

Be your own DDBe your own DDMy best tip for women travelers though isn't something that can be easily categorized. I've learned to be my own strongest advocate. I ask for what I need, for the sake of my safety and I've learned not to feel awkward doing it. I once traveled with a co-worker to Barbados and when we arrived our rooms were on the first and fifth floors - facing the street. He took the fifth, thinking to save me the walk up the stairs. I politely explained that I preferred the higher floor because it was further from the street. He understood immediately and we traded rooms.

Enjoy the thrill of traveling alone but stay safe out there.

Do you travel alone as a single woman? We'd love to hear your travel safety advice to add to our tips, Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and let's start talking!

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Comments

I do tire of hearing stories of women were attacked while drunk. Time to grow up ladies and look after yourself. You can still have a great time, but you don't have to be the drunk to do it. Stay safe everyone.

I just spent 14 months traveling Latin America on my own and if anything I think it made me safer. People really looked out for me and helped me out in ways I don't think would have happened if I had been with another person.

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