Girls! While we may cry foul at being treated as the weaker sex, we unfortunately do face more dangers than males when travelling overseas and especially if travelling alone. But precautions can be taken and it’s just a matter of having enough common sense to stay away from trouble without taking away the fun.
Here are some useful, nifty ideas on minimising risks.
Tip 1: Dressing – Don’t make yourself an easy target
We still want to look stylish despite having to work with the limited number of clothes in our luggage. But as long as nothing is too low or too short, you should be fine. Throw on a thick leather jacket as a cover up and for that chic factor. If you must bring a branded bag, bring one you can sling over your body and turn the bag so the logo is facing in rather than out.
Tip 2: Taking care of your belongings
A useful place I’ve found for keeping your money in while travelling, besides stuffing some in your bra, is to stash some notes in your shoes, wear socks of course! Try putting an old, unwanted purse or stuff paper in the pocket of yours jeans to throw off potential pickpockets! Always keep your passport with you, make copies of it and keep them in separate places. When in crowded areas, always have a hand covering your bag zipper at all times and try to take pictures with your phone which is much faster and less obvious than with a camera.
Tip 3: Going in the right direction
If you have a set location in mind, pre-load Google Maps on your phone in the hotel and don’t close the app before heading out. This way, you can track where you are without looking like a gullible tourist looking about cluelessly with a map in your hands. If travelling during winter, make sure you check what time the sun sets so you won’t be caught off guard when it’s dark and find yourself far away from your hotel. Always be aware of your surroundings and ask for help from other women, families or duck into a hotel or store to ask for directions.
Tip 4: Don’t go drinking without an inkling
Instead of going out to the clubs, why not drink at the hotel or hostel’s bar? Some hostels have happy hour promotions and you drink in peace knowing that your room is just upstairs while at the same time making new friends. If your friends want to go out, don’t carry too much cash along so you won’t over drink and always set aside some cash so you’ll have enough to catch a cab back.
Tip 5: Kick some ass
If you foresee yourself travelling alone quite a bit, try taking up some self-defense classes for some peace of mind. Krav maga and Kapap are great options as they focus on the practicalities of self-defense rather than complicated martial arts techniques. Remember to wear sensible shoes so you can run away as fast as you can!
We cannot predict what may happen but we hope these tips will have eased your mind and the best thing is to keep a clear head, stay aware and enjoy without the worries!