Many women enjoy solo adventures because it gives them the independence to take on the reins of their life. However, the changes in the travel industry, such as Airbnb and ride-sharing, pose new issues for solo women travelers. So whether you are going on an LDS trip or going abroad on business, take note of these pointers.
Avoid arriving in your travel destination during off-hours
Most crimes happen at night because the roads are dark and empty. Even if a flight that arrives at 2:00 a.m. will give you huge savings, you don’t want to trade your safety with a discounted airfare. Always choose a flight that arrives at daylight so that it’s easier for you to navigate the streets and find your hotel. In case you don’t feel comfortable with your booked accommodation, you still have ample time to change it if you arrive during the day.
You might love shorts, but some cultures have a dress code, so you have to be wise in choosing your clothes. Some destinations are conservative, and you might invite street harassment if you don’t wear the proper outfit. Research your destination beforehand and make sure to bring culturally appropriate garments.
Dressing appropriately will show that you respect their culture, and you’ll draw less unwanted attention and negative responses from the locals. Stay away from wearing revealing spaghetti straps, shorts, and miniskirts. Go for conservative jeans, long skirts, and sleeved tops so that you can maximize your safety.
Unless it’s a trend in your destination country, avoid wearing attire with bright colors or enormous patterns. Doing so will make you stand out, and you will attract the lingering eyes of pickpockets. If you want to blend in, you can never go wrong buying a couple of clothes from a local store. You might not pass like a local, but you can look like a long-time expat.
Choose the right accommodation
When booking a hotel or an Airbnb, choose a property that has a lot of reviews and positive ratings. Use Google Maps to check the establishments surrounding it. Steer clear from isolated locations or properties in the middle of a sketchy neighborhood.
Leave your bling at home
Leave your expensive and flashy jewelry at home if you don’t want to be a favorite target of thieves. Sure, you want to look great on your selfies, but wearing shiny stuff even if it’s costume jewelry will make you appear as a wealthy prospect for amateur pickpockets.
Stay safe when ride-sharing
Never get in the car until you find out that the plate number and the driver’s name and photo match the description on your phone app. Before entering the vehicle, you also have to ask the driver the name of the passenger he is picking up. Always sit in the backseat so that you can create a safety barrier between you and the driver. Do not reveal too much personal information when having a friendly chat.
You shouldn’t stop traveling because of fear, but before you pack your suitcase, be sure to research your destination, take the standard precautions, and take immediate action when you smell trouble.