If you’re anything like me then, every time an article mentions something about solo female travel, you unconsciously click on it. Even more so if it involves safety tips. So, I’ve decided to make my own list of solo female safety tips from my experiences and share them with you! (Just a head’s up: the photos will probably have nothing to do with the tips as I’m not the most photogenic of people. So I thought I’d spare you all of that and just have pretty pictures instead).
10. Ooze Confidence
I found, the more I huddled into myself, the more likely I was to be approached by men who wanted to ‘cheer me up’. Try and fake it – keep your back straight and your shoulders back. If you happen to take a wrong turn somewhere and need to turn around but don’t want anyone to notice, you could pop into a shop, or do the whole ‘I’ve suddenly received a text and I’m needed in the direction I just came from’ routine.
9. Buy a cross-body bag
Travelling by yourself as a woman, you are more likely to be a target. Cross-body bags (with a zip!) are easier to keep an eye on and harder to snatch. In crowded areas, I tended to keep a hand on my bag at all times.
8. Trust your gut
If something feels wrong, it probably is. This isn’t to say that it will always be wrong, but it’s better to be safe. As I mentioned a few posts ago, when I was in Pisa I walked over a bridge and got a strange feeling. Looking over my shoulder, I noticed a guy who had been sat at the end of the bridge (and asked if I ‘liked fucking’) had followed me and, as soon as he realised I’d noticed him he kept repeating ‘like fucking’ over and over and over. I was almost at the point of heading into a shop to get rid of him but, for some reason, I stopped, stared at him, and the guy wandered off with a huge grin on his face and I never saw him again.
7. Always let friends and family back home know your travel plans
Include your arrival times so, should anything happen to you (which, hopefully, nothing will!), someone will know something’s wrong.
6. Dress appropriately
If the women around you aren’t wearing short shorts and low-cut tops, then you probably shouldn’t either (unless you want to attract unwanted attention). Respect the cultures you’re visiting (and keep shoulders and knees covered when visiting churches!)
5. Learn a few key phrases
Learning simple phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’, ‘where is…’, ‘help’, and so on will help you so much, The locals will also really appreciate it as well.
4. Try and blend in
That man with the khaki shorts, knee-high white socks and sandals combo and the baseball cap is very obviously American. Don’t be that man. Do some research on the place you’re visiting beforehand and try and blend in as much as possible. Also, it goes without saying, don’t flash all of your valuables. Don’t wear the expensive watch, maybe have an older, worn-looking handbag instead of your brand-new designer one. This stops you from standing out in a bad way.
3. Don’t go out by yourself at night
Sort of goes without saying but try and avoid being by yourself when it’s dark, and especially avoid that dodgy-looking alley.
2. Don’t get so drunk that you’re paralytic
This is kinda linked to the ‘not going out by yourself at night’ thing. You’re abroad by yourself – don’t drink to pass out.
1. Budget some extra money
Make sure you’ve got some extra money for emergency situations, such as, if you’re miles away from you’re accommodation and it’s dark, don’t chance walking through the dark streets alone – fork out and get a taxi.