At Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco
I do most of my travels alone. Whether it is to remote places in the Philippines, to trapsing across the globe to places like Turkey, Morocco, Italy, London, and so on, there are certain things I consciously do to make sure i’m safe as a lone woman traveler.
Here are a few. 🙂
Know where you are going and research it like crazy! Knowing about the place you are going is key – know of where the transit systems are, if any…know of the areas you shouldn’t go into as a single woman, especially at night….know where your embassy is…know where the emergency places like police and hospital are. It’s simple things like these that will keep you smart….street smart 🙂
Snorkeling off Boracay, Philippines
Keep your valuables ON you when you’re in transit. I carry a small bag that goes across my chest from shoulder to hip. This bag is small but carries the important stuff and doesn’t leave my body when I travel. It is also good not to carry ALL your cash in one place. Have a stash of “ back up cash” too. I like to use a couple $100 bills folded and tucked into a place where I wont lose them or that no one will look, like a small pouch in amongst my other pouches, or in an envelope stashed in a book. There are different places you can put your valuables or extra cash too – your luggage in a feminine products pouch ‘cuz who is gonna think it’s in there? Even in your socks and then wrap them up. The last thing you want, is god forbid, you get robbed and have ZERO cash. Which also ties into the next one…
Walking on the stone streets of Bergama in Turkey
Have a copy of your important documents on you and online. I’m talking about passport, IDs, travel insurance, etc. You can make a hard copy and put in your suitcase as well as take a photo on your mobile device and then also upload it to Dropbox or some other cloud sharing online. Then you can always have a copy in case of emergency.
In regards to having a good time – if you drink, don’t drink too much. You want to know what is going on at all times. Know your limits and stay far from them when you are alone. The last thing you want to do is get taken advantage of when you have had too much to drink. Not cool.
Me blending in with the locals in Norcia, Italy 😉
Blend in as much as you can. And by this I mean dress appropriately. If the culture where you are going is modest and the women wear longer clothes, probably going around in short shorts and a tank top is not a good way to blend in. 🙂 I have found even simply adopting the pants or skirts of some cultures and my own tops helps hugely.
In the Sahara Desert in Morocco
Spend a little more cash to stay safe. Yes commuting is awesome in a new place – it’s a great way to really get to know it and see life as a local. But if there is ever a moment where you are standing waiting for a train and a situation presents itself and your gutt says GO, have money aside to take a cab instead of a cheap tram ticket. Your safety is worth more. ALWAYS. Or research where you are staying to make sure you are not in an Airbnb in the middle of a bad area of town or the middle of nowhere. Spend a little more to be in the center or nearby. And always travel with travel insurance. The last thing you need is to get into a situation and you can’t be helped because you don’t have travel insurance. It’s cheap and such a relief to know you have it so you can go on your worry-free adventure!
With a Butbut Tribal Tattoo Artist in a tribe in Kalinga, Philippines
Check in back home regularly. Wifi is pretty easy to get to almost anywhere, or a local sim card and prepaid loads. A quick iMessage, Facebook status or email to your friends and loved ones will know where you are at and they will love to follow along your adventures too 🙂
Atop the Acropolis in Izmir, Turkey
Pack light. I always pack light – my backpack and a carryon. That way I am not lugging around heavy, huge pieces that inhibit me from moving around easily. In a couple weeks I will be doing a blog post about how to pack for 12 days in a 10kg carry-on. Watch for it. 🙂
Shooting Kitesurfers off Bulabog Beach in the Philippines
Be where the people are. I tend to do most of my wandering during the day. Never at night. And in public places where there is always someone around. Even while commuting on public transportation I make sure there are people around. One time I was wandering in Istanbul and came upon an area where there was NO one around and I promptly turned back. I just don’t like to be in an area where contacting ANYONE could prove to be difficult.
With a local vendor woman in Chennai, India
Be friendly. That’s right friendly…not flirty. Being a flirt is a sure way to draw attention. I find if I am just genuinely friendly with people – nods or hellos, people respond positively and leave me to myself. And you never know when you need to start up a convo so being friendly helps.
I’m sure you have things you may do too to help stay safe – I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment on the blog here or on my Facebook page so we can all avail of your golden nuggets! 🙂
Wandering through Assos, Turkey
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