Travel. It’s nothing if not an endless possibility. You can meet someone new – Mr. Right? – shop ‘til you drop, learn a new language – ¿Cómo estás? – soak in the sun, drink a Piña Colada or two, and maybe even do a bit of writing. However, if you happen to be traveling alone, ladies, your trip may also bring about the possibility of being assaulted, sexually or otherwise. That’s why the ol’ Safety Girl has decided to offer up a few tips for women that will be traveling alone in the near future.
First of all, if you’re traveling abroad, do some research on the culture of the country you plan on visiting, especially as it concerns women and how they’re viewed by men. For example, if you were traveling alone to Mexico City, Mexico, be it for business or pleasure, you would need to know that women there are often groped while using public transportation, and that for this reason the city has separate buses meant solely for women. Oftentimes, simply talking to women that have traveled to the country is the best way of being informed.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, don’t let your guard down. Even when they’re traveling alone, women tend to become a bit more free spirited while on vacation. If you go out at night, try to find a group of people you feel comfortable with. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, and do everything you can to avoid compromising situations. Also, if it’s at all possible, carry some pepper spray. It’s a great way of defending yourself against any assailant. Remember to be vocal as well. Forcefully telling a man “No!” is often enough to scare ‘em off, as such men are usually cowards anyway.
For more tips for women traveling alone, check out JourneyWoman, The Premier Travel Resource for Women. The Association for Safe International Road Travel is another great place to start.