Whether travelling solo around the globe, or as part of a larger group tour, here are some practical tips for women traveling on their own.

  1. Trust your instincts. If you feel something is off, wrong or strange move on quickly.
  2. Carry valuables including airline or train tickets, money, passport, etc., in a money belt under your clothes. Keep only what you need for the day in your pocket or daypack.
  3. At your hotel or motel, register using your last name and first initial only. If you fill out the room service breakfast order form that you hang on your room door after hours, do not divulge your first name or the number of people eating.
  4. Let family, friends or the embassy know your trip itinerary.
  5. Because it can be difficult to know what is considered offensive or suggestive in segregated societies, take your cues from local women in determining how to dress appropriately. As a general rule anywhere you travel, dress down; avoid wearing jewelry, even cheap pieces that look expensive.
  6. If you have to wait somewhere, look for other women or families to sit with. You’ll be less likely to be approached or harassed.
  7. Always carry enough money in your shoe to get you out of a tight spot. That way you can get a cab ride to safety or back to your lodging.
  8. Thieves create distractions as a cover-up. Beware of people who spill something on your clothing, bump into you, or drop a piece of luggage in front of you. That is the time to watch your luggage and keep a hand on your valuables. Also, be alert when getting off a bus or train or riding an escalator, because that is when pickpockets tend to strike.
  9. Study a map before you leave your lodging or car so that once on the street you know where you are headed. Try to avoid struggling with a map or looking like a tourist. If you have to ask for directions, approach women with children or families.
  10. Be sure to know when the sun sets. A bustling market can quickly empty out, leaving streets dark and deserted.