Tips on how to stay safe while traveling alone as a woman

Traveling alone can be an intimidating feat for everyone to conquer. As a woman, traveling anywhere alone can feel impossible and overwhelming. The world can seem like a scary place sometimes, but if you’re wanting to go out on your own, here are some travel tips to keep you safe.

Communicate and plan ahead

Make sure you have some kind of plan in place before setting out on your journey. Have a good idea of ​​where you need to go and how to get there. Uber and Lyft can be safer and more familiar options than taxis.

Create a travel itinerary that lists the spots you plan on going to and plan out how you intend on getting there. Tell a few trusted people your plans and share your itinerary with them. When you arrive at your destination try to scope out populated areas. If you’re in an unfamiliar place, figuring out where the closest shopping area is can help you get your bearings and create a safe “home base” of sorts.

Download safety apps

If you have an iPhone, you can share your exact location with another iPhone user. For android users, using the drop pin feature on Google Maps can also be a good tool for sharing your location with others.

There are also some other apps available that can be helpful for a variety of situations. Noonlight: Feel Protected 24/7 is perfect for if you are walking alone and feel uncomfortable. All you do is hold down a button. If you are safe you can enter your pin and close the app, if not release the button and police will be notified and given your location.

Another app that could be useful is Sitata Travel Safe, this app gives you updates on safety concerns occurring around the world. Just input your destination and the dates you plan on being there and the app will bring you to a page that lists any safety incidents occur. The app is also helpful for locating nearby hospitals, vaccination requirements and information that could affect your flight if you’re going out of the country.

Be prepared to defend yourself

Jackie Wolfskill, Dream Vacations franchise owner and travel advisor suggests creating a self-defense kit and enrolling in a self-defense class.

Useful self-defense items include pepper spray, self-defense rings or keychains, personal alarm keychains, voltage stun guns, blinding flashlights, razors or knives and even firearms. Keep in mind the only self-defense items allowed past airport security is the personal alarm keychain and the flashlight, as long as it doesn’t double as a stun gun. Other items can be packed in your checked bags. Make sure you confirm what’s allowed on your airline’s website, Wolfskill said.

“It is a good idea to choose a self-defense kit with at least two of the above weapons,” Wolfskill said. “For example, you may choose to use disguised self-defense weapons, such as a self-defense ring and pepper spray. This allows you to have hand-to-hand defense and a practical option at a distance.”

It’s important to know how to use the items you bring along with you, to make sure you are prepared.

“Another way women can defend themselves is to enroll in a self-defense class,” Wolfskill said. “Self-defense classes help you build up physical strength, fighting skills, and self-confidence to fight off an attacker with your arms, legs, body and mind.”

Know what is nearby

While traveling abroad, figuring out where the closest US Embassy is can be useful.

“US embassies can help travelers in limited and specific circumstances, including getting emergency passports and navigating certain serious emergencies,” Wolfskill said. “However, embassies are no substitute for careful planning, travel insurance or medical evacuation plans.”

It is also a good idea to make note of where the closest hospital is near where you are staying in case of an emergency.

“Generally, embassies offer a limited range of services for Americans traveling overseas,” Wolfskill said. “They include helping you if you’re arrested or detained, if you’ve lost your passport, if you’ve been a victim of a crime or if you’re the relative of someone missing abroad.”

Stay alert and pay attention

It’s important to stay alert and stay alert and aware; don’t bury your face in your phone or be distracted.

“Be aware of your surroundings and keep that $1000 item tucked away,” said Melissa Clack, a DeKalb resident. “Stash some emergency cash somewhere like the inside of your shoe or in your waistband. Stay confident, don’t look lost or nervous.”

Wolfskill said that she is careful about what she posts on social media and waits until she’s left a specific location before posting about it.

“Solo travel, especially as a young woman, is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” said Jennifer Medema, a Chicago resident. “It’s made me more self-confident in decision making, planning, and really growing into who I am as a person.”

Traveling alone as a woman doesn’t have to feel impossible or scary. If you make sure you have a plan and take the right steps to keep yourself safe your trip should run smoothly. Traveling alone can feel incredibly empowering and ladies should be able to experience seeing the world for themselves without constant fear.

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