Friday, August 24, 2012

Tips for Women Travelling Alone

Stay near the elevator. At check-in, you might consider asking for a room near the elevator so you won't need to walk down long hallways to reach your room.

Be semi-anonymous. When filling out guest registration forms, consider using your first initial instead of your name, and skip the "Mrs/Miss/Mr" check box.

Don't broadcast your information. Ask the clerk to write down your room number instead of saying it out loud. This will prevent anyone in the vicinity from knowing where to find you later.

Think ahead. Never hang a filled-out breakfast card on your door; doing so lets people know you're alone in the room, and means there's a situation already set in which you'll be expecting someone at the door.

Arrive by daylight. Arrive in new cities during the day to be better be able to find your hotel and get your bearings before dark.

Carry a little cash. If you choose to wear a money belt, use it for storage and not as a purse. Constantly reaching under your shirt for money draws attention to it, and tends to defeat the purpose. Instead, keep your passport, extra stores of money, and other important documents tucked away in the room safe, and use a bag or purse for carrying daily spending money.

Leave a copy. Keep copies of your passport and credit cards in a separate and secure location. Consider also leaving a copy with friends back home.

Dress smartly. To avoid attracting unwanted attention, dress as modestly as the women you see around you.

Look busy. If you want to avoid being approached during lulls in activity, such as while waiting for or while traveling on trains, it can be a good idea to carry a novel or paper for writing to friends (they miss you, you know, and want to hear how your trip is going). That way, you've got a prop that makes you look busy and involved.

Be confident. Whether you're on a street at home or 7,000 miles away, walking confidently and with direction is an effective technique for deterring unwanted attention, since appearing lost or confused can make you vulnerable. If you are lost, walk into a shop or restaurant and ask for directions there. Try to avoid obviously looking at maps while you're in the street. Study your route before you go, or find one of those wallet-sized maps that you can discreetly palm and refer to on the sly.
Stay in touch. If you're traveling alone, it will be important to have a few regular contacts who can keep tabs on you. Leave a general itinerary behind with family and friends, and send regular emails so that people at home know about where you are.

Use common sense. Using common sense is perhaps the single best tip for staying safe and having a good time while you're traveling alone. This category includes the usual recommendations: don't walk around late at night, don't drink with strange men, don't ride in empty compartments on trains, don't compromise safety to save a few bucks on a hotel or transportation, and know how to use a pay phone.

Source: Smarter Travel

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