– By Vidula (Founder of BuffyFish)
Vidula is the founder of BuffyFish and has travelled to 27 countries all over the world. She also has travelled extensively in India.
Women who travel solo need to vigilant at all given times and yet learn to have fun!
Here are 40 safety tips from Vidula , for women who travel solo
- All it takes is common sense to stay safe. Don’t loiter around in a strange place or a well-known place alone at 12 midnight. It is common sense to not be alone at that time anywhere. Execute common sense wherever necessary.
- Carry a pepper spray. They are available at most pharmacy stores, in India, nowadays. Don’t hesitate to use them when the need arises.
- Be well informed about the place. For example, know about the public transport system of the destination, know where the ATMs are, know where the police station is, know about women helplines etc.
- Always keep someone informed about your next destination and your detailed day to itinerary. Your friends, family, hotels etc.
- Always use the smart phone. Don’t be a snob and not carry a cell phone. It is a gadget that you should use and ensure that it is charged at all times. Ensure that your number is given to your family and trusted friends and the hotel that you are staying at.
- Ask for help when required. Usually locals tend to help the travelers. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- Create a scene wherever and whenever required.
- Always have cash, local currency and a few dollars on you at all times
- Travel light.
- Always have a headlamp or a torch handy. If you are stuck somewhere in the evenings without street lights, a headlamp or a torch can come in handy.
- Keep a pen knife handy.
- Watch your drinks and food at all times.
- Always watch how much you are drinking.
- Spend extra money on staying safe.
- Get travel insurance.
- Always ensure that your accommodation is pre-booked. Never go to a destination without booking the hotels or accommodation.
- Dress appropriately everywhere. It takes common sense and research to figure out the culture of the place and dress accordingly.
- Always have a phrase book handy. Know some local phrases. Learning a new language is always fun.
- Have confidence when you walk and talk.
- Don’t look like you are lost.
- Try and not look like a tourist.
- Take cues from locals and especially local women. Talk to them and get to know them. It is fun to interact with the locals.
- Always let the hotel know what your next destination is.
- Figure out from the hotel, the areas you need to avoid as a solo female traveler.
- If you think you are being followed, stop, pretend that you are tying your shoelaces, walk into a cafe nearby and start talking animatedly to people. With a sly glance ensure that you are not being followed. Talk to the police if required.
- Always trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, walk out of that situation.
- Always have a plan in place. And even better a backup plan!
- Be well informed about the emergency services and numbers of the destination, for example, ambulance, fire, police, women helplines etc. Use these numbers. Save them as speed dials on your phone. Have your most trusted contacts, friends and family on speed dial.
- Learn how to read maps.
- Don’t hitchhike.
- Don’t leave your luggage unguarded at any point in time.
- Leave important items and valuables in a locker at the hotels.
- Learn to whistle. Or even better carry one with you. Use it whenever necessary.
- Don’t disclose your hotel details to anyone during your travels or a stranger.
- Know where the fire exits are.
- Don’t stay on the ground floor or first floor. If you do, don’t leave the windows open.
- Always logout of your email accounts when you are using the services of a local internet café.
- Talk to other female travelers and get tips from them.
- Scream when necessary!
- Always wear good walking shoes! It is easier to run in them.
We women need to learn to enjoy the trip as well while still staying safe and watching each other’s backs.
Wishing you safe travels!