While we continue to work hard to challenge sexism and fight for women’s rights, women still need to be committed to protecting themselves.
It shouldn’t be up to women to go to extreme lengths to protect themselves from attackers. The onus should fall on society to change the harmful attitudes towards women that currently make travel—something that we all have a right to enjoy—more dangerous for women than it is for men.
Women shouldn’t have to take more precautions than men, but sadly, this is often necessary when it comes to solo travel. While we continue to work hard to challenge sexism and fight for women’s rights, women still have to be extra mindful of their surroundings and committed to protecting themselves.
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Safety Basics For Solo Female Travel
All travelers should stay mindful of their surroundings and in control of themselves, but for women who are traveling alone, this is even more crucial. Predators are more likely to target female travelers that are by themselves rather than women who have people to look out for them. When you don’t have a buddy to look out for you, you always have to take responsibility and stay aware.Being mindful of your surroundings means paying attention to everything around you: the people nearby, where you’re going, what the vibe is, where the nearest crowd of people is, what time it is, how long before it gets dark etc. Rather than zoning out and focusing on your phone screen or your earphones, always remain alert.Staying in control of the situation also involves keeping yourself out of vulnerable positions. Be extra mindful when drinking. At home, when you’re with a group of people you trust, getting drunk isn’t as risky. But when you’re in a foreign destination with no one to watch out for you but yourself, you should always have your wits about you. Ultimately, your safety is the most important thing.The way you carry yourself can also help you to stay safe while traveling, and some predators will specifically target people who look lost, scared, or vulnerable. Stand straight, walk confidently, and keep your eyes focused forward. This will give the illusion of someone who’s a lot less vulnerable than someone who fumbles with a map. It’s also not a good idea to let anyone know that you’re totally alone in a foreign country.RELATED:
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There will be different risks and dangers depending on what country you’re visiting. That’s why it always helps to do your research beforehand. Find out everything you can about your destination and the local culture so you know what to be aware of. There might be dangerous neighborhoods that you’ll want to avoid. Or cultural customs to know about. For example, in
, just being friendly can be a sign of romantic interest. In many Middle Eastern countries, you'll attract a lot of attention by wearing revealing clothing. How you dress is your own choice, but this is something to be aware of.Along with research, planning your trip in advance can help keep you safe. When you’re organized, you usually have more control over the situation and won’t leave yourself open to danger. If you’ve got your transport booked beforehand, you’ll have less chance of having to hitchhike. If you take care with planning your itinerary, you may be able to avoid having to travel at night unless absolutely necessary.It’s fun to be spontaneous and work out all the logistics when you get to a destination, but again, not knowing where you’re staying or how you’re getting there puts you in a more vulnerable position than if you’ve thoroughly researched and planned everything beforehand.Of course, it’s a given that in order to stay safe as a female solo traveler you should avoid any situation that your gut instincts protest against. If a dark alley seems unsafe, don’t wander through it. If you’re chatting to someone who seems suspicious, leave the conversation. In most cases, you are capable of spotting dangerous situations as long as you keep your wits about you, stay alert, pay attention, and trust your gut.RELATED:
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The Safest Destinations To Visit As A Solo Female Traveler
You could get into trouble anywhere as a solo female traveler, but certain countries pose less of a risk. According to
The Blonde Abroad
, some of the safest destinations that a female traveler can visit are Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, French Polynesia, Amsterdam, Namibia, and Ireland.
has also been named a safe destination for solo female travelers due to the fact that it is progressive, easy to get around, and the locals are very friendly.RELATED:
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The Destinations To Be Especially Careful In
Being female shouldn’t keep you from traveling to any country. But there are some destinations where solo women are sadly at a high risk of being targeted. According to
, South Africa is the most dangerous country for a woman to visit alone due to the street harassment that women face, the intentional homicide of women, and non-partner sexual violence.Other countries that solo female travelers should be especially careful in include
Brazil, Argentina, Morocco, India, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.NEXT:
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