Esther Muchene

Travelling alone as a woman may sound intimidating and maybe even scary, but the reality is, it shouldn’t hold you back from fulfilling your dream of discovering new places.

Female travellers usually experience a different set of challenges while travelling overseas, as compared to men. That is a fact.

Whether you are a solo traveller or travelling as a group, there are certain precautionary steps you should keep in mind as you travel. Here are some of the tips you should remember as you plan your trip.

1. Be sure of where you are travelling to

As a lady, you should always take extra care when it comes to selecting your destination. It is easy to get excited and forget to do your research while planning the trip. As you do your research take note of travel bans and warnings that may have been issued. Of equal importance are crime reports. Read reviews too. What were the experiences of other female travellers? Your findings can make or break your travel plans.

2. Do not be too quick to trust people

Travelling abroad is a great way to make friends and build lifelong relationships. However, always keep in mind that not everybody is who they seem or claim to be. Some people will be extremely kind with horrible intentions hidden beneath their smiles. Women also collude with men to carry out crimes and take advantage of foreigners. Many women are also easily lured by handsome men who use emotions to manipulate women and take advantage of them. Beware of such people and avoid trusting people too easily.

3. Avoid unnecessary attention

It’s inevitable to stick out like a sore thumb when you’re travelling abroad. However, there are some obvious touristy things that travellers do that can bring them too much attention. Carrying around big backpacks, huge maps or even flashy cameras will attract thugs who are always on the lookout. They have experience and can easily spot a tourist and target them for robberies, scams and other forms of crime. Try your best to blend in with the locals in your dressing and manoeuvre the town discreetly.

4. Check in constantly

Make it a habit to inform your family and friends of your whereabouts at all times. This is especially important if you are planning a solo trip. Call in or send a message to avoid causing your loved ones unnecessary panic. Your trusted contact should be able to track your movements for security purposes. This will also allow them to be vigilant and notice any unusual changes.

5. Room safety

Always ensure that you lock your bedroom door immediately you enter and when you leave. Avoid letting strangers into your room for any reason at all times. Ensure that you never leave your window open especially when your room is close to the ground floor of the hotel. These steps will ensure that you and your valuables remain protected.

6. Always watch your drink

Women are more susceptible to being drugged and sexually assaulted. Many cases that come up happen when an unsuspecting target’s drink is laced with date rape drugs, which temporarily incapacitate them and makes them vulnerable. Do not accept drinks you haven’t seen being opened and do not leave your drink unattended.

Avoid getting too drunk as a safety measure as well. Alcohol can also be used as an agent to incapacitate a victim. Drink with moderation and be wary of anyone who is constantly pressuring you to drink more.

7. Be prepared for anything

Always have backup documents of your travel documents with you at all times and keep the original copies stored in a safe place. Ensure that you scan and store copies in your cloud storage rather than your phone only. You should also leave some of the backup copies with one or two people that you trust in case of anything.

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