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10 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone

10 Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone

In fact, many people want to travel alone, but they are usually worried about many things including awkward situations related to sexual harassment. These are some useful advice for those traveling alone that will help them stay focused on their safety while enjoying all that the destination has to offer. If you are a women and want to travel alone, these tips will help you enjoy a safe and unforgettable trip.

1. Choose a Good Place to Visit

This step is the first and the most important step for travelers. Choose your destination with care. Besides thinking about where you want to go, you should consider whether the place is safe for you because there may be disturbing internal issues like communal tensions happening at the location you desire to visit.

    2. Research Carefully Before the Trip

    Before deciding to visit a place outside your country, you should find out all the related information about the place as well as ask other travelers for information on the culture, religion, the current situation in the country and so on.

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    You can find the necessary information on travel blogs or websites like Travelfish.org and Tripadvisor.com. For example, what is the attitude of men towards women in that country? How do women dress there, modern or traditional? You should not think that it’s a nonsensical thing to do because if you prepare carefully, you will be safer.  Furthermore, you should pay extra attention to traveling tips for Buddhist countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

    3. Ignore the Whistling

    In some countries, whistling considered as a normal thing. But in some places, if you react to the whistling of eve teasers, you may get into negative situations like fights or sexual harassment. Therefore, the best way for you to handle such a case is to stay in control of your temper and quickly get out of that area to a more crowded place. Moreover, you should not enter shantytowns unless you know the local people very well.

    4. Risk and Harassment Happen Everywhere

    If you think that the travelers getting raped only happen in the Middle East, Asia, and India, it is an erroneous conception. A short survey on the Internet shows that similar situations occur even in developed countries such as South Korea, Australia, Spain, England, and New Zealand. We cannot predict when the worst circumstances will appear, but you should pay attention to what is happening and believe in your own hunches to ensure your safety.

    5. Catch a Safe Transport

    Safe and cheap flights are always the most interesting to women when traveling. You should book your flight ticket before traveling about 1-2 months in advance to avoid an unavailable ticket situation, especially during the peak tourist season.

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      Photo Credit: pixabay.com

      The popular transport choice of tourists is a taxi. However “Taxi scams” is the hottest word on travel forums recently because a lot of tourists get into bad situations with taxi drivers such as paying much more money than usual or even fighting. Hence, you should find a reputable taxi branch to call for one. You can ask receptionists in your hotel to help you call the taxi or give you the phone number of a reliable cab service. It is advisable not to catch a taxi on the road to avoid getting scammed.

      6. Say ‘No’ Strongly

      Sometimes, you will hear enticing words such as invitations to the park, a terrace with scenery, beautiful views, or even a free stay in their homes. In such cases, you should say “no” boldly and not worry about seeming unfriendly or impolite.

      In fact, there are a lot of kind local people who really want to help you from their heart, but vigilance is never redundant while traveling alone because you cannot easily distinguish between good and bad people.

      7. Do not Go to Another Place with Strangers

      Most perpetrators of sexual harassment will take their victims to another place where they feel safe to perform their acts.

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      Therefore, when someone who is stranger offers to take you somewhere alone, you should refuse resolutely and remain in a public place or go accompanied by another person you know clearly.

      8. Choose a Safe Residence

      Homestay is popular with tourists, especially people traveling alone on a budget. In fact, the “hostel” type is quite a favorite with tourists, but it has a lot of problems which you should be careful about.

      Homestay means that you will stay with local people and other travelers who you don’t know. Additionally, when deciding stay with local people or in a hostel, you should find more information about the place to make sure of your own safety.

        Photo Credit: pixabay.com

        9. Do Not Share a Bed with a Stranger

        Despite the advantages of a homestay or hostel, you should think more about other boarding options if the house owner asks you to share the room with a stranger. It may seem like the best time to make new friends with other tourists, but it also puts you at risk of dangers such as theft or sexual harassment.

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        10. Go to the Embassy if Bad Situations Occur

        If anything bad happens, you should stay calm and go to the embassy of your country before you go to the local police. In some countries, the local police may be unfriendly and the rules may not be in your favor. Therefore, you should go directly to your embassy to get the advice and protection to get you home safely.

        Featured photo credit: Martin Fuhrmann via pixabay.com

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        Angella Copper

        Professor of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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