There’s no sugarcoating it: the world that we live in can be a dangerous place, especially for females. We’re constantly told to keep our keys in our hands, be aware of our surroundings, or to never leave our drink alone.
All of this can sound pretty scary, but it shouldn’t deter you from living life to the fullest. You should still travel as often and as far as you want, even if you’re alone!
Here are some tips to keep yourself safe while you’re off gallivanting on your adventures:
Limit Taxi Cab Usage
Unless you’re really confident in your fighting skills or have vetted the cab company/cab driver, it’s best to avoid using taxi services. Unless it’s a very reputable company that tracks their drivers, there’s no way to verify that it’s not a random person driving that just happens to look like a taxi cab.
Especially steer clear of Ubers and Lyfts – it’s much easier for faux drivers to pose as Uber or Lyft employees since they can use their own cars. If you must use Uber or Lyft, make SURE you check and verify the license plate FIRST, and ask the driver who they are here to pick up (to verify it’s you), NOT what their name is.
A common tactic is for faux drivers to simply agree and say “yes” when you ask, “Are you ___?” It’s a dangerous world out there, and being extra cautious isn’t annoying or inconvenient: it’s smart.
To avoid this issue altogether, get yourself a car rental and zip around town yourself. Look up deals in Bradford or whatever city you fancy traveling to land a great price and more importantly, protect yourself at all times.
Do Tons of Research Beforehand
To avoid getting caught in a place you really don’t want to be in, don’t just show up somewhere and expect to figure it all out when you get there.
You could find yourself in a really dangerous neighborhood, which could be doubly dangerous if you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. Research the safest places to stay the night and the most common local attractions, so you know you’ll always be surrounded by other people.
Always stay in public places that are well lit, and avoid being alone after dark.
Finally, plan where you’re going to go each day so you’re never lost and alone on a street.
Keep Your Valuables With You
While you shouldn’t travel with valuables such as jewelry, having some valuables with you is unavoidable. These include a passport, your wallet, a smartphone, a laptop, fancy camera, etc. As much as we want to trust the people around us, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Never leave your valuables in an AirBNB or a hotel, no matter how great the reviews are. Losing your valuables in the middle of a trip can ruin the whole stay and make it impossible to get home. Keep a travel backpack with you so you can comfortably carry your important things with you on the go!
If you’ll be staying at a location for an extended period of time, consider bringing a small personal safe to hide belongings in, so you don’t have to lug everything around every day.
Keep To Yourself
It can be tempting to find a group of new people to latch on to when traveling, especially when traveling alone. Sometimes these can turn into friendships that last a lifetime! However, sometimes they can take a dark turn and become a dangerous nightmare. Some con artists actually make a living by befriending travelers and robbing them (or worse).
Don’t trust new people you meet with your valuables or where you sleep at night. Have fun with them, but don’t leave drinks unattended or invite them over to your place.
The last thing you want to do as a solo female traveler is stick out like a sore thumb. You don’t want locals to label you as a “tourist”.
Ditch the clunky tennis shoes, shorts, and obnoxious outdoorsy backpack. Do some research into the local style of dress and try to emulate it as much as possible. The more you blend in, the less you’ll catch the eyes of pick pocketers, as you’ll just look like one of the locals.
While it might be a little more tedious or expensive to “play it safe” when traveling alone as a female, it will definitely be worth it when you consider the gloomy alternative. Pay a little extra for that nicer hotel on the nicer side of town. Pay extra to have your phone work in a foreign country. Protecting yourself is of the utmost importance!