Woman Travellers

Woman Travellers
Being female does not necessary inhibit you from doing the things you enjoy doing - with or without the accompaniment of male counterparts. In fact travelling alone or an ‘all-ladies affair’ can be fun and refreshing. Women of all ages are now travelling in this fashion in increasing numbers. Students, active working and retired ladies have all succeeded in their eye-opening travels around the world.

However, it cannot be denied that woman travellers are generally perceived to be easier victims and therefore suffer higher risk of being targeted by people of sinister intentions. To mitigate this setback, adequate preparations and the right attitude towards managing risks are required of independent ladies to accomplish a hassle free and safe trip.

The following tips must be read in conjunction with Safety and Health Guides and Religious and Cultural Sensitivities. They are additional and special pointers for lady travellers doing it solo or in small numbers.

Before you go
Tips on preparations
  • Do homework on destination country
    • General level of security standards - crime rate, safeguarding measures and law enforcements
    • Note issues relating to woman’s safety
    • Learn about local religious, cultural sensitivities and general attitude towards woman
    • In conservative societies, find out what is/are offensive
  • General advice if you are travelling alone
    • Do not hitchhike
    • Avoid backpacking
    • Avoid remote areas unless you know the customs and culture well and absolutely certain they are relatively safe
    • Exclude criminally notorious and other high risk areas from your itinerary
    • Plan to arrive at places in daylight if possible, avoid late hours
    • Book your accommodation in advance, so that you are assured of a safe place to stay
    • Book your transfer tickets in advance, so that you can keep to plans
    • Avoid using train with sleepers where you have to share cabins with strangers
    • Be prudent in actions that may effect on your health or risk of injury for example, avoid going during periods of bad weather
  • Take extra precautions
    • Select accommodation in a safe and good location hotels, pay more for security if needed
    • Travel light so that your luggage(s) do not require too much effort and you can pay more to your surroundings, safety measures and keeping yourself fit
    • Bring along a portable inside locking device, you may find one from travel equipment supplier
    • Follow recommendations in Safety and Health Guides, you cannot afford to be more vulnerable than what you are already perceived to be being a female
On the go
Important things to do and remember
  • Do not engage in risky activities without professional guidance, avoid injuries at all cost
  • Exercise prudence in all decision-making regarding behaviour and manner of doing things which may compromise your health, physical fitness and safety. For example, avoid getting wet and slip and fall on slippery grounds when it rains.
  • Dress sensibly in general and conservatively in places where locals are known to be religious and conservative. Complications arise when you attract the wrong attention or cause offence. See Religious and Cultural Sensitivities.
  • In some societies, men tend to take advantage when you have no obvious protector, their behaviour can be unruly. Retain your calm, do not react and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible to a place where there are ‘human shields’ or nearest police officer when things get serious.
  • Keep your hotel room double-locked when you are in and do not hang ‘room service’ order card with your name and room number on the door knob. The information may be used by people with sinister intentions.
  • Meet visitors at the hotel lobby and not your room
  • In certain societies, accepting invitations to go out with a man alone is not acceptable. It may send the wrong signal and unwittingly expose yourself to the risk of sexual assault. You will also be at a disadvantage when seeking legal redress and justice because the local laws may be discriminatory against women.
  • Be wary of unwelcome attention and risks under the following situations/places
    • Alone in lifts, maybe wait a little longer for the next when there are more users
    • Being only passenger in a train carriage, avoid getting into or move away
    • Cruise ship cabins, make sure door firmly locked and chained
    • Crowded trains and buses increases risk of harassments (besides pickpockets)
    • Being only woman in a crowded bar, watch your drink - spiking is common everywhere
    • Hotel room with easy access from outside, use a portable inside locking device
    • If you are on business and going for an appointment in an unfamiliar place, give details of your destination to the hotel management to raise the alarm if you are not back by a certain time
When help is needed
See Safety Guide
  • If you became a victim of assault, which will and can happen to anyone of any age in anywhere. Seek police, medical and legal assistance.
If you are sexually assaulted, do not blame yourself. Try to find someone you know or can trust if possible. You need to make decisions that are right for yourself during this difficult time, emotional support and sound advice will be of great help. Seek counselling assistance from someone you can feel comfortable with.

It would be useful to add the contact details of available counselling centres to your list of important contact numbers, addresses and internet access before you leave home.

The information and advise are intended to be a general guide for travellers only. While every care has been taken to prepare the information and make recommendations or suggestions, neither the publisher of Somewherefascinating.com nor its management or staff are responsible for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
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