More women are travelling solo these days and it isn’t just the younger generation! Women of midlife no longer feel that they need to travel with a companion, however safety is still an important factor to be considered before taking off into the unknown.
Sizzling Towards Sixty is pleased to announce their affiliation with Fast Cover Travel Insurance. This post providing 13 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers was written in collaboration with Fast Cover so that you can be prepared and enjoy your adventures!
Travelling solo gives you the opportunity to focus on enjoying yourself and explore culture, history and different cities at your own pace. But preparing for a solo trip can be daunting, particularly for women.
While travelling poses health and safety risks to anyone, women can be viewed as posing less of a threat than men and so may be more readily targeted by opportunistic criminals.
Should that deter you from venturing overseas?
Proper preparation for the health and safety risks you can face while travelling can reduce the chances of you running into a problem. The following tips cover the essentials to help you keep healthy and safe overseas.
Health & Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers
1. Prepare medications before travelling
In some countries feminine hygiene products, HRT medication and other prescription medications may not be readily available. Before you travel, check whether you will be allowed to bring your medications with you and then prepare them beforehand.
It’s also a good idea to pack other medications you might need such as gastro stoppers. It can be a painful experience trying to explain you have diarrhoea to someone who doesn’t speak English!
2. Buy travel insurance
As stated by Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover travel insurance, “travel insurance cannot stop you from becoming sick or injured, but it can provide emergency assistance when you’re in trouble and cover unexpected expenses.” This includes the costs of staying in hospital, getting medical treatments, replacing stolen belongings or requiring an emergency flight home. Compare policies to find the right one for you.
3. Research local laws
In some countries sex outside of marriage is illegal (such as the United Arab Emirates) and homosexuality is illegal in others. Always research local laws before you travel so that you don’t accidently find yourself facing criminal prosecution.
4. Use reputable transport companies
You will likely come across people offering to take you wherever you want to go, perhaps for a cheaper price than the major bus operators or taxi drivers. Unlicensed taxi drivers make regular appearances outside airports throughout Asia. It’s always safest to decline these offers. Instead, go for reputable tour and taxi companies.
5. Safety in a taxi
While in a taxi, try to sit in the back seat. Know where you are going and tell the driver to take you there. There is a common scam particularly in Southeast Asia where taxi drivers will try to convince you your accommodation is closed and they can take you to another place to stay (a place that pays them commission).
6. Travel during the day
If possible, plan to travel during the day. Trying to navigate a new city at night can be more frightening and dangerous.
7. Be cautious on public transport
Crowded buses and trains can provide opportunities for harassment or theft. Don’t be afraid to make noise if a stranger tries to grab you or your belongings. If you’re travelling in a train compartment, finding a compartment with other women can make you feel more secure.
8. Know your address
Get your hotels address in the local language. Some hotels and hostels have this on a card at the front desk, but if not ask the staff to write it down for you. Something so simple can save you a lot of stress if you get lost!
9. Book accommodation in advance
You may not want to plan each step of your trip before you leave, but planning a place to stay at least a day or two in advance is wise. No one wants to get to a new town later in the evening with nowhere to stay and to have to settle for accommodation which doesn’t appear secure.
10. Take a money belt
They are a far more secure way of carrying your passport and cash with you than in a wallet in your bag.
11. Consider a portable safe
If you’re staying in accommodation where you doubt the security of your possessions when you leave for a day out, consider purchasing a portable safe. This is a slash-proof bag you can store valuables in and secure to something unmovable in your room.
12. Avoid attention
Blending in is one key way you can lessen the chances of being targeted by an opportunistic thief. Research what locals wear beforehand and try to copy them. Avoid wearing any expensive or flashy jewellery which may attract attention. However in some destinations you may want to consider wearing a wedding ring regardless of whether you’re married or not. In some places around the world you are less likely to be harassed if it’s believed you are with your husband.
13. Socialise safely
Getting a drink with new people is a great way to make friends, but be wary of drinking too much. Being drunk makes you more vulnerable to being robbed or harassed.
These are just a few of the ways you can be safer overseas as a solo female traveller.Before you travel, be sure to prepare. Click To Tweet
Research your destination thoroughly so that you aren’t going to be taken by surprise. That way you’ll be more likely to have a holiday filled with happy memories you can brag about to friends and family when you eventually come home.
Disclosure: Some of the items in this post are affiliate links and link to Fast Cover Insurance. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission. There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links. Click here If you would like more information on Fast Cover Insurance – available for Australian residents only.