As we were brought up to the tradition that women were supposed to be in the house as a housewife, evolving to a career woman the world opens its doors to change. In reality, there are women flying airplanes now, in the military, women drivers, and everything that human were conditioned that only men can do. Same thing with traveling (Check out Chic Traveling Tips for those poshy travelers).
Although from the background I am from (in Asia), the family is so close that I don’t understand if that is for protection or oppression that women aren’t suppose to make a bold move such as traveling alone. Well, possibly to travel local destinations will be accepted by the Asian society, but I reckon an Asian like me traveling alone from country to country keeps shocking Asian people (specially fellow Filipinos) everytime they asked me who am I with? Who am I staying with, family or friends? I keep answering the unusual Filipino way. No, none.
I can’t blame them as my family can’t truly accept the fact that they can’t stop me to do it, no matter how much they care or how much they don’t like the idea. Simply, everyone is governed by their fears. I do my own share of fears, but at this age and have done nothing that I ever want to do got me to a crossroad where I can’t find myself anymore. That is the force that got me the courage to go and find myself somewhere.
7 SAFETY TIPS for Women Traveling Solo
I am aware the dangers of traveling alone, that is why I would like to share the tips I know to help out other women traveling or planning to travel on their own;
1. Be Smart. Choose your company, it is normal to meet new people along the road and new friends but make sure to follow what your intuition says. It is not judging, it is just being safe. Better safe than sorry, specially when you’re alone don’t make it as an excuse.
2. Don’t Act Naive. Even if you are new into a place, do not act like you are so naive. Be vigilant and alert, be always prepared for anything but don’t get too paranoid.
3. Don’t Trust Easily. Trust should be earned and even your hotel should earn your trust. Always carry your valuables with you, do not flaunt it especially if you are traveling to some crowded and developing areas.
4. Research. Do your homework before splashing into the water, it is better than testing the waters if you’re in an unfamiliar place. Take the information you need about the place on where to go, eat, sleep, or party safely.
5. Be Aware. Try to learn more about the culture of the place so you will not be out of place. Also, this eliminates the awkwardness when some things complicated arises because of ignorance (e.g. It is disrespectful to take photos of the monks up close or them seeing the photographer without asking permission or Public Display of Affection in some Asian countries). Things like these maybe normal in your country but disrespectful in the country you are visiting.
6. Use The Internet. The internet gives us most information we need in one click. You have no excuse not to know anything as most hotels offers free internet services everywhere you go all over the world. But make sure to equip yourself with the knowledge you need before leaving your country. Better be prepared.
7. Dress Appropriately. If you are from the snowy part of the world and traveling to the tropics, be careful with what you wear. Most tropical places aren’t used to people wearing micro minis or super tight clothes. You can wear your skimpy outfits in the beach and swimming places but wear appropriate attire when visiting other places such as temples and churches. Cover up a little. That could also save you from being hassled by men along the way.
That’s all I can give you now fellow women travelers, but I hope that would help you a lot along your journey and to your safety! Just let go of your fears, as one friend told me “Just do it! Because if you don’t, you’ll never know…” That I must agree. Bon Voyage!