Monday, December 12, 2022

Safety tips for Women Who are Traveling Alone

Photo by Element5Digital

I traveled alone for the first time to the island of Jamaica. That was back in the late sixties. I was in my early twenties. People always say that God protects children and fools. I am not a religious person, but I never considered myself a fool. But there were things that never dawn on me when traveling to an island I knew nothing about. I was lucky. I met wonderful people and faced no dangers while learning about the people and their culture. Of course, there were no internet or social media back then. To learn about a country, you could rely on friends, relatives, travel magazines, or travel agents.


Traveling solo is on the rise, with more and more women opting to go it alone. There is just something about taking a bold step out of your comfort zone, setting you on the path to learn and experience a different place and culture. Traveling can make you feel more contented by relieving stress and anxiety while exposing you to new things or unique ways of thinking.


Following are some tips that I never thought about, as a woman, when traveling to Jamaica. These recommendations will help make your traveling alone more enjoyable and memorable:


Photo by Dini Ilham Aulia

Plan and research - Before you get on a plane or ship, always do your due diligence and do research on the place you are going to visit. Read reviews on the place and basically, Google the place to have a fair picture of the people, their culture, and local cuisine. That will lead you to make the plans and travel arrangements. In addition, a lot of fear and insecurity about traveling alone comes from not knowing what you are doing and where you are going.


Plan your day - Where are you staying, and how will you move around? If you are visiting a foreign country, plan to arrive during the day and not late at night.


Be subtle - It is important to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Stay under the radar. You do not want to draw unnecessary attention to yourself or make yourself an easy target.


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Read - Study the laws and regulations of the country you plan to visit so you do not find yourself in trouble or doing what is foreign to locals. If the country is conservative, respect the laws and cover-up. The main point of this is to blend in with the locals.


Be vigilant - Successful solo travel as women hinges on common sense and trusting your gut or intuition. Stay vigilant, especially when you are out partying. Leave expensive jewelry at home and do not flash your cash in the streets. It is also important not to trust strangers so easily.


Photo by Godisable Jacob

Do not compromise your safety - By trying to save a quick buck, you may put your safety at risk. An example of this is electing to walk a small distance at night instead of paying for a cab. It is also important to be in a sober state; always be aware of your surroundings. Try to limit your alcohol intake.


Purchase travel insurance - When traveling, anything can happen, so try to be prepared.


Keep friends and family informed - It is always a good idea to keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts. Send them your travel itinerary, where you will stay, and important numbers on how they can contact you or trace your whereabouts. Have the contact information of your embassy in case things do not go according to plan. If you are staying at a hotel, keep your passport, credit cards, travelers’ checks, cash, and other valuables in an in-room safe.


Photo by jasmin chew

Take copies of prescribed medications - If you are on medications prescribed by your doctor, get a note from your physician showing the names and dosages you have to take. Medications that are legal in the USA may be illegal in other countries. Check to see what drugs are illegal in the country you plan to visit and discuss this with your primary care physician or seek advice from a lawyer who specializes in international law.


USA laws - USA laws do not follow you once you leave the United States. Whatever trouble you get into, you are on your own.


COVID-19 - Even though strict guidelines for COVID-19 have been lifted, some countries still have firm rules before entering their country. Check with the country you plan to visit for their policies. 


No comments: