Since the release of Destiny’s Child’s 2001 hit – Independent Women Pt. 1 being able to take care of myself was the goal! So it’s not doubt that when it comes to travel, do not expect being alone to keep me from taking off. Travelling solo is liberating, relaxing and it can be worrying, and especially for the people that you leave behind, who expect to hear from you multiple times throughout the day to make sure that you are safe.
Whether at home or abroad, unfortunately, women need to take extra precautions to maintain our safety.
Know Your Surroundings.
Plan your itinerary each day. Know where you are going and how you are getting there, from the moment you step off the plane and into the airport terminal. While we cannot plan everything ahead of time, we can prepare for many aspects of our trip with the help of resources online and travel agencies to book accommodations, transportation, restaurant reservations and more.
Do Not Offer Too Much Information.
Do not volunteer too much information about the fact that you are travelling alone, where you are staying, what you do for work etc. Westerners are often perceived to be wealthy, thus making you more desired or targeted. Don’t tell everyone where you live, your career, your vacation plans or other information that can make you more vulnerable. Try to blend in a much as reasonably possible to avoid drawing any extra unnecessary attention to yourself.
Not every country values women and offers the same freedoms and liberties that women may have in your home country. Know the customs and traditions of your destination and be respectful of the local expectations of women over there. Unfortunately, not all jurisdictions are as supportive of women’s rights as where you may live. To ensure your safety be informed about major differences so that you don’t find yourself in trouble like local authorities.
Register With Your Home Nation as Travelling Abroad.
Every time I leave the country, even if it is just to cross the border for a day, I am sure to register so that in the event of an emergency, the government can attempt to contact me and offer me assistance if necessary.
Order Your Free Copy of Her Own Way
Before I ever travelled solo, I read this publication from the Government of Canada and it has taught me some really useful tips to stay safe while abroad. The entire publication is available online but I recommend you order a free copy of it online so that you can have it on hand to use as a refresher whenever needed. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/publications/her-own-way
Stay Safe and Bon Voyage
Wherever you go your safety should always remain your #1 priority. Be vigilant and alert. Use common sense and street smarts. If something does not feel right about a situation, leave. Trust your instincts. Take these precautions and others within reason and you should be on your way to a wonderful time abroad! Bon voyage!
Reproduced with the permission of Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa, 2016.