Whether it is international business travel or leisure travel, it is always important to keep safety a priority. Business travel can often entail long trips to unfamiliar places and can often be daunting, especially if it is the first trip you’ve taken. In this article, I will share top business travel tips for women and how to keep safe when travelling solo.
Solo Female Travel for Business Travellers
For females travelling solo, business travel safety is crucial, and being proactive can help reduce some of the risks of travelling alone for business. Personal safety often gets overlooked when travelling solo, but it’s a really important consideration. Solo women, unfortunately, are often seen as an easy target by many, and staying safe needs to be a top priority. Here are some of the top travel safety tips for women to help you stay safe and stay aware when travelling.
Top Travel Safety Tips for Women
For solo female travellers, there are a lot of different elements to keep in mind to travel safely. The main thing to bear in mind, though, is to stay alert and aware as much as possible and also stay connected. There are some things you can do before leaving to make your trip safer, as well as some keeping some tips in mind when you’re at your destination. Let’s look at some top travel safety tips for women to ensure your solo trip goes well.
1. Always plan ahead
The best thing you can do for solo travel is to plan ahead as much as possible. By planning ahead, rather than leaving things to chance or going last minute, you can keep people informed about your plans and stress less.
That means researching the area, where you’re staying, public transportation, specific safety tips for your destination, and more. Of course, you’ll likely deviate from your plans to a certain extent, but having a solid foundation for your travel plans helps avoid a lot of issues down the line.
2. Research local customs
Many countries have their own local customs, traditions, and distinct cultures that may differ from what you are used to. Understanding the differences beforehand can help you navigate the country better when you arrive and help you blend in more rather than sticking out as a visitor.
Before going to a new destination, look up what appropriate clothing might be there, traditions, even simple ones such as direct eye contact, and what’s expected of women to help you avoid unwanted attention during the trip.
3. Keep in touch with a family member
While it’s important to enjoy your trip and get work done, staying in touch is just as important! Keep in touch with a family member regarding your whereabouts, locations, and plans as a general rule. That way, even in worst-case scenarios, there is someone that can account for your plans and location.
4. Purchase travel insurance
Travel is hard to predict, and there might be instances and scenarios such as a missed flight or even a natural disaster where you may require additional protection. Purchasing travel insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to give yourself added peace of mind while travelling solo. If possible, also keep a first aid kit with you when travelling for added safety.
5. Identify the local embassy
Identifying your local embassy gives you another layer of protection when travelling solo. In scenarios such as a stolen passport, missing ID, or flight issues, your embassy can help you with leaving the country and emergency exits as needed.
6. Try to learn some of the local languages
As part of the travel experience and to help blend in better, knowing the local language definitely helps. Obviously, learning an entire language is pretty difficult before leaving, but even knowing some helpful phrases can help you get by. Use an app like Google Translate to help, or just keep a note on your phone with a language cheat sheet such as greetings, basic questions, and phrases to help you get by.
7. Share your accommodation details with a trusted family member or friend
Always share your accommodation details with friends and/or family wherever you decide to stay. To be safe, don’t just share the name but send the address and neighborhood to give them more details. Certain communication apps such as WhatsApp also allow you to share your location with a pin on a map, which can be helpful. If travelling in a taxi, make a note of the license plate by taking a photo and sending it.
8. Look up local scams
Unfortunately, solo women are seen as easy targets for local scams in many countries. To stay safe, do some research beforehand on the country on common types of scams that you can be on the lookout for. As a general rule, always rely on your gut feeling if approached by a stranger, and it’s okay to steer clear from crowded places to avoid unwanted attention. However, if someone does approach you, it’s okay to walk away or disengage if they make you feel uncomfortable. Look up taxi scams in particular, as that tends to be a common one that most travellers fall victim to.
9. Additional research may be needed for developing countries
While there’s always advice around using common sense when solo travelling internationally, but it’s also crucial to remember each country’s context and history when travelling as that can help you navigate as well. If you’re travelling to developing countries where there may not be as much infrastructure or resources, additional research such as firsthand travel experiences and travel blogs can help you prepare better for the trip.
10. Purchase a money belt
Protecting your money is vital whether you’re relying on cash or credit cards. Pickpocketing and theft are unfortunately very common in many parts of the world, and they can leave you vulnerable if stolen. Purchase a money belt and a dummy wallet for added protection during solo travel, especially if you’re often on crowded city streets.
11. Separate your money
If you travel solo often, it can also help keep your money divided across different bags (e.g., emergency credit card in your backpack, a small amount of cash tucked away in your suitcase) for added protection.
12. Use the hotel safe
Most hotels will have a safe, so take full advantage! Any valuables you don’t absolutely need on a daily basis (e.g., passport, ID, emergency money, and/or credit card) should be kept in the safe. It’s peace of mind, and since you’ll be locking your hotel room before leaving anyway, you’ll be more relaxed.
13. Keep an eye out for travel advisories
Some countries are safer than others, but generally, keep an eye on travel advice – more specifically for solo female travellers. Always look for travel advisories before the trip, and try to follow local news and events while you’re there in case emergencies come up so you can leave quickly.
14. Create a detailed itinerary
If you’re travelling internationally as a solo female traveller, designing an itinerary can help you keep safe and stay organized. For example, what’s your intended destination, and what other countries are you thinking about visiting versus the ones you have concrete plans for? How many days are you planning on staying, tentatively, and what are you planning? Plans change, of course, but it makes solo travel safer since people will know your general plans and how to find you if needed.
15. Don’t pack too many valuables
It’s tempting to pack a lot when travelling solo, but it’s best not to. Keep valuables such as expensive jewelry and electronics to a minimum to avoid losing costly items. If you do have to carry them, make sure to buy secure suitcases and backpacks that you can lock and keep items in the safe as mentioned above.
16. Resist oversharing
As many travellers do, it’s fun to post and share information about your trip on social media sites, but it can also make you an easy target. Try not to post your exact location when travelling on social media to make it harder to track exactly where you are, and stagger your posts from different locations to make it difficult to pin you down. For example, you can post a photo of your dinner with the location after leaving the restaurant rather than while you’re at the restaurant.
17. Purchase a local SIM
Having internet access is crucial, and it’s easy to skip out on getting a local SIM as a way to save money – but resist the urge! A local SIM or phone number can make it easier to get in touch with you and ensures you always have access to the internet and phone wherever you are. However, don’t rely on trying to find free WIFI everywhere as it’s not always possible and will make it harder to contact people in emergencies.
18. Get in touch with other solo travellers
If you’re feeling nervous or apprehensive about your trip, you can also get in touch with other women and solo travellers to make the trip a little easier. Many communities on Facebook and Reddit are dedicated to solo female travel, both international and domestic, where you can reach out to others when planning the trip, exchange safety tips, and meet up in your intended destination if possible.
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