Don’t we all love to travel, both solo and with friends? Explore new places? Make new friends & new memories?
A person who has recently been on a tour is most likely to talk about the place they have visited, the local people, their experience, the cuisine, things they bought etc. But this is not always true for women travelers, especially those who travel alone They often talk about the horrors of the harassment they faced during their adventures.
Crime against women is a dark truth of our society but that should not stop women from pursuing the passion for wanderlust. Thus, here are some precautions women can take while travelling-
- Understand the place you are visiting- Before visiting a place, research a little about it, especially about the attitude of that society towards women. Research says that Delhi, India is the least safe place for women travellers, while London, UK is the safest place. This kind of research helps one prepare beforehand and being more cautious. One thing to be noted is that when travelling in places where crimes against women are high, it’s advisable to travel in pairs or groups, and not alone.
- Keep someone back home informed – It is better to keep someone, preferably more than one people, informed about your whereabouts and plans. They should be informed about your change in plans, your company, the vehicle number, hotel name and room number etc. This makes it easy for authorities to track you.
- When travelling late at night or alone, act like you are not alone – The saying, “The more the merrier” seems to hold true as you are less likely to be harassed if the potential assaulter feels you are not alone. Thus, call someone, tell them you are just reaching so that the suspected person might think that someone is waiting for you at the destination. Wear fake wedding rings, act as if you are married or have a boyfriend even if you don’t have one.
- Talk to people – Keeping basic safety rules in mind, talk to other travellers, make new friends, this keeps you in people’s attention and gives you crowd-support if harassment happens. Also, use “we” stories so people feel you are not alone or that you are married or have a boyfriend.
- Make noise – If someone tries groping, molesting or harassing you in any other way, then shout out loud. Let the crowd gather, let the people know what is happening. This not only scares the culprit away but also helps you gain support. Make sure you inform the relevant authorities and report the incident, which may lead to some action being taken against the culprit.
- Do courageous to say no – You do not owe anyone any reasons for not wanting to sleep with them. A constant problem female travellers face is being asked to engage in sexual activities. Thus, very frankly & boldly say no, you need not give any reasons. If the harassment continues, make noise, try to take the picture of the culprit & inform the authorities.
- Do not act lost even if you are – Try to blend in, wear local clothes, not only it is a unique experience, but also this makes you not stand too out. If you are lost use GPS but do not open maps in the middle of the road. If you have local friends its always better to ask them. Basically, do not make yourself look vulnerable.
- Remember important numbers and addresses – Always note or remember contact numbers of local emergency, police & if you are in another country then your country’s embassy numbers. Don’t be solely dependent on your mobile phone. Most importantly, your hotel’s address and phone number, your family members numbers, local friends numbers etc. should be remembered.
- Split your money – Do not keep all your money at the same place. Distribute your money, keep some in your wallet, some in luggage bags, some in your hotel room. Take a room with a locker-safe to keep your valuable belongings there.
- Self-defence – If you are trained in self-defence then it’s great. Always carry some allowed weapons-like things like a knife, fork, scissors, blade, pepper-chilli sprays etc. Also remember your body and your voice are your greatest weapons in self-defence!
I hope this article was helpful, wishing you safe & happy traveling!