Lots of places in the world that are wonderful to travel to, are sadly stricken with poverty and crime. They could be full of culture, heritage, history and gorgeous scenery, but due to economic factors, political instability, disease or issues like drugs, there’s often a darker side to places. Unless the government has specifically stated that a destination is unsafe to visit then don’t let the idea of safety put you off- however you do need to keep your wits about you, even more so when you’re a solo female traveller. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe when you’re away to ensure a smooth and pleasant trip.
Listen to warnings
When you arrive at the destination, listen to the advice of your rep or tour guide. They will be able to let you know if there’s anywhere in particular you need to avoid. You should also check online to see if there are any danger warnings, you’ll need to ensure you’re not stumbling across places that could put you at risk, even if you get lost and end up there by accident. Find out the best way to travel, in some parts of the world it will be recommended that you use public transport and avoid taxis due to theft or even sexual assault. However, in other places, this will be the opposite way round. For example, in Japan, sexual assaults on women on their packed trains are becoming more and more widespread. Know what to expect so you can keep yourself safe and make the best decisions. Unfortunately, as solo female travellers we are vulnerable to this, so it’s important to be aware of it and how you can avoid it.
Use a prepaid Visa card
If you lose money, it’s gone forever. For this reason a debit or credit card seems like the safer option, but in some ways it can be even worse if you’re robbed. If you don’t notice it’s missing right away, someone could have gone on a shopping spree using your contactless in different places and clear out your account. While the bank might get this back for you, they could also tell you there’s nothing you can do. For this reason, the best way to travel with your money is by using a prepaid Visa card. Not only can it help you to budget, but it also limits the damage if your card or bag is stolen too. You can use an app, card transfer or direct deposit to load money onto it, so each day before heading out you can transfer just the money that you’re going to need. If it does get stolen, you have the opportunity to cancel it and prevent the money being spent. But worst case scenario, they’re only able to use what’s on the card and not what’s in your entire bank account!
Buy an anti pickpocket backpack
Speaking of losing cards and money, one way you can help to protect yourself when you’re travelling is to use the right bag. Pickpocketing is common in many parts of the world, and so using a backpack which has been designed with this in mind is a smart move. Anti pickpocket packs have a zip at the back where it’s covered by your own back, meaning nothing can be opened or taken out from the front. Otherwise, a cross body back or bum bag is a good choice, something close to your person and that’s securely zipped.