I got a call last week from my old friend and neighbor Thomas Leeper Myrtle Beach boy just like myself, about his daughter who was going traveling to Thailand. Thomas has never really done much traveling so he wanted to pick my brains about females who are traveling solo, and whether or not it was a safe idea. During my travels I did meet many female travelers who were on their own and it always made me sad to think that they were more at risk than men and had to take different precautions. Unfortunately however this is just the way of the world in some countries and it is important that any girl or woman that hits the road, take certain precautions in order to stay safe. If you are planning on doing some solo travel then I thought I’d share with you some advice which I gave Thomas’ daughter.
Learning the Culture
Women must be very respectful to other cultures when it comes to how they dress, especially as many religions require that women are covered up. This isn’t commonplace all over the world but it always makes sense to check what the culture expects from women and from visitors.
When in an unfamiliar place or when you feel that you may be at risk in the location that you are in, make sure that you try and stay in crowded places. This is the best way of staying safe and ensuring that you are able to have fun without looking over your shoulder every few minutes.
Unfortunately there are many scams which people look to do and solo travelers are far more at risk of some than others. This isn’t exclusive to females but it is worth noting. Some men and women will know that a solo traveler is always up for meeting new people, so they play on this and walk up to chat with you, coming across very friendly, before inviting you somewhere once they have gained your trust. The way to avid this without completely ignoring every person who ever speaks to you, is to simply ensure that you always stay in familiar territory with them, or that you form a group with some other people. Don’t get in cars or allow someone to transport you somewhere that you don’t know.
Trust your Instincts
Honestly one of the best pieces of advice that I can give, and it is not exactly a ‘hack’ is to just trust your gut. Women are very intelligent and very perceptive and intuitive, trust in your instincts and if you meet someone or go somewhere and things just don’t smell right, then it is always in your best interests to listen to your gut and get out of there. This is the best early warning system which you have, so make use of it.
What tips would you share for a solo female traveler, what have we missed?