As a female wishing to go on a trip abroad alone, lots of concerns pop up and discourage even the bravest sometimes. It’s the safety factor everyone has in mind.
Is it really safe for a lonely female backpacker to travel in a foreign country, and will she enjoy the trip as much? In the end, isn’t it better to just pay loads of money for an organized tour?
According to an article at www.news.com.au/travel, “solo female travellers attract far many more kindnesses, invitations and favours than solo male travellers or groups.”
Although it could be true, however, solo females attract negative attention as well and become an easy target for kidnappers, pickpockets, drug-dealers, etc.
Truth is, safety is never guaranteed and it mainly depends on your behaviour and looks, as well as how well-informed you are.
If you can’t find friends to come with you, however, there are several tips that will definitely minimize the risk and will ensure a more relaxed and fun experience.
Research well the desired destination, and learn about some of the main characteristics of the country and its nation through travel guides and the Internet. It is vital to know the region before you go there as “In many countries, clothes and comportment are perceived as mirrors of your moral values,” says www.news.com.au/travel. Also, travelling alone is not the best time to wear expensive accessories, jewellery and brand clothes:” The wealthier you appear, the more likely you are to be targeted by thieves,” adds www.helium.com. Here http://www.reasonpad.com/2009/06/the-safest-countries-in-the-world-to-visit-and-stay/, one can check some of the safest countries in the world to visit, some of which are New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Sweden.
Being adventurous does not always mean “going with the flow.” Book a place to stay ahead of time, and choose carefully the location of the accommodation–call the reception desk; check online forums, blogs, opinions, etc. about the place. According to www.helium.com, “It is also worthwhile to avoid the cheapest areas (they are cheaper precisely because they are more dangerous).” In addition, you are less likely to get in trouble in well-lighted and busy areas.
As much as this sounds a cliché, don’t share your personal information if possible, and don’t fall for everything strangers offer or promise you. In short, hypocrisy is everywhere despite cultures or morals, though it’s important to make friends. The staff at the hotel you are staying at or other travellers could be a good choice, but try not to tell your whole story, for example how you are travelling by yourself. You don’t need to be completely honest and detailed with strangers, so you can simply say that you are expecting someone shortly. In the end, just stay alert and trust your instinct the most.
Learning some of the basic phrases of the country’s language is always helpful. You need to know how to ask for help or directions, for example, but keep in mind that just being a foreigner (female or male) already brings attention to yourself.
In case you want to go out at a night bar, club, etc., always have the drink with you. There are drugs, such as roofies, that cause a complete blackout: “without knowing your surroundings, without knowing who has access to these drugs, nothing is safe. It cannot be stressed enough that this is not like some minor infraction — with roofies, there is no back-up! Once that drug or drugs (today many times drugs are being mixed) are in your system, you are in a blackout. If those around you can access roofies, they can be a drink-spike assailant,” says www.soacor.com.
You may not have the slightest idea of where you are, but looking lost, daydreaming, or in deep thoughts puts you in potential danger. Thus, try to look confident and watch out for your purse or a backpack. Don’t leave your luggage unattended while you are trying to read the signs.
Finally, enjoy your trip! With today’s easy access to information, one should not hesitate to experience the thrill of travelling whether you have someone with you or not. Of course, there are so many more things to watch out for, but again, being well-informed is your safe bet.