Travel Safety for Women

, , 1 comment

“It is better to be safe, than sorry.” ~ Your Mother
If you are an American and a woman, then most likely you have been WARNED about women’s safety. Most American women have the rape statistics ingrained in their brains. Most of us know that in the United States 1 out of 4 women have been raped or molested and to be safe and cautious when in new environments. However, do we heed this advice when traveling abroad? 

How many times have you watched the news and saw a person traveling overseas on vacation featured as MISSING? You would think that anyone going to a foreign country, women in particular would take precautions and be very mindful of their environment. However, that is not always the case. 

Are you aware that 90% of sex trafficking involvess women, or that 50,000 women are trafficked into the United States alone each year?
Government and non-governmental experts in the field estimate that out of the 700,000 to two million women and children trafficked globally each year, 45,000 to 50,000 are trafficked to the United States. Approximately 30,000 women and children are trafficked annually from Southeast Asia, 10,000 from Latin America, 4,000 from the Newly Independent States and Eastern Europe, and 1,000 from other regions. (Central Intelligence Agency briefing, Global Trafficking in Women and Children: Assessing the Magnitude, April 1999.) 

Many of you are Solo Travelers, but it is always safer to travel in a group. However, I have traveled in a small group and I felt like it would have been much safer if I were alone. When traveling on my own I tend to have my guard up, but it is much easier to be comfortable when you think you have the safety of a group.

I recently went on a trip where the person I was with was invited on a date, and because I was with them, I felt obligated to go. It was at that time I realized how unsafe some women could be. I have a photographic memory and pay a great deal of attention to my surroundings, but I realized that some people just do not. I witnessed a woman falling asleep in a car with a stranger and I was floored. How do you know where they are taking you, and how do you trust someone you don’t know with your life?

When traveling overseas, the best part of the experience is being spontaneous and adventurous, but that does not mean being unsafe or ignorant. I am the type of person who lives by intuition, and nine out of ten times, I am always correct.  If I feel anything wrong I never second- guess it-- I follow my feelings. I love meeting new and interesting people, but I do not care to meet anyone who will potentially take my life. In most cases, you are safer than not, but here are a few tips that you could use to keep yourself safe while traveling:

1.   Always be aware of your environment. Watch the locals and see how they respond.
2.   Blend into your environment. When you look like everyone else it is harder for people to single you out
3.   Have a plan. When you know what to do in an emergency, then you spend less time thinking about how to react. “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”
4.   Have some form of communication (cell phone, paper and pen, etc.)
5.   Research the area you are going to first and be aware of things that could occur. Make sure you know the areas and circumstances that are unsafe for women or foreigners traveling alone.
6.   Leave your plans or trip itinerary with someone you trust or that you talk to frequently.
7.   Check trip advisory boards to see about weather issues and possibly negative tourist attacks.

The top 10 countries listed for rape are:
(To see the complete list: click here)
1.                  France
2.                  Germany
3.                  Russia
4.                  Sweden
5.                  Argentina
6.                  Belgium
7.                  Philippines
8.                  Spain
9.                  Chile
10.              Lesotho

Again, I am not trying to pump fear into anyone. I really want more women to travel and see the world from a place of love, but I believe that the more you know the more valuable your experiences are. It is always better to be safe than it is to be sorry. Therefore, I hope that you find these tips helpful and informative.  

If you are interested in getting some support before you travel, please sign up for my Free 30 minute exploration call. As an Expat and Transitional, I would love to help support you in traveling safely. You can sign up now here

1 comment:

  1. Traveling alone is one of my favorite things. It's freeing, stress free, and exceptionally rewarding. However, there are some risks with traveling alone and one must always be aware of their surroundings. I do not ever go out at night alone when traveling or become intoxicated, ride with strangers, or go into seedy areas.