When travelling in unfamiliar locations, there is always an increased level of risk. For women there are some additional difficulties. Focusing on women’s Travel Safety is not a reflection on the capability of women to protect themselves properly whilst travelling. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of this increased risk.
That’s why we’ve put together our 5 tips for female Travel Safety. The areas in which women particularly are at an increased level of risk whilst travelling are harassment and sexual assault. The issues surrounding female Travel Safety will vary greatly from country to country often due to both the cultural and legislative differences between your destination and your home country.
Whether you are a woman that will be travelling, or if you’re leading a team with female travellers, you should properly consider the following to remain safe.
1. Know the local culture and law
When travelling to another country, it is worth being aware of how women may be treated due to the law or cultural norms. It may be the case that there are certain ways women are expected to conduct themselves in your destination.
The legislature or customs surrounding women may be far from equal but noncompliance with their culture can have serious ramifications. This can range from harassment from locals, to penalties and fines or even jail sentences.
Therefore, even though you may disagree strongly with the cultural norms or legislature that you are faced with, it is worth making female Travel Safety your top priority. Some of the main areas in which women may be expected to comply are dress code and broader social etiquette.
These expectations may be rooted deeply in cultural norms or religious beliefs. By not taking heed of your specific destination’s norms, you may inadvertently offend those around you.
2. Beware of female-targeted crime
Women across the world are disproportionately victims of harassment and sexual assault when compared with men. This is primarily due to female travellers being potentially viewed as more vulnerable as a result of being unfamiliar with the country.
These situations can be especially distressing whilst in another country due to potentially lacking knowledge of the law, language, or the local area. Knowing ways in which to avoid dangerous situations for female travellers is crucial. These requirements change from destination to destination.
One common area of increased risk is public transport. On and around public transport systems such as trains and busses, rates of theft against women increase dramatically. Keeping personal belongings out of reach and bags properly closed should be a priority.
Similarly, bars or other drinking locations present significantly more risk to women. It’s vital that female travellers never leave their drinks unattended. As with many countries in the world, everyone should avoid walking alone late at night, but this can be especially risky as a female traveller in countries where women are targeted more.
3. Business etiquette and female Travel Safety
When travelling for business, it is important to also consider the ways in which you may be expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner so as not to cause offence. This is an area where finding out whether your organisation has a policy specific to your destination can be useful.
This is understandably an area in which compromise with another country’s customs may be especially difficult for women. Equally, women and their conduct within business can be especially abrasive to cultures where equality is an issue. Understanding your destination’s business etiquette for women can be important to reduce offence and its subsequent safety risks.
4. Plan around your accommodation
When it comes to your accommodation, planning ahead is crucial for female Travel Safety. By looking at reviews of your accommodation, along with the area in which it is situated, your female Travel Safety worries may be put at ease.
If there are common issues that women are continuously faced with either because of the accommodation directly or the area, these will tend to be discussed to some degree in reviews. Understanding the areas of your destination where crime (especially women-targeted crime) is more frequent can assist in choosing a safe option.
5. Think about your transport
Choosing to take a taxi rather than taking public transport can be a wise decision to reduce the risk of theft if you have valuable possessions with you. This is a common choice when leaving the airport where getting onto a bus with a lot of belongings can be especially burdensome.
There is, however, risk that comes with this. Many unlicensed taxies target airports and areas where travellers can be found. These drivers have avoided the necessary background checks to ensure they are not a danger. Simply put, with unlicensed taxis, you cannot know for certain.
Research ahead of time for reputable taxi chains that work in the areas that you will be visiting. Have their numbers on you. It’s always better to have a few options, in case one chain is fully booked up.
If you would like to know more about Travel Safety, and how we are providing Travel Safety for everyone, you can visit us at www.etravelsafety.com. You can also find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.