Indian women don’t like to travel alone. As an Indian woman, we find it unsafe to travel alone in the city, let alone travelling to another country, city or town for leisure. Women travelling alone was quite unheard of in India, but not anymore. Women are taking charge and using their freedom to explore and see the world. This doesn’t mean that the world is much safer now, just that we women are braver now. Also, with technology coming into the picture, there are many ways to stay safe when it comes to travelling alone. We’ve compiled a list of safety tips you can follow when you decide to travel solo.
Keep a backup of your important documents
Whether it is your passport, credit cards, tickets or insurance – keep photocopies of these documents in different bags and also keep them in your email account which you can access from any computer. It is always safe to have back up.
Check-in with someone back home once or twice a day
When you’re travelling alone, make it a point to call a friend, or family member back home and tell them you’re safe. This will give them, and you a sense of security.
Book hotels in the centre of the city
If you’re booking a hotel – make sure it is in the most populated part of the city. This can be expensive but it’s worth it. Do some research before you book. If you’re using Airbnb – always book with someone who has the best reviews, and who is a woman herself.
Get travel insurance
This may seem like an additional expense, but shelling out a few thousand rupees to be safe in case of emergencies gives you peace of mind.
Don’t keep all your cash in one place
Store away some cash in your bag (back at the hotel) or in the hotel locker. You can also keep some cash in your make up box, or somewhere no one will look. Its best to keep a forex card and only some cash.
Make a local friend
It always helps to know someone from a new country – you’ll know what to expect and you’ll make a new friend!
Track your cabs on google maps
Whenever you’re taking a cab, it helps to first take a picture of the number plate, and second, to track where you’re going via google maps.
Stick to timings
Try to go out and explore during morning hours, and be back at your hotel by evening. This is will help you avoid unwanted situations. If you do want to go out at night, make sure you go to well lit areas, and try and go with a friend.
Carry battery packs (but check if airlines allow)
The days are long when you travel, and your battery can run out fast. Always carry battery packs for your cellphone, so that you never run out of battery. You might have to pick these in your destination location since airlines have new rules about not allowing them.
Keep addresses and phone numbers written down
Always carry a notepad with you that has the address and number of your hotel, and the phone numbers of your family or friends back home. Might sound dated but if you pack everything in your phone alone you are bound to lose it all when you lose your phone. Good old backups are a good idea.
It’s best to have less belongings when travelling alone. You don’t want to be burdened by 4 heavy suitcases when you’re running to catch trains and flights.
Enjoy your trip
As women, we are always concerned about our safety – but it’s good to take a few measures before travel, so that you can enjoy your travel rather than being anxious about things. Cautious is good but not obsessively worried. After all you have made the trip to enjoy a new place.
Have you travelled solo in the last few years? If you have more interesting safety tips for women, let us know! We’d love to hear your input.