Female travelers: let’s talk about our safety

We are the ones who run the world, has Beyonce says, but there’s a reality that as much as we want, it’s still there: sometimes, we are the most vulnerable in certain situations: for example, when traveling solo.

That’s why I decided to share with you some basic and easy tricks that might help you feel even more empowered and secure when traveling alone. Let’s get on to it:

Monkey see monkey do: about the dress code

In countries like India, that have a culture very different than yours, it’s always respectful to dress according to their cultural settings.
The best recommendation that I can give you, is that you always make a little research on your destination before traveling. We must be thoughful and align ourselves to the culture of the city we are visiting.
Why? well, because blending in is what differences a traveler from a tourist. Not only because of that, but also because blending shows respect for the country that you’re getting to know. Learn about the weather and how to dress accordingly to it or about special considerations, such as religious ones, for example: shoulders covered? is it acceptable to show your legs? should you were a veil?

In my trip to India, I preferred to wear long pants instead of shorts, even if there was no obligatory law about it, I thought that way it would be easier to blend in and show respect for the conservative way in which indian women dress.

Some quick tips on getting our safety on

As I mentioned earlier, I know that us women are as capable of traveling alone as men, nevertheless, we must take some extra precautions.

In Nepal, a girl was murdered by her Couchsurfing host. In Ecuador, two argentine girls where victims of sexual assault and then they were killed. In Panama, a girl from de US, was strangled in Bocas del Toro. I mention all of these cases, not to scare the hell out of you, but to inform you, because they’re facts and sadly, this happens in a daily basis, so we should really take care of ourselves.

We’re all warriors, but not made of titanium. That’s why here are some tips:

1. Have you heard about the ‘fake ringing’?

In countries with an abusive backgroud towards women, a way to go is using a ‘fake wedding ring’. Believe it or not, this will keep many strangers from approaching you.

I can’t guarantee you 100% success from this technique, but I think it is at least worth trying

2. Solo female traveler’s room

Some hostels have all women dorms. This reduces the risk of any non desired encounter. An only girls room is a good choice if you’re traveling alone or if you visit a hostel with your girlfriends for the first time and don’t feel comfortable sharing a mixed room.

3. Learn about cultures other than yours

We must respect the ways of people from countries we visit. Some of them will differ with our ‘girl power’ upbringing, however, it’s better to stay safe than to put ourselves at risk, avoid this kind of situations:

When I went to India, I got into an argument with a seller that was offering merchandise at a very expensive price (I knew he was trying to take advantage of me). In that moment, I couldn’t notice, but things got tense and men that were trying to sell that stuff to me, got really upset because they’re not used to women confronting them. In that trip, I was accompanied by my boyfriend and a driver from the travel agency we hired, I wonder what would have happened if I was by myself.

Remember that the most precious thing about traveling are experiences gained. Invest your time in enjoying as much as you can, but keeping yourself safe and comfortable.

I hope that any of these tips serves you well. If you have any question or recommendation, please contact me at blog@coupletraveldiary.com


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