10 sensible rules for women traveling alone

Written by admin on April 14, 2009 – 6:05 pm -

Why am I differentiating between men and women traveling solo?  It’s a bit of a mystery since I frequently hop on a plane and enjoy being my own boss.

I love the freedom. Waiting for others to make up their minds (or get dressed) can negate some of the pleasures of being able to be spontaneous.

Traveling alone can be lonely, but the new people you meet without a “friend” tagging along, are certainly different. It’s one of the ways a trip may be enriched by not having a companion (or more) joined at the hip.

However, some friends have reprimanded me for being so loose and fancy-free and advised me to take prudent precautions. In many countries (and unfortunately even here in the U.S.) women are seen to be the more vunerable sex. In order to make peace with friends who tell me I need to be more careful when on the road, here are 10 safety rules to follow for women traveling alone.

1. Let family, friends or co-workers know where you are going and where you will be staying.

2. Be alert to your surroundings. If something or someone doesn’t seem right, take action. If necessary, call 911 or its equivalent. If you’re in a foreign country, it’s up to you to ask for the help number.

3. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask to change rooms if the desk clerk blurts out your room number for all to hear. It’s no one’s business but yours and should stay that way.

4. Some people are nervous about hotels that use magnetic keys. That’s not one of my anxieties. But if I lose one, I ask for a new reprogrammed set.

5. Elevators that require you to insert your key to get to your floor are an extra safety precaution many women appreciate.

6. Does the hotel have a full-time security staff that has been trained and bonded?

7. When you’re in the room, insure all of the safety locks are securely bolted. Some security specialists suggest you travel with a personal door lock. That’s going a bit far – unless you’re staying someplace you shouldn’t be.

8. Some people leave the radio or television on after they’ve left the room. If it makes them feel better, so be it.

9. Prudence says you should use the safe in the room or if you’re traveling with real valuables, or the hotel safe. Don’t leave things out for the staff to see.

10. If someone knocks on the door, don’t feel you have to open it even if the person says he or she is an employee of the hotel. There’s nothing wrong with calling the front desk to ascertain whether or not it’s valid. You might miss a turndown chocolate but it won’t be the end of your life.

Now that I’ve thought these precautions through, they are not only advisable for women. Men could certainly stand for a bit of caution at times.

These are a few dos and don’ts for personal security. To be sure, I’m missing some of the most important ones. Please add them in the event I’ve been careless or forgetful.

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.


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Posted in Consumer Traveler |