Rick Steves' Female Staffers Reveal The Best Safety Tips For Women Traveling Solo

For a woman traveling solo, the possibility of becoming a victim of harassment can be particularly terrifying, especially in unfamiliar territories. It is crucial for solo travelers to have a plan for how to remain safe since danger could be lurking in plain sight. Theft is another monumental problem for travelers, but it could potentially be more so for women or those carrying a purse or bag since those are much easier to grab than a wallet. 

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A 2024 study by Solo Female Travelers found that out of 5,000 solo female travelers, 70% worried about their personal safety on a trip, and 25% feared for their safety while on a trip within the last 12 months of the study. The likelihood of experiencing harassment in another country could be even higher since females traveling solo may be seen as vulnerable, easy targets. An article on the Rick Steves' Europe website provides useful advice for women traveling alone, based on the experiences of Rick Steves' female staff.

First and foremost, it is crucial to be assertive and vigilant. Always stay alert of your surroundings, trust your instincts, and speak up if you feel threatened in any way. In addition, refrain from divulging personal information, such as your accommodation details. By following these essential safety protocols, women can confidently embark on their solo trips and minimize potential risks while still having the time of their lives.

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Solo female travelers can stay safe with these tips

According to Rick Steves' female staff, one of the best pieces of advice is to "use the same good judgment you use at home." Limit excursions to open areas with plenty of other people around. If a man tries to attract a woman's attention who is clearly not interested and continues trying, "don't be overly polite," the staffers note in the article. "If you're bothered by someone, ditch them as soon as they annoy you. It's your right to set boundaries." Also, keep in mind that police and security guards tend to linger near busy tourist attractions in case of trouble. 

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Another crucial tip for a woman traveling solo is never to tell anyone where she is staying or that she is there alone. If a woman is unable to shake the attention of her admirer, lying about staying with friends in a hostel or making up a believable story about a partner waiting at the hotel or that she's meeting nearby can work like a charm, suggests Rick Steves' female staff. Wearing a real or fake wedding ring might help dissuade some advances. 

Protect yourself against theft

Since theft is also an issue, it's essential to be smart about what is carried. Travelers carry passports, cash, credit cards, prescription medicine, and everything deemed most important in small backpacks or purses. Travelers may want to rethink carrying a backpack. If such a bag is stolen, it could jeopardize the traveler's safety and make the return home more difficult.

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It would be wise to carry only essential items and divide your money into different places. Keep some of it hidden in a bra or sock, and put a small amount in the bag. Carrying identification is often essential, but do so with a duplicate and leave the passport hidden in the hotel room or somewhere it is least likely to be stolen. To avoid any potential medical issues, only carry the amount of prescription medicine that you need. After a woman has embarked on a few solo trips, these precautions become instinctive, leaving plenty of time to focus on the fun parts of the trip.

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