Travel Safety Tips for Women

14196016_lTravelling alone can be dangerous for anyone, and women are often in greater danger than men simply because would-be attackers perceive them as easy targets. That does not mean you should not travel alone or that you cannot avoid being a target for criminals. One way to make yourself safer is to appear to have a travel companion. Even if you are not married, consider wearing a fake wedding ring. In any case, do not wear expensive jewelry. Here are some more travel tips to help keep you safe.

Airports and Flying

  • Don’t get too chummy with your fellow travelers. Do not give details of your trip to strangers.
  • Never leave your belongings unattended. If you have to go to the restroom, take it all with you, into the stall.
  • Do not watch a stranger’s belongings for them, for any reason.
  • If you are taking a cab from the airport, find the taxi stand. A legitimate taxi will be clearly marked and most have the cab company’s phone number on the doors. The dangers of taxi scams run from being overcharged, to a very real threat to your physical safety.


Try to choose a hotel that meets the following criteria:

  • Front desk is staffed 24 hours a day.
  • Room doors are inside the hotel, not opening onto the parking lot.
  • Security guards are onsite.
  • Access is restricted, and only guests are allowed on guest floors.
  • Public areas and parking lots have surveillance cameras.

Choose a room which is:

  • Not on the ground floor, try to get a room on the third to sixth floor, too high for an easy break-in, but not too high for fire ladders.
  • Near the elevator.
  • If possible, not an adjoining room.

When checking in:

  • The front desk attendant should not announce your room number; if they do ask for a different room, you don’t want strangers to know your room number.
  • Sign in with your first initial and last name, or “Mr. & Mrs.” to make it harder for people to see that you are a woman travelling alone.
  • Find out how to reach hotel security in case of an emergency.
  • Ask the front desk not to give out your name or room number to anyone.
  • Ask for a bellhop to escort you to your room. Don’t forget to tip.

In your room:

  • Make sure all of the locks work on the doors and windows, and lock all of them.
  • Do not open the door for anyone you are not expecting and without verifying their identity first, that includes housekeeping, room service, and other hotel staff.
  • If room service knocks and you have not ordered anything, do not open the door; call the hotel restaurant or front desk to find out what’s happening.

Public areas:

  • Avoid unattended pools and fitness centers.
  • When walking to your car at night, ask for an escort.
  • If you arrive at night, or anytime you feel unsafe in the parking lot, park in the check-in area, go to the front desk or call the front desk, and ask for an escort.

Driving Safety

  • Do not pull over for an unmarked car in a deserted area. Turn on your hazard lights, to signal that you intend to comply, and keep driving steadily until you reach a well-lit and populated area.
  • If another driver bumps your car in a deserted area, do not stop. As above, turn on your hazard lights and drive to a populated place or a police station before pulling over. You can call 911 and explain what is going on and that it is not your intention to leave the scene of an accident.
  • When shopping, do not overload yourself with bags and packages when going to your car. It makes you an obvious and easy target.
  • Keep your doors locked.
  • Avoid dangerous parts of town, dark alleys, and any place that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Park in well-lit areas, and as close to entrances as possible.
  • If you must stop and ask directions, mention that you are meeting your husband at your destination.

Bars and Restaurants

  • The wedding ring trick can help ward off unwanted attention, especially from those who start out innocently enough but work their way up to harassment the more they drink.
  • Keep a very close eye on your drink. Date-rape drugs are not an urban myth. If you suspect that you have been drugged you may only have a few seconds to act. Don’t hesitate to make a scene and ask for help.
  • Don’t leave with strangers, whether it is a man, woman, or couple.
  • Stay sober and aware of your surroundings.