• Lavanya Nair

Tips for Travelling Alone as a Woman

Exploring the beautiful planet we call home is a desire, many wish to fulfil, treating it as a bucket list of sorts. However, travelling comes with a myriad of unexpected developments, risks and dangers to which we are all vulnerable; especially females who travel alone. In order to ensure your safety and comfort, here's a few tips to help you along the way!

1. Sanitary Solutions:

One factor we women have to take into consideration is our monthly visitor. Depending on your medical history, combined with a bunch of environmental factors, a woman's menstrual cycle can fluctuate in terms of length, meaning that their period would commence at a most unexpected time. That is why you should all ways carry a sufficient supply of pads/tampons with you just incase. I recommend also packing panty liners and even wearing them during shorter trips to avoid leakage and keep your feminine hygiene in check.

* You may be in a location whereby finding your preferred method of sanitation is made more difficult due to multiple factors such as the economy, societal attitudes and religion. It is always better to be prepared; that way you are more in control.

* Many women now use menstrual cups, which are meant to be washed out and re-used. This usually does not present much of an issue, however in times of an emergency you may not have access to a bathroom or clean water. To avoid leakage or the risk of infection, make sure you pack a few back-up cup or pads/tampons; what ever you're comfortable wearing!

2. Safety Solutions:

One worry when we're out and about, especially during the night, is that we may fall prey to attacks. Even if you're in a safe country such as Singapore or Dubai, one should still take precautions to ensure they reach home safely.

*Of course, should the worst happen, the victim should in no way, be blamed for not taking more care; nevertheless, one way you can lower the risk of a potential attack is to stick to the busier and well lit areas of the location which you are exploring. Taking public transport, late at night, comes with many risks as does ordering taxis through apps such as Uber. In cities such as New York, this shouldn't be an issue due to the abundance of secure yellow cabs.

*Also, try and enter establishments such as bars, restaurants and hotels then ask if they offer services that call upon taxis to give you a ride. It's worth asking as this is how I managed to get a ride to my hotel when I was in Japan; generally a safe country, but I didn't want to take any risks.

3. Shorts/Skirt Solutions:

I'm a bigger advocate than any when it comes to women being able to wear whatever makes them comfortable. In spite of that mind-set however, you may be in a country that imposes certain rules on the females, residing and visiting alike. For example, Dubai has two completely different perspectives on modernity and dress codes. The side we are exposed to, are quite indifferent, due to the high volume of tourists. The other, functions under strict Sharia Law, which means that no short skirts/shorts or shirts/blouses that expose the shoulders are permitted.

* Even though countries which regulate these particular rules, usually boast incredible weather that makes us want to pack nothing but summer wear, make sure you pack some long, loose pants or long skirts/maxi dresses. You can even pack some wraps that are made out of thin material in case you are required to cover your hair. Carry an extra item of clothing in your backpack, incase you're feeling spontaneous and wish to visit a more conservative part of town.

4. Security Solutions:

Money is the one thing that we all need to rely on to survive so this tip is one that everyone should keep in mind. Since we do a lot of sight-seeing when on holiday, many of us prefer going hands free and so opt for backpacks and or purses/bags that sling around our shoulders or waists. This makes it easier for pick-pockets to swipe your valuables without you even noticing. This occurs most often in busy cities such as London in multiple tube (subway) stations due to the congestion and high number of foreigners, eager to discover the city.

*What I usually do with my backpack is when I'm in crowded spaces, I bring it around so that it is in front of me, while still slung on one shoulder and then I keep one arm over it while the other is free. Also, if you are carrying luggage around, then it is best to lock up each suitcase and keep the keys in a safe place within your carry-on.

*When in congested areas, try not to carry a lot of cash around with you and keep electronics hidden as much as you can. I understand that you would want to take selfies and photos of your awesome experiences so just tailor this advice to the situation. In more dangerous countries, be more restrictive and vigilant and vice versa.

Those were my tips to aid your solo travels, of course I also insist that you have fun as much as you can in a way that is safe, since there's no point in seeing the world if you constantly live in a state of apprehension. It's just about finding a balance between being too cautious and too reckless. Happy Travels!

Lavanya Nair

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