Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Top 10 Travel Safety Tips for Women


Kate at the Dead Sea

Is it possible for a woman to travel the world and stay safe? Absolutely. Even if you steer clear of resorts. Even if you go to developing countries. Even if you don’t speak the local language. Even if you’re traveling alone.

I created this site so I could help women travel safely and independently around the world. And after five years, it’s working — I get daily emails from women who have gone on their first backpacking trips, their first non-resort trips, their first solo trips, all because sites like mine gave them the confidence to do so. They survived, they thrived, and they had the time of their lives.

But the women who took these trips did so well in part because they prioritized their safety while traveling. What does that mean? Well, this list of travel safety tips for women will give you an idea!

Here are my top 10 travel safety tips for women:

Kate on a Train

1. Research Your Destination Thoroughly Before Your Trip

For many travelers, planning and researching is almost as fun as actually traveling! In between scoping out the most beautiful beaches and coolest cities, take some time to look up safety information for where you are headed.

What are the best neighborhoods and the ones you should avoid? Are there only certain kinds of taxis you should take? Is there a medical center in the city, just in case?

When it comes to your lodging, how are its ratings for safety? What are former guests saying about their experiences? Are there any patterns emerging in the reviews you should be concerned about?

How are you going to get around? What is public transportation like in your destination? Do you need to rent a car? Does the situation change at night?

Visit a travel clinic beforehand and talk to a doctor or nurse where you’re going. Do you need any vaccinations or prescriptions? Are there local health issues for which you should prepare?

When it comes to activities, especially adventure sports, what are the risks? If you injure yourself, will you be covered by your travel insurance?

This is the stuff to find out in advance, well before your trip begins.


2. Keep Your Valuables On You While in Transit

But you shouldn’t bring valuables in the first place!

True. You shouldn’t bring anything you would be despondent to lose: family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, your birth certificate, and the like.

Today people travel with an amount of technology that was unfathomable a decade ago. Most travelers bring a smartphone at the very least; many bring laptops, tablets, Kindles or other e-readers, DSLR cameras with pricey lenses, and more. When you consider the costs to replace any one of those items, they definitely count as valuables.

You should have a day bag into which you can fit all of your important items: your passport, your camera, your medication, your jewelry, your credit cards, your smartphone, and any other technology, photography or otherwise valuable equipment.

Never put these items into your general backpack. Never put these items into the luggage hold on a bus. Never put any of those items into your checked luggage on a plane. If you let them out of your sight, there’s a fair chance that they could be taken away from you forever.

Kate Tubing in Vang Vieng

3. Only Take What You Need and Leave the Rest Locked Up

There’s no need to go out for a walk in the city with all of your credit cards, your passport, and the equivalent of $500 in cash. Take what you need for the day: maybe around $50, tops, and a debit card, and keep the rest locked up in your accommodation.

Almost every reputable hostel has lockers available for guests. Use them if they have them. In guesthouses, hotel rooms, or other places that don’t have a locker or safe for you, use a portable safe instead: a slashproof bag you fill with your valuables and lock to a pipe or something else sturdy in the room. Here’s a full review on the one I use and love.

While it doesn’t eliminate the risk 100% (if a professional criminal is determined to rob you, he will rob you), most criminals are opportunistic. If you remove the opportunity, they’ll go after someone else who left his or her valuables out in the open, much more easily accessible to them.

Kate and a Viking

4. Don’t Trust People Too Quickly

When you’re traveling in a new destination, and especially when you’re traveling on your own, it can be tempting to join up and find a tribe. Sometimes these tribes turn into lifelong friendships.

But they don’t always. Some con artists have mastered the art of befriending travelers, getting them to leave their valuables unattended, and robbing them before taking off.

When it comes to romance, you might want to crank up the speed when you meet someone outrageously sexy, but that’s not always the best idea. Sex is prevalent on the road, but be sure to protect yourself as much as possible.

Sometimes, we want to be part of a group so badly that we start trusting people before we should. Instead, err on the side of caution. If you’re just getting to know someone, don’t trust him or her to guard your expensive electronics while you’re in the bathroom.

It’s not rude to be cautious. Take things slowly, and if someone earns your trust, that’s when you depend on them.

Chris and Kate at Angkor WHAT?!

5. Watch Your Drinking

This is a tip that doesn’t get said often enough. It’s applicable whether you’re at home or on the road. When you drink alcohol, you dull your senses and slow your reaction time, which in turn makes you vulnerable to others.

That doesn’t mean that you should avoid drinking altogether. Instead, drink slowly. Pace yourself. Eat beforehand or during. Have a glass of water in between each drink (your body will thank you in the morning). Be cognizant of what you are actually drinking, and always take drinks directly from the bartender. Constantly ask yourself, “Do I want to be less in control than I am right now?” and stop if the answer is no.

Most importantly, resist the pressure, gentle or otherwise, to keep up with others who might be able to drink more than you, especially in countries where it’s common to “shout” drinks for a group, like the British Isles. Don’t think you need to go drink for drink with your companions, especially if they happen to be beefy rugby players from New Zealand.

Kate at Petra

6. Blend in as Much as You Can

Want to have the attention of every pickpocket in Paris? Show up in shorts and a t-shirt. For extra credit, wear Birkenstocks.

As normal as shorts and a t-shirt would be in North America, you would never see that style in most of Europe. Shorts are rare and Europeans in general dress much more neatly than North Americans, especially in France and Italy.

The more you stand out, the more you brand yourself as someone who is unfamiliar with the location, which makes you more vulnerable to criminals.

Instead, research your destination in advance, observe how people dress, and try to pass as a local – or, if that’s impossible (like if you’re in Thailand or Mexico and look neither Thai nor Mexican), try to pass as a longtime expat.

That means eschewing the backpacker trail uniform of drop-crotch hippie pants and souvenir beer t-shirts in favor of casual but neat and tidy clothing. That means covering your arms, legs, and cleavage in Muslim countries, wearing loose clothing in India, and wearing long pants in Europe and Latin America.

In tandem with blending in, it’s important to maintain confidence at all times, and even if you’re not confident, at least maintain the appearance of confidence.

When you’re walking down the street, hold your head up and your shoulders back. Look straight ahead and walk with a purpose. Pretend that you have somewhere important to be, and if you fall prey to street harassment, ignore it and keep moving.

If you become lost and you need to find your way, slip into a shop or café to consult your map privately before continuing on.

Kate Paragliding in Switzerland

7. Spend Extra Money on Staying Safe

If you’re traveling long-term on a shoestring budget, it can be hard to justify spending extra cash when it could go toward so many more fun activities. But it’s a smart idea to financially invest in your own safety.

What does that mean?

It means that if your flight is scheduled to land in a rough city late at night, you should spend more money on a guesthouse that will pick you up right from the airport instead of taking a bus into town and trying to find a guesthouse on foot.

It means you should pay extra money to take a taxi home at night if you don’t feel comfortable walking through the neighborhood on your own.

It means paying more to stay in a central neighborhood with lots of lively activity instead of a cheaper, quiet residential area where you feel isolated.

It means you should choose the dive school with the stellar safety reputation and hundreds of positive TripAdvisor reviews instead of the rough-around-the-edges dive school that will do it for much cheaper.

Build an extra financial cushion into your trip and use it for situations like these: ones where you could be a little bit safer if you spent a little more.

Kate Shipwrecked

8. Prepare for the Worst with Documents and Secret Cash

In the event that the worst happens – your purse is stolen, your credit cards are suddenly maxed out, you get sick and need to go to the hospital – it’s good to have a backup plan.

For documents, keep front-and-back copies of your credit cards saved to cloud storage like Google Docs or Dropbox, as well as a copy of your passport. It’s a good idea to keep your bank and credit card phone numbers stored in a document as well.

In addition to the documents, keep a backup cash stash. Keep at least $50 in US dollars hidden in a secret spot deep inside your luggage, like inside a tampon or hidden in a sock. In a separate spot, keep a backup credit card. If your purse or day bag is stolen off your body and literally everything is taken away from you, this will provide you with a temporary financial cushion.

Adventurous Kate on the Bridgeclimb

9. Get Travel Insurance

Do you really need travel insurance? Absolutely. It could save your life, and in this day and age, with so many online providers, there’s no reason not to get it.

Whether your luggage is lost, you end up in a political coup or natural disaster, or you need to go to the hospital while on the road, travel insurance will reimburse your expenses. If you’re robbed, travel insurance will provide you with the security you need.

If the very worst happens and you end up losing your life, good travel insurance will allow your family to bring your body home without paying tens of thousands of dollars and getting wrapped up in mountains of red tape.

In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you shouldn’t be traveling in the first place.

Be sure to examine prospective travel insurance policies in depth, because they might not cover your personal situation. Many insurance plans won’t cover certain adventure sports or particular countries or regions. Most plans will only cover a fraction of the value of your electronics.

Need a travel insurance suggestion? I personally use and recommend World Nomads.

Kate with her Galaxy SIII

10. Check in Regularly

It’s a good idea for at least one designated friend or family member to have a copy of your itinerary in advance: your flight numbers, your accommodation, and a general schedule of where you’ll be on which dates, as well as information on your travel insurance, credit cards, and a bank account number.

Plan ahead of time how you’ll check in and how often, whether it’s through daily emails, texts, social media updates, or regular Skype chats. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep a consistent schedule.

Staying in touch is a way to assuage the fears of your loved ones, but if you find yourself in trouble, they would be able to locate you much more easily than if you had been vague about your whereabouts.

Travel Safety Tips for Women

This list is far from complete, and there are plenty of other tips out there, but the travel safety tips on this list will give you a solid foundation for traveling safely in the future.

What are your top travel safety tips for women?

Adventurous Kate contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!


111 Responses to “Top 10 Travel Safety Tips for Women”
  1. Laura says:

    I’ve been a victim of not expending extra money to be safe. I arrived almost at midnight to Bordeaux and my hostel was within a 10 min walk according to Google Maps. I ended up being completely lost with my suitcase (laptop and camera included), my best non-French appearance and empty streets. Luckily an old man appeared out of nowhere and was kind enough to walk me to my hostel. II know it was pure luck that he wasn’t a serial killer.

    • Malia says:

      Whaaat ?
      I live in Bordeaux and i can just tell you it is one of the safest city.
      Besides, all of France is extremely safe and you would be really (i mean, REALLY) unlucky to meet someone who wants to hurt you.
      I would say frenchies act more like they don’t care about you, but comparing to many other countries, please feel safe !

    • dr joe says:

      fantastic advise as usual…ive travelled to over 165 countries, Antarctica and space…i give out whistles (like the one I listed) to my fellow travellers and it saved countless people including myself from unwanted or fearsome situations….blow blow blow 😉

  2. Good tips, Kate! I particularly agree with the ones about not drinking too much and spending a bit more on staying somewhere you feel safe and comfortable.

  3. Get tips Kate. In more dangerous cities I don’t drink at all anymore because these days it seems I’m becoming a lightweight and a few beers might hit me when back in uni days it was much more haha, so I don’t risk it. I think if someone is bad at limiting their booze, they should maybe skip it altogether.

  4. Rachel says:

    Great tips! I travelled solo for the first time (properly) over the winter and as a seasoned traveller I had learned most of these tips already. I certainly know to watch my booze intake: lightweight? Uh huh!
    I find packing light really helps, I feel much more confident without a huge, lumbering pack and on this last trip I used a small, carry on wheeled case so I totally blended in with the locals – it was a rail trip around northern Europe/Scandinavia.
    I research accommodation, I like to know exactly where the location is, how I can get there and whether it has lockers. I don’t want to spend all day with my laptop in my day bag!

  5. Tausha says:

    These are great tips! I just returned from a solo trip in Mexico and am glad to see that much of what you wrote here aligns with what I did. Safety is key when traveling, especially as a solo female, but if you do these things you will have the time of your life (I did!).

  6. Thanks for these tips Kate! I agree with them all. Even when I am at home and walking alone at night, I use the “walk confidently” strategy so I don’t look like an easy target. Another tip is for people to keep their smartphones tucked away when they’re walking in low traffic areas where an opportunist could rob them easily. Same for listening to music while you walk – it makes you an easy target.

  7. Really good tips, Kate. That’s a really good point, to budget for the times when you should spend a little extra to ensure your safety, something I’m guilty of not doing! 🙂

  8. Billima says:

    Nice tips. Love this article.

  9. Kate,
    A great post as usual and most of you tips are transferable to the male population. I even read your post on sex from last year, although at my age I doubt opportunities will abound.

    I especially like the last point about checking in regularly. Sometimes we get so involved in our travel we forget about our families and loved ones. Great thought.

    I will keep this post and read it going forward right before I travel to remind me of important topics. Thanks for sharing young lady!

  10. Andrea says:

    Great tips! Am a seasoned traveler but still found many of these very useful! So thank you.

  11. Zascha says:

    I haven’t set off on my trip just yet, but when I started planning it last year, it was your blog that gave me the inspiration the most.

  12. Jaci says:

    Awesome useful tips! Thank you for this! Great inspiration that can literally change someone’s life, keep posting away Kate 🙂

  13. Great tips, Kate! I’ve learned over the years not to be a tightwad when it comes to my personal safety. If I’m arriving late to a destination or heading home alone from a night out, I’ll splurge for a cab if I don’t feel 100% safe in the area. Your safety and peace of mind are priceless.

  14. Great tips! Happily, I’m always on the look out when traveling, but my travel insurance with a bank here in the Netherlands has failed me when I’m in a tricky spot or they don’t reimburse everything so I will look into the insurance you’ve suggested as I’m about to shut this one down. I’ve lost my passport in Malaysia and so far that’s the most horrible experience I had, luckily I dropped it in the bus coming in from Singapore and contacted the bus company which contacted the driver and it got back to me after parting with a couple ringitts.
    Dress and non-verbal cues (differences in culture)are also important to note when venturing into another country. A friendly smile or looking directly into a man’s eyes will in some countries be considered as an invitation which one will not necessarily want.

    • I had a friend recently arrive in Myanmar unable to take out any money because his bank doesn’t do business with Myanmar. That’s good stuff to check on in advance with both your insurance and your cards.

  15. Renuka says:

    Researching your destination is SO important! That solves 90% of your problem and your trip can roll smoothly. I am also a seasoned solo traveler and I have to say that nothing helps more than trusting your instinct. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right.

  16. These are fantastic tips, Kate! I would never have thought of the clothing as a safety tip. I’ve traveled all over the US but am hoping for my first Euro trip this summer and it will be solo, so I’m going to be watching your site a lot.

  17. Trevor Barre says:

    great tips (and photos), thanks

  18. Britt says:

    Another good tip: trust your instincts! Listen to that little warning voice in your head that’s telling you something is wrong or amiss.

  19. Britt says:

    Awesome tips. All of them made my list. Especially research- its way easier to avoid getting into a dangerous situation when you are aware of the possible hazards in the location you are travelling to.

    I also love the tone of this piece- yes women can travel in far flung, developing countries but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t think about their safety or be aware of any possible dangers. I think in a way some people forget this- they take the first part – i.e YES I CAN TRAVEL and forget the second.

    Unfortunately no matter how much of a feminist I am I can acknowledge that in many destinations as a woman I need to take more precautions than a man would. Although I think many of your tips on this list would be equally important and prudent to male travellers.

  20. Brooke says:

    Fantastic tips that are a great reminder to stay safe and aware, but not be paranoid about travel. These are all great ways to make sure that you feel comfortable, but don’t feed into the hype that traveling isn’t safe for women, especially if they’re traveling solo. I haven’t traveled solo in a long time, and I’m looking forward to making arrangements for future travel plans.

  21. Katherine says:

    Just a simple tip, if you ever have to stop to do something, like buying tickets or finding a platform, make sure you have your back pack to the wall or between your legs so it’s harder for someone to take stuff!!

  22. Sarah says:

    I like how a number of the hostel booking sites list security as something previous visitors can rank a place at. And really, if you don’t have a car, you want to be right in the center of the tourist area anyway, so it’s worth paying a bit more for the location for practical reasons plus the safety factor. Although if anyone has any other recommendations for determining if a neighborhood is safe or not, I’d love to know!

    When travelling, I download a map of the city on my phone using the app city maps 2 go. That way I can check the map without looking so much like a tourist, since checking a map on your phone doesn’t look to different than a local texting et c. (or at least I hope so!) Plus, the app lets you access the map (including any saved locations) without a connection to the internet, useful when you’re travelling and want to minimize unnecessary data charges!

  23. Sky says:

    “Do I want to feel less in control than I am right now?” -> I love that advice so much. I definitely need to remember to ask myself that more. There were probably a few nights in Granada that I should’ve been asking myself that (and answering no) but I felt safer since I was with all the other volunteers. if I had been completely solo or with people I had just met, it would have been a different story.

    #10 is great too. One of my friends made me check in with him every few days with where I was and where i was going. Since no one else knew (or cared, really) about my travel plans, it was reassuring to know that at least he would be able to tell someone where to start looking if something happened.

  24. Great tips here.

    The one about ‘spending extra money to be safe’ is pretty crucial for both men and women IMO. It’s never good when you pick the budget hostel and they have the world’s dodgiest lockers and no keys to the dorms!

    Also trust is crucial. You can never take too long to trust someone. You’ve got to remember that even your fellow backpackers might be crooked – so much stuff gets stolen from hostels!

    Having said that, don’t make it so that you are caution about trustworthyness doesn’t come off as arrogance and/or unfriendliness. Be nice, but cautious!


  25. Fantastic tips Kate!

    I’d say the most important tips would be to:

    1. Try and blend. We all stick out in someway or the other Ha! Ha! but there’s a difference between looking like you’ve just arrived and looking like you’re an expat. I always try to act as if I know where I’m going, even if I don’t! Shoulders back, head up, wide stride, and fast walking with a purpose.

    2. Spend that extra dollar for your safety is really, really important. I try not to arrive at an unknown destination at night and if I do, I take a taxi LOL no matter what. I don’t walk through parks at dusk. If a hostel or B&B feels wrong, I check out ASAP. I’ve had that a few times where there was no one there. In August! I also used to ask people if we could walk together rather than walking alone. Don’t be shy if your safety is at risk.

    3. Quit the drinking. I’m a light weight. During my packbacking days I didn’t drink at all and when I did. Never, ever with strangers. You want to keep your wits about you at all times LOL!

    4. Hide a secret stash. I used to stuff money down my knickers and in my socks. Just in case. Also, if I needed to get a huge amount of cash, I would do this INSIDE the bank rather than OUTSIDE in full view. I would just face the wall and then stuff the cash in my knickers until I got to my hostel. It always worked LOL!

  26. Kate I love that you are inspiring women to travel independently! It’s wonderful in and of itself but I also love that independent travel also empowers us to embrace independence in other areas of life too. Thank you for keeping it real with the safety tips. There’s plenty of glamorous things to highlight about travel but safety obviously comes first.

  27. Kitty says:

    I found that getting up early to get photographs in Paris was a mistake to do on my own. The city was quiet, but alone I found myself the target of early morning scam artists. I decided it was better to take someone with me for those 6-7am shots that always end up being the best. I had three people “find” wedding rings, and not a policeman in sight. I was told later early mornings are as much of a target as late in the evening in some Paris spots. Criminals know people with expensive cameras like to get shots without crowds of tourists. Also in Belgium, as well as most of Europe, that cute small child begging does not need your money. Big brother or sister might be just waiting to see where you keep your cash. Children in most European countries are NOT starving, especially ones like Germany, France and Belgium. Yet there are always children begging there! For the Middle East, borrow a wedding ring. My daughter was horrified in Oman when she found women travelling alone in tank tops, shorts, and no wedding ring. She has worked there many times, never had an issue, but always dressed correctly and was “pretend” married until she was married. The wedding ring was recommended by the US State department for single women travelling in the Middle East.

    • Really! That surprises me, Kitty. I always recommend going out early in the morning, and your experience doesn’t change that opinion, but I find it so surprising that this happened to you three times in a row. Perhaps it’s that Paris is just about the most touristed city in the world; there’s no down time at all for scam artists!

  28. Great tips, Kate! Even for frequent travelers, these are very important reminders!

  29. Awesome tips Kate! I’m definitely bookmarking this for future use. I recently got into a discuss of solo travel as a woman with my father. According to him the world is a scary place. I beg to differ, so I’ll show him some of your tips!

  30. Laura says:

    Very sound advice! I have to especially agree with not being too cheap when it comes to safety and of course not drinking too much!

  31. Brilliant tips, Kate! I’ve been really lucky so far, nothing bad has happened to me on my travels. I do generally trust people, but hope that the instincts will kick in if someone dodgy ever comes along. My main problem is finding travel insurance to cover my laptop and camera, it’s so hard to find! So I’m going to check out World Nomads, thanks for the tip 🙂

  32. carol Lamb says:

    Hi Kate, I guess I would be considered a senior traveler these days It has be so many years. Your tips about researching the culture of were you are planning to travel and dressing to blend in are the best.
    I started doing this pre internet days so it was a trip to the library for me back then. What I saw on those early trips confirmed how important this is. You will be treated with more respect if you respect your destinations culture. More respect = more safety. Sadly I have also seen that traveling in general has become more dangerous worldwide than it was 50 years ago. Thank you for giving good advise I hope everyone heads it.

  33. Jen says:

    My companion on a recent trip to India gave me two. 1. If staying in a hotel take a matchbook, piece of memo pad, business card from the front desk – something with the hotel name/address you can hand to a cabbie or person if lost for directions 2. Along the same lines – if somewhere where English isn’t widely used, get the same information and information on anywhere you are going (temple, museum,bazaar ) written for you in the local language by someone you can trust at the hotel or hostel.

    Several comments have focused on dressing the part. It can’t be stressed enough. We were shocked to see Westerners in India in tank tops, spandex yoga pants, work out tops. They were likely equally shocked at the unwanted attention let alone risk of theft or being scammed. So happy to be in my gopi skirt under a scarf!

  34. Nigel says:

    Hi Kate
    One not just for girls but I’ve followed this as well. If I know I’m arriving late somewhere make sure I have place booked instead of showing up and there being a chance I can’t get a bed!

    Not sure what other people’s thoughts are but I have met a couple girls who were given safety whistles before they went traveling.

  35. Moniot says:

    Great tips thanks!!

  36. Kiara says:

    Hi there Kate,

    Loved this blog post! Although, I don’t travel alone to far away places, this post was very informative. I honestly never thought about blending in as much as possible when I travel. I usually tend to think what outfits would look the cutest when I post the picture up on my social media sites usually. But to blend in has really never crossed my mind, so great thinking!

    Also, I completely agree on spending extra money to be kept safe. What’s a few more dollars when it comes to safety? Nothing can even compare. I’ll admit sometimes I’m not the smartest so I’ll just suck it up and walk somewhere, even here at home in Southern California, but it isn’t right to do so at all. At the end of the day, money should never stand in the way between you are your safety.

    I’ve been keeping up with your blog for the past few weeks and must say that I am very inspired to pick up traveling after I graduate from college. Your blog posts are so motivating and makes me want to know what it means to fully be alive in a world in which is hard to do so.

    How was it like to quit your job at 26 and dedicate it to full time travel?

    Also, you make it so interesting to travel to world alone. I wonder what it’s like… I feel from reading your past couple of blog posts, that you are such a friendly and open person that it must be so easy for you to meet people along the way or at your point of destination.

    Overall, I really enjoy reading your blog and being able to live vicariously through all our travels. I wish you the best of luck and safe travels always and to always have a good time! Tank you for being a travel blogger!

    • Thank you, Kiara! To answer what it’s like, there are five years worth of blog posts! 🙂 To be honest, I’m not as friendly and open as people think — I’m actually a busy introvert and I spend most of my time on my own. I plan on working on that aspect of myself in the future, though!

      • Melody Lee says:

        I’ll be travelling solo starting next week in Europe. People have been telling me it is one of the most liberating experience ever. To be honest, I’m both excited and anxious. About the safety part. Your post reduced my stress significantly, thank you so much Kate! And as a busy introvert myself, it’s really inspiring to see how you live an adventurous rich life, on your own. 🙂

  37. nancy bleisch says:

    Liked your safety tips for female travelers. I agree with everything you said and would add that it is never a good idea to volunteer the info that you are solo. Years ago I was in a pub in the UK and a group of locals (couples) invited me to get my husband and join them. I said I was traveling alone and a hush fell around the table. I realized at that moment that they must have found me very foolish. No harm done in this case but it would have been better to say he was in the room resting! haha
    Also, I like to keep my essential documents (passport, tickets and the like) in a lightweight, nylon money belt that I only take off at night. I have not used a lock-up bag but I plan to follow your suggestion and get one large enough for my laptop. Thanks for this good idea.
    I am 61 years old and have been traveling solo since my twenties. I prefer the freedom to go where I like, when I like, without compromise. I hope your blog will encourage women to try solo traveling.

  38. part time says:

    Really awesome safety tips for female travelers! Hope i can do what you do some day soon!

  39. Jasmine says:

    Great tips here Kate. I’ve been travelling for 15 years and know that you can never get complacent about safety, so matter how experienced you may be. These are great tips for newbies and those well traveled. I always lock my valuables in my room, even if this just means locking them in my main backpack.

  40. Fairlie says:

    Lots of great tips here…and most are relevant to all travelers not just women, and not just women traveling solo. The one about dressing like a local is very true – the other dead giveaway that you’re a traveler to potential pickpockets is standing in a crowded place consulting a guidebook or a map. As you suggest….its much better to slip into a semi-private spot to consult a map or guidebook if you don’t want to paint a target on your back.

  41. Hannah says:

    Hi Kate,

    I’m so glad I came across your blog. I’m currently in an office job and using all the holiday I have to travel. Thanks for the really helpful tips 🙂



  42. Lynda says:

    Thank you for the great tips. Doing my first solo backpack trip to Europe in two months and a bit nervous and excited. Wish me luck!

  43. pragati says:

    hello Kate…
    This is a treasure trove of info. You would think a lot of this is common sense but it is easy to lose sight of some things. Especially when you are vulnerable and in a new country.

    Having copies of documents is definitely a good idea.

    Perhaps it is also wise to have an idea of where the nearest consulate or embassy of your country is if you need assistance.

  44. Alanna says:

    I am a big fan of the passport card as a back up document, especially when running or going to the beach. It is only the size of a drivers license and it is waterproof. It easily fits in a secret pocket in bathing suits or running shorts. So I can have a federal US id with me while my passport is locked away safe in my hotel or cabin of a cruise ship. The peace of mind is worth the extra $30 when I renew my passport.

    Love the other tips, especially the tip about blending in. I will be spending 2 months this summer in Eilat, Israel. Given Israel is only about 5 miles wide, sandwiched between Jordan and Egypt at Eilat, I really do not want to make myself a target for all of the harassment occurring in the Sinai Peninsula just across the border.

    • Never thought of getting a passport card, Alanna! Thanks for sharing. And even though Eilat is close to the Egyptian border, it’s still a completely different country. You won’t be getting Egypt-levels of harassment there.

    • Honey says:

      What is a passport card and how do i get one? And how good is the recommended travel insurance company when it comes to lodging claims?

  45. Karla says:

    Totally nodding with each and every single tip Kate!

    It is almost like a checklist all females should read prior to traveling. It is also common sense!

    The very first thing I do now is buy travel insurance. You never know what may happen to having a health and travel insurance is totally worth paying a bit extra (including trip cancellation, lost bags, medical checkups etc.) Luckily I’ve never had to use it but it was one less worry.

    I would suggest not to reveal too many things. In the past I’ve had other girls tell me all about their backpack content and the valuables. One must watch what we share with strangers as you don’t know what their intentions might be.

    Overall, enjoy the entire experience as it is unique and once in a lifetime opportunity!

  46. khalid says:

    hey Kat, well done, travel insurance is definitely important! I have terrible story because I have forgotten to do once..

    Keep it up…



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