Traveling in the Age of Terror can be scary – especially if you’re a woman traveling alone. But don’t worry – I got you covered with the Ultimate List of Solo Travel Safety Tips for Women.
I’ve been known to travel to places that some people [ed note: 99 percent] think are dodgy. I went to Iraq in 2011, was at the Essakane Music Festival outside of Timbuktu in 2013 (in my defense, Bono was there too), and hung out with a few “former” cocaine dealers in Colombia.
1. Unless you’re going on that yacht in St. Barts, leave all jewels at home – except for a wedding ring. Always wear a wedding ring, it cuts down on hassles, especially in Southern Europe, parts of South America and the Middle East where many times, Western women are either married, virgins or considered sluts. And I’m betting you’re not a virgin. And BTW: even if you are going on that yacht to St. Barts – leave it. Some of the richest people I know are the worst thieves.
2. Keep your eye on your bag at all times.
3. Use a credit card (and let your CC company know where you’re going), not cash. You can’t get cash back if it’s stolen/lost.
4. Limit your outings at night, both on foot and by car. If you do travel at night, stick to well-lit and well-traveled areas. Or travel with a bodyguard.
5. Never get into a vehicle that isn’t clearly marked as a licensed taxi. Another trick – take pics of the driver, his plates, etc., and post them online.
6. When traveling on a train, lock your compartment, if possible. Try to travel during the day, because criminals are more likely to rob passengers on night trains.
7. Know where to go if you get into trouble, whether that’s the nearest U.S. embassy, a police station or hotel.
8. Stay away from crowds. A crowd can turn into a mob in a hot second and then where will you be? Trampled, that’s where!
9. Use an iphone instead of a map.
10. Take other people’s religion as seriously as they do. which means, if they want you to cover your hair, cover your hair. And remember: in some parts of the world a clavicle bone is pay per view and cleavage is the money shot. Cover up.
11. Always make sure your phone is charged and always carry extra chargers.
12. In a restaurant, bar, concert venue or club, always know where the nearest exit is and be able to access it at all times.
13. Make sure you have budgeted for uber or cabs for late evenings and if you feel uncomfortable anywhere – leave. Immediately.
14. Scan pics of all important documents and send them to a trusted friend or family member.
And just in case you are a visual person – WATCH THIS!
If you have any other suggestions please let me know in the comments below…