When backpacking anywhere in the world, safety is always a priority. And for women who enjoy exploring the world and traveling, one can still never be too careful. Generally, women are chosen as easy targets because criminals perceive them to be weak, to lack the physical strength of men, and because people still think women will not fight back.
These are not the absolute truth and over the years, more and more women backpackers have proven that it is okay to travel alone. So, are you ready for your big trip? Below are some safety tips to remember, specially curated for lady backpackers.
Always Have a Light
Keep a flashlight always ready in your bag. There are now portable flashlights that can fit in the smallest of purses, but would still provide ample lighting. It’s also ideal to grab one that’s made of metal. These are great for navigating through dark alleys or streets of a foreign city.
Dress Simple and Nice
Anyone who looks foreign in a local city will surely get some attention. And when you’re even dressed up in clothing that screams “Everything is new to me here!” that’s surely a way to not just get attention from the locals, but the criminals as well. Aside from safety precautions, dressing up as a local is also a way of incorporating yourself into a country’s culture. You don’t need to wear something very native, just the good old t-shirt and jeans will do. Keep it low key.
Also, when it comes to culture, certain countries are more conservative than others. There are cities where flip-flops are frowned upon, where shorts and sleeveless tops are considered offensive. Take time to research the culture of the place you’re visiting to help you plan which clothes to pack.
Leave Home the Bling
Some women enjoy wearing jewelry, however, this doesn’t go well with backpacking. Apart from the risk of you losing your jewelry along the way, this might also attract the attention of snatchers or robbers. Keep your jewelry simple and leave the fancy ones at home. For a woman who’s wearing a necklace, bracelet, or earrings, a thief might yank it out from her and cause an injury.
For anyone who’s traveling, maintaining communication with loved ones back home benefits both parties. This does not only facilitate constant communication, but also acts as a safety measure. Tell your family, and your friends where you’re staying, where you intend to go. Tell them stories about the people you meet during your travels. Along the way, these little bit of information work as “breadcrumbs” throughout the trail of your journey.
Careful with Eye Contact
Women who are traveling alone must be careful when making eye contact in a foreign city. This can easily be misunderstood and can either be considered as an invitation for a conversation or warning. Oftentimes, prolonged eye contact is also considered disrespectful for other countries, while for others it’s taken as flirting. The best way to get through this is to talk to local women about the rules when looking at other people in the eyes. Safety tips for women can also sometimes be provided by the actual people living in the area, so never hesitate to ask.
Backpacking is a fun and daring thing to do. It lets you go out there into the world, without the comfort of chambermaids and chauffeurs. However, despite all the raw excitement that backpacking offers, safety must never be compromised. For women who are frequently targeted by criminals, it is always best to keep in mind these safety tips.