Female travelers face specific risks associated with travel safety. Females are often viewed by offenders as an easier target and are more likely to be victims of sexual harassment or violent sexual assaults than men.
Females are also targets in business settings for bullying, racial prejudice, local regulations and racism. Forward planning and self awareness play a major role in ensuring that women stay healthy while traveling. Below are several best practices that should be taken into account by all female travelers.
Hold Them Updated At Home.
Please make sure that your entire itinerary and important details are available to a trusted person at home before your departure. During an emergency, such documents are important as it includes alternative ways to reach you, a photocopy of your passport and any necessary information about travel or health insurance.
Always get to know your destination before flying. Using resources, study your destination so you can be fully informed about various cultural and social activities. It involves local culture and laws, especially in countries where women are subject to significant social and legal restrictions. For example, in some Islamic countries, there are gender segregated buses, subways, restaurants and other public institutions, while some tea houses are totally off limits to women. On the other hand, for female travelers a lack of feminine hygiene needs may not be readily available.
Sanitary pads and contraceptives may only be sold in major supermarkets or pharmacies in big cities or may not be available at all in some cases. In Iran, where the legal code is based on Islamic law, physical contact between unrelated men and women is prohibited in public, as is the case in a private or social environment. Unless they initiate it and extend their hand first, don’t shake hands with Iranian men. Unmarried men and women are legally prohibited in a social setting, sometimes even in public, from being alone together, unless they are related.
Aware Of The Environment.
Exercise safety precautions of common sense, even during the day, when traveling in unfamiliar places. Women are most often targeted for pickpocketing and snatching bags than men. This is particularly true if you travel alone, as they are often viewed as an easy destination. The belief that foreigners are more wealthy than local people could also place you at a higher risk. Be alert at all times and keep your bag close to you, especially on public transportation and other public places.
If you are out at night, think of using private and official taxis as a safer mode of travel than public transport and walking alone, particularly those operated by women drivers. In India, it is suggested that solo female travelers avoid all types of public transport because sexual assaults are frequent as if frequently happen on-board buses and trains. Only use authorized and registered taxis, but avoid sitting in the taxi’s front seat and always taking the seat behind the driver, as cab drivers have reported some sexual advances as well. Next, do not travel alone during night especially in abandoned areas or villages with high crime rates.
Be Brave To Say “No”.
Based on your location, for your international presence as a female traveler or simply for being a female traveling alone, you might attract attention among locals. In countries such as Jamaica and Morocco, female travelers may be at greater risk of being sexually harassed by local men because of stereotypes about foreign women, especially Westerners, and their behaviour. Be assured in your actions and learn in the local language to say “no” or “stop” without thinking about offending people.
While at home smiling and small talk might be considered a friendly gesture, it may be interpreted as a sign of interest by local men in some countries. In the Bahamas, female travelers can receive unwanted male attention throughout the day or night, ranging from open displays of catcalling and staring to groping. It is best to avoid or walk away from these attempts or conflicts. When bullying escalates, call attention to what’s going on, and local people are likely to come to your assistance.
Tell your travel manager colleagues and friends what succeeded during your trip and what didn’t. Employers are required to ensure their safety and well being during a work trip. Your input will make the experience for future female travelers better and more enjoyable.
Having a travel insurance can benefit the tourists as it is intended to cover medical expenses, cancellation of trips lost luggage, plane accident and other travel accidents while you are abroad. Malaysia’s most popular AXA travel insurance is now on PolicyStreet. Click this link and find the best rates today for it!