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Tips For The Female Traveler:


Everyone has heard stories about someone getting robbed, harassed or cheated while traveling. Such misfortune is no more likely on the road than at home, however, as long as you remain dutifully aware of your surroundings. Women have traveled safely all over the world solo and in the company of others. Don't let negative stories discourage you. Take them as a warning and learn as much as you can about your destination so you'll be well-prepared when you arrive.

Before leaving for your trip, ensure that you have looked into the following things. Research your destination and its culture so you'll know what to expect. Bring appropriate clothing. In some cultures, women are expected to wear long skirts or cover their shoulders and arms. Even if you'd rather wear a pair of shorts, it's important to respect the culture you're exploring and avoid negative attention. Pack light! Make sure you can carry all your gear and get around easily without assistance from anyone else. Take a self-defense class or research self-defense strategies. You may never need such skills, but knowing you possess them can give you a boost of confidence.

Once you are on your trip, ensure that you have done the following...A foreign environment can be intimidating at first, but don't let that overwhelm your common sense. Stay alert and be observant of your surroundings. Make sure someone knows where you are. Leave an itinerary at home. Send a postcard or e-mail home once a week to let someone know where you plan on going in the next few weeks. Arrive during the day. If you arrive at your destination at night, make sure you secure lodging in advance, and consider taking a taxi to your hotel. Sometimes the extra cost is worth it. Be aware of your nonverbal cues, which can project different meanings in different cultures. Observe how local women interact with men.

Look confident. Walk like you know exactly where you're going, even if you don't. Avoid using those huge maps that identify you as a lost tourist. Carry a small map, refer to it often and ask for directions if necessary. Verify room service. When staying in hotels, don't automatically open the door for someone who identifies himself as "room service." Check with the front desk to verify that it is a hotel employee at your door. It's OK to step in the hall while staff are in your room. Avoid high-risk situations. Don't walk down a dark street by yourself late at night. Don't remain alone in a room with a man you don't know, or accept offers for a free, private tour. He may have something else in mind, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.


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