TIPS FOR THE SOLO WOMAN TRAVELER

In this series, I will discuss areas of Travel Awareness that will greatly Increase a Woman's Confidence in Traveling Alone. Everyone knows a woman must be extra vigilant in terms of safety and security. What steps can she take to avoid possible sexual harassment? How can she make her hotel room safe?

From the young to businesswomen to energetic grandmothers, women are traveling like never before. And while women travel for many of the same reasons as men do, their social concerns, as well as their health and safety needs, are very, very different.

CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Women travel differently than men. Whether they choose hot pink nail buff, a fake wedding ring or the proverbial baggy dress while trekking in Nepal, life on the road for Women is simply a different trip.

From the young to businesswomen to energetic grandmothers, women are traveling like never before. And while women travel for many of the same reasons as men do, their social concerns, as well as their health and safety needs, are very, very different.

The female travel is directly affected by the religious and societal beliefs of the countries they visit.

For Instance:Single Female Travelers might even find in some places, it's inappropriate to be outdoors after sundown.

In Southeast Asia signs are posted at religious landmarks asking women not to enter if they are menstruating Give some thought to how you dress. At home, you'll encounter few, if any, clothing restrictions, but it still makes sense to dress conservatively. At Religious sights, not only dress conservatively but always carry a scarf and a pair of heavy socks. You may need to cover your head and shoes are never worn in religious temples.

Inside China: It is said that foreign women aren't seen as women per se, but first and foremost as foreigners. Outside North America a one piece bathing suit is safer than a bikini. Some local women might swim entirely clothed according to their religious beliefs.

In the Pacific Islands thighs are considered an erotic part of a woman's body.

In India a female's upper arms are considered a sensual area of the body and must never be exposed in public.

In some countries women may not drive or ride a bicycle. Women are required to have a male driver.

LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH EUROPEAN MEN

In small towns, men are often more likely to speak English than women. If you never talk to men, you could miss out on a chance to learn about the country. So, by all means, talk to men. Just choose the man and choose the setting.

In northern Europe, you won't draw any more attention from men than you do in America. In southern Europe, particularly in Italy, you'll get more attention than you're used to, but it's usually in the form of the "long look" — nothing you can't handle. But be aware that in the Mediterranean world, when you smile and look a man in the eyes, it's often considered an invitation. Wear dark sunglasses and you can stare all you want.

Dress modestly to minimize attention from men. Take your cue from what the local women wear. For young women, even wearing a shapeless sack and sensible shoes may not ward off unwelcome advances. Try to stay with a group when exploring, and avoid walking alone at night, particularly in unlit areas with few people around. Don't be overly polite if you're bothered by someone; it's important to create boundaries to protect yourself. Use facial expressions, body language, and a loud firm voice to fend off any unwanted attention. If a man comes too close, say "no" firmly and loudly in the local language. That's usually all it takes.

If you feel like you're being followed or hassled, trust your instincts. Don't worry about overreacting or seeming foolish. Start screaming and acting crazy if the situation warrants it. Or head to the nearest hotel and engage the person behind the desk with idle conversation until your would-be admirer moves on. Ask the hotelier to call you a cab to take you to your own hotel, hostel, or B&B.

Wear a real or fake wedding ring, and carry a picture of a real or fake husband. There's no need to tell men that you're traveling alone, or whether you're actually married or single. Lie unhesitatingly. You're traveling with your husband. He's waiting for you at the hotel. He's a professional wrestler who retired from the sport for psychological reasons.

  
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