There are always safety issues to keep in mind even for the most experience travelers. If you’re traveling alone in Europe, you can and should feel completely secure. If you want to ditch the resorts and explore the off the beaten tracks of Spain, Austria or Croatia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
As long as you’re willing to do your due diligence and trust your gut, travelling in Europe should be one of the safest (and most fun) experiences of your life. Here are our most recommended safety tips for women traveling solo.
Make sure to check your accommodation before booking. Read guest reviews on multiple independent websites and don’t choose an Airbnb host that doesn’t have many reviews.
Most ladies will already be using travel websites to discover the coolest restaurants or find out what museums are free in their chosen location. However, this is a great chance to check out safety information.
Ask which neighbourhoods you should avoid at night, whether public transport is reliable, and what the licensed taxis look like. Also, find out the nearest medical centre or hospital to your accommodation – you never know when you might need it.
Put yourself first
Women travelling alone can be easy prey for con artists, sexual assaulters, and other criminals. While the blame is wholly on the criminal, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Check in regularly with someone back home by video chat. Also, give them copies of your passport, the address of where you’ll be staying, and a rough itinerary.
- In a bar, don’t let someone buy you or hand you a drink, buy your drinks yourself, and avoid drugs (even if it’s legal in your host country).
- Don’t leave your valuables with anyone you meet.
- Blend in with the locals by choosing clothes that reflect the sensibilities of that location.
- Rent a car rather than relying on public transport or taxis, especially in parts of a city you don’t know. The money is worth your safety and it could even save you money over the holiday.
- If you decide to spend the night with someone, use contraception that you brought, and take them to your accommodation.
Look after your valuables
Even if you’ve probably already leaving stuff like your mother’s diamond earrings at home, you’ll probably have some expensive electronics, your passport, and perhaps a fair amount of cash on you when travelling.
- Limit the amount you take on holiday; use credit cards instead of cash, take a book instead of your Kindle, and perhaps even take your old mobile phone instead of your iPhone. If not, make sure your gadgets are insured.
- Keep what you can (including copies of your passport and your bank account information) in a locked safe in your accommodation
- The stuff you do take out should be kept secure in a day bag (not your rucksack!) that you do not take off until you get back to your accommodation
- Make sure you’re covered. Get travel insurance. This will also help if you need medical care or you have to fly home early
Now, with this preparation out the way, now you can enjoy the adventure that lies ahead. Happy travelling, ladies.