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Ten Tips for Staying Safe as a Woman Abroad

Venturing into a solo voyage abroad might be one of the best experiences of your life. Regardless of your gender, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and to stay safe (wherever your journey will take you). But for women this can be even more challenging — no matter what country they’re in. Although ending up in dangerous situations is rare, it’s important to be aware of possible dangers (especially when you’re traveling solo) and what you can do to avoid them.

Don’t let your concerns get in the way of your wanderlust! Here are ten tips to ensure you feel safe abroad.

Tip #1: Try Your Best to Learn the Local Language

Learning the local language (if you don’t already speak it) is perhaps the best thing you can do when moving to a new country. It not only allows you to communicate with locals like a local, but also makes  you more aware of your surroundings by understanding what people are talking about.

Tip #2: Always Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

No matter, if you go an extended hiking trip or explore a new bar in town, it’s very important that you always let at least one person you trust know where you’re going. This can be a relative or friend back home or a new friend you met abroad. Keeping someone in the loop about your whereabouts is essential in case of an emergency. Don’t go off the grid for a long time or, if your plans do change, make sure you let that person know.

Tip #3: Befriend Other Women in Your City

Though making friends in a new city can be difficult, befriending other female expats or locals is an important building block to a safe experience abroad. These friends will not only help you in overcoming feelings of loneliness but will also look out for you. They know dangerous corners of the city and can tell you what to pay attention to when you’re out and about alone.


Tip #4: Maintain Regular Contact with Family and Friends Back Home

Going on a solo adventure to a new country can be very exciting. Nevertheless, this is a crucial time to stay connected with family and friends back home who you can check in with regularly. They’re your support system from afar during difficult times and in case anything happens and you have to return back home, they will take care of you.

Tip #5: Know Your Local Emergency Numbers

This tip sounds obvious, but you would be very surprised at the amount of people who don’t know their local emergency numbers. Knowing how to call an ambulance, for instance, can save your life if you find yourself in a bad situation.


Tip #6: Dress Like a Local

It is key to blend in as much as possible and not draw unwanted attention to yourself. Unfortunately, in some countries women don’t get the freedom to dress the way they want to. For this reason, make sure you dress appropriately — whether this means avoiding certain items of clothing, dressing more conservatively, or even taking into consideration the patterns and colors you’re wearing. If you’re unsure how to not stick out like a sore thumb, take a look at the locals and see if you can copy their style.

Tip #7: Get Familiar with Your Neighborhood

Being able to walk around your neighborhood confidently will give you an extra sense of safety. Looking lost and like you don’t know the area might draw unwanted attention and can also be dangerous if you ever find yourself in a critical situation. Additionally, being familiar with your city can help you avoid unsafe parts. 


Tip #8: Meet New People, but Don’t Trust Strangers

Talking to strangers can be an incredible opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. However, it’s important to understand the difference between talking to a stranger and trusting them immediately. As friendly as they may seem during a conversation, be cautious with people you have just met. Always make sure you meet with them a couple of times and get to know them first before you put your trust in people.

Tip #9: Have a Good Health Insurance

Being able to access healthcare whenever you need it is a necessity wherever you are. When you make your big move abroad, make sure you get a reliable health insurance, so you’re covered and don’t need to worry in case of an emergency. This should be one of the first things you do before you make your way to a new country.


Tip #10: Trust Your Instinct

Last but not least, always trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel  right to  you, don’t hesitate! You can always walk away from a situation or say no to people. If your gut is telling you no, chances are something isn’t right.

Stay safe and have a great adventure abroad!

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