Female Travelers

Female and male travelers are really not that different when it comes to traveling. They both have needs and desires, and they both endure the same struggles of carrying their "home" around on their back. However, it has to be admitted that female travelers do have additional safety concerns. Generally, women travelers are more vulnerable due to their naturally smaller size (usually) and their "desirability" by males (with varying degrees, depending on the country traveled in).

The world is generally a safe place. Most of the time, when a traveler finds him or herself in an unsafe situation it is something that they probably could have avoided. This might mean staying out of unstable war zones or not travelling alone in dangerous parts of a city late at night. Regardless, there are definite safety rules to follow when travelling.

This does not mean that female travelers have to stay indoors and hide. It just means that they have to be extra cautious in some instances. This might include avoiding hitch-hiking, sticking with a trusted partner when walking at night and not letting yourself fall into uncomfortable situations. Of course, all females are different, and these rules would probably apply to many men too.

Safe Traveling Strategies

  • educate yourself on the local dress codes and customs. If dressed inappropriately, you may find yourself either offending the locals...or really turning them on.
  • try to look like a local by acting and dressing as they do
  • act like you know what you are doing and where you are going at all times, even if you don't
  • learn about the places to avoid (from other travelers or friendly locals)
  • make yourself very clear if someone is bothering you or making you feel uncomfortable. A loud "NO" (or a few) should get the point across.
  • try to ignore obnoxious comments and gestures from local men. Sometimes they are really compliments and completely harmless.
  • avoid clothing that will attract unwanted attention. Loose clothing that covers more of the body is a safer bet, applicable in some countries more than others.
  • look for all-female train cars when traveling at night
  • if you are being hassled, try to stay in a public place or where there is a lot of people

Women should be allowed to travel where ever they want without being hassled. At least that would be expected in a perfect world. But in reality, there are unfortunately still countries where women are treated as second-class citizens, viewed as objects rather than equal human beings. There is no denying this. For this reason, female travelers need to take a few extra precautions to ensure their safety while venturing in foreign lands.

Sites for Female Travelers

  • Christine Columbus - valuable travel information for women. "Christopher Columbus may have discovered the New World, but it was Christine who packed his bags," says this site.
  • Hermail.net - connects traveling women around the world. Good place to find traveling information from other women.
  • Hitchhiking Vietnam - a woman's inspirational experience hitchhiking Vietnam alone. Offers plenty of advice and tips too.
  • Journeywoman - online travel magazine for women who love to travel.
  • My Travel Coach - provides travel classes and coaching by phone for women who want to pursue solo journeys, pilgrimages, learning vacation, work or relationshiop sabbaticals, and personal retreats.
  • Vagabunda! - a travel e-zine written by a group of enthusiastic women. More than tips on how to fold your clothes so that they don't crease, Vagabunda! wants to encourage the wonder of exploring the world.
  • Women's Travel Club - self-proclaimed as the largest travel club in America, they plan and organize over 20 trips abroad each year. They also offer plenty of travel advice, tips and a thorough packing list.