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Top traveling tips for women

I don’t need to tell you about wage inequality, cat calling, or gender discrimination – you already know all about that!  It can be daunting to take a solo trip as a female but you can do it, it is empowering, and here are my top tips to not be bothered abroad.

  1. There will zero shortage of men that want to talk to you.
    • Women typically want to be seen as polite, but do not feel like you’re being rude if you’re ignoring someone or not accepting advances.  I was once on a flight sitting next to a man who seemed polite at first and then started asking way too many questions than I was comfortable with, I just told him wow you want too much personal info and put my headphones on and ignored him the rest of the flight. Sounds harsh, but he was making me very uncomfortable and it’s ok to protect yourself.
  2. During the day, wear headphones, this makes you less approachable and you can pretend you didn’t hear an unwanted advancement.
  3. Wear sunglasses for the same reason, eliminating eye contact reduces unwanted attention.
  4. If someone asks if your married just say yes. Make up your dream husband in your head.
  5. Wear a fake ring.
    • Depending on the country they may wear it on the opposite hand, so sometimes I wore fake rings on both hands.
    • You can always say your husband, dad, brother are meeting or waiting for you
  6. If you need directions, ask women or uniformed police or agents.
  7. You do not have to get in a taxi if you feel uncomfortable with the driver. Negotiate the price in advance, I roll down the window if I am scared.
  8. Never let someone take your purse, taxi drivers will try to be polite and try to put it in the trunk, no.
  9. This seems counter feminist but obey local customs.  If you’re dressed inappropriately for the area you will draw further unwanted unintentionally.  Especially in the Middle East, I was hassled the least when I wore long pants, long sleeves, and a hijab.
  10. Always carry an ID with you when you’re out, I always carry my driver’s license and leave my passport in the safe. Even if it is just a quick trip to the grocery store I never leave without ID.

While cultural norms will very drastically outside of the United States I’ve found that treatment of woman can vary from country so google the local customs in advance.

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