Travelling solo means you can set your own itinerary, meet new people and explore at your own pace. But it also means having to be more alert and wary of strangers – especially for women.
Before you leave
Pack as lightly as possible. As a lone woman, you'll be less vulnerable and more independent if you're not weighed down by heavy luggage.
Rather than residential details, put an office address (without the company name) on your luggage tags.
Before travelling, find out the general dress code for the country. Once you arrive, take note of what local women wear to get an idea of appropriate attire.
While on your flight
Talk to female flight attendants who are either from or know the country to obtain advice on areas to avoid.
Do not announce your final destination or length of stay to fellow passengers, as the information may be overheard.
Try to stay in a hotel or guesthouse on a residential street that has a number of restaurants and late-night stores located on it. This is far safer than staying in a corporate area that will be quiet at night and so less secure.
When checking in, use only your initials and surname; avoid titles such as Ms or Mrs.
Inquire about staff services that escort guests to their room late at night.
If the door to your room is open or unlocked when you return, don't go in alone. Go back to the front desk and ask a member of staff to accompany you to the room.
Never let on that you are travelling alone; inform inquisitive strangers that you are expecting your friend or meeting your partner.
If you feel a car is following you when you are walking, do a quick turn and walk in the opposite direction.
If you are travelling alone and don't want any company, there are a few things you can try. If you're on a coach or train, sit on the outside seat, and place your handbag, coat or jacket on the window seat. If you're in a bar or restaurant, put your coat on the back of the seat opposite you; this makes it look as if you have company.
If you're confronted with unwelcome attention, remain calm and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. You might also wish to approach the nearest police officer or security guard.
In the event of verbal harassment, particularly by male bystanders, it's best to pretend you cannot understand what they're saying. You might also ignore them, or speak in a foreign language they are not likely to understand.
Wear a wedding ring to avoid unwanted attention.
Avoiding eye contact with men is a good way to prevent any problems or hassles; wearing dark glasses can help with this and gives you a confidence boost as well.
Act confidently. Know where you are going and what you are doing, and walk with assurance. Confidence can be a major deterrent to criminal activities like petty theft and harassment.