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Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Belmont...
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Safety tips for solo female traveller?

I am planning to travel Europe alone, not entirely, but thinking about staying in environment not quite familiar to makes me quite a bit nervous, especially each individual city has their own way, and it may be different from country to country to protect yourself.. So I was wondering how to get accurate info on the safety issues, especially for female who travels solo

London, England
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1. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Everywhere, don't get drunk, leave your drink unattended or accept tablets (pills) from a new friend. The one downside of solo travelling is there is no one to watch your back.

Don't wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive bags.

Do your research on what areas are considered safe (for example, the area immediately around the main rail station in Rome is considered a bit dodgy) before you book our hotel and read the local forums for information about local scams.

It may be just me, but I would rather skimp on almost anything rather than my hotel. I don't mean I stay at expensive places, just that I read the reviews carefully. (and read between the lines) and would rather stay in a smaller room in a better neighbourhood than have more space where I can't go out in the evening.

I tend to research cultural information as well and dress well within the modest end of the places I visit,

If someone is making me feel uncomfortable, I want local support.

While meeting new people, locals and travellers can be delight, it is running quite a serious risk to travel with people you don't know and have no way of knowing. If you are lucky you may just end up with someone whose travel style is incompatible with yours, if you are unlucky you could find yourself travelling with someone who steals from you or gets you arrested because they are travelling with illegal drugs. (Try explaining that you didn't know what she was carrying in her bags or pockets to the customs officer who searched her bag)

And yes, you could make a friend for life, but you asked about safety tips.

kent
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2. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Hello Lannie and welcome to the solo forum. I can see from your posting history that you have already found the destination forums for France, Malta, Spain and Venice. Good start!

The destination forums are an excellent source of information on local transport options (including late night buses/trams, metro etc) and accommodation reviews (and importantly,where it is located).

Generally Europe is a very safe destination for solo travellers, especially in the areas that tourists stick to.

Leagle has aready given you much valuable advice. I would also suggest you read the "Top Questions about solo travel", on the top right hand page of this forum. There is a very comprehensive article called, "Is solo travel for a woman safe?". This has loads of good information, tips and advice... and not just for women either!

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

I'm guessing you didn't see our Top Question post on this?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12357-k3711819…

Somerset
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4. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

I would say make every effort to get to your destination and accommodation as early in the day as you can. I don't mean 5am but morning if poss. Then you have time to look around, get to know the area in daylight.

If you are spending more than one day you usually get a feel for what is going on at night just from looking out of your window. If you are going between now and August then the evenings stay light for quite a while.

As Legal says, check the reviews for lodgings. Above them is a selection of couples,solos etc. Click on the solo bar and it brings up solo reviews. They can be really useful as we tend to put things like 'up a dark lane' etc. Also ask on the forums about the area if you are unsure.

It's surprising how quickly you get the feel for a place. People are going about their business the same as anywhere. If it is the countries mentioned in Mcps post then you will find it easy. Look for the cultural bit on the Top Questions or ask. I seem to remember that you shouldn't look an Italian man in the eyes or they take it as an invitation and you get pestered & flirted with..........but I think you just have to be reasonable about that otherwise how do you ask for a train/bus ticket , cup of coffee etc ;-)

r c
Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Lannie918,

If you look anything like your avatar, you wont have any problem with people messing with you. LOL.

Im a male so take this as you see fit, but in general all they want from you across the ocean is your $$$. And they will try their hardest to get it from you without you knowing.

there have been some great suggestions already posted too.

one thing to note is that the locals will know alot more than the visitors, so ask them too.

Belmont...
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6. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

hahaha, I really love this msg! I will try my best to look like how I look like in my avatar!!!! :P

Belmont...
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7. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Thank you so much! I am nervous but also excited about my trip! Actually I revised my trip a little bit. I am going to Malta, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany. I think they are all considered as fairly safe countries to travel..(I have friends in Spain, so they will be familiar with the environment, and I have someone watch my back). So basically I think I will be fine generally. But it will be my first time to travel alone mostly. So a little bit anxious. And also, I was also wondering if it safe to stay in mixed room in hostel?

Belmont...
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8. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

Hello, Suebovinton, thank you for your reply.

I guess i am quite an early bird, as I am planning to run every city I will be in if time allows, of course. However, this also stresses me as well, because I am not quite sure about if it's good to run around in the morning in an unfamiliar environment. I was trying to find some running course on mapmyrun, however, no helpful information. Do you have some experience on that?

London, England
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9. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

I'm sorry that rc's travel experience have lead him to believe that all anyone "overseas" wants from you is your dollars. Although that is probably as true in the touristy parts of Europe and it is in the US, by using a bit of lateral thinking, being prepared, researching what you might be interested in and avoiding most place recommended by Rick Steves, you should have a lovely time and meet people who want to know you, both travellers and locals.

(It is probably not a coincidence that Rick Steves, who sells "security items" for travellers, also seem to frighten the bejesuss out of Americans thinking of going to Europe with his guide books)

A number of Americans come on the London Forum convinced that central London is a hotbed of and crime. When asked where on earth they got that idea, it is never from personal experience but there is often a certain guide book as the source.

The Lonely Planet Guides generally have a section of safety and on females travelling solo which manages to be useful without being off-putting.

You have made it to the age you are so you must have some street smarts, don't ditch them at immigration and you should be fine.

BTW, Travelling light is a matter of safety as well as comfort, so it may be useful to think about getting guidebooks on an e-reader rather than as tree books.

Nervous and excited is how I feel at the beginning of all my trips....

Edited: 28 April 2014, 16:39
Israel
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10. Re: Safety tips for solo female traveller?

<< And also, I was also wondering if it safe to stay in mixed room in hostel?>>

I'm female, and while you haven't stated your age it's a fair bet that I'm a lot older than you are. I don't like mixed dorms, not because I think I will be raped in my bed - which is extremely unlikely - but because it's just so inconvenient not being able to dress and undress in the room.

Read hostel reviews carefully, and if the hostel has its own website look at the pictures. If the reviews and website stress "fun", that may or may not be what you are looking for. Party hostels are popular with those who like that sort of thing. But if you want a good night's sleep, without people coming into the room rolling drunk and/or playing loud music at 3 a.m., consider Hostelling International (YHA). Many people find these hostels sterile and full of rules and regulations. But that is a definite plus for others, obviously.

Apart from that, use your common sense, don't do anything you wouldn't do at home (like going alone down dark alleyways, or walking around festooned with valuable cameras and your wallet sticking out where it can easily be stolen), you'll be fine. Don't take anything you couldn't bear to lose. Money can be replaced, but items of sentimental value can't.

Have a great trip!