Female business travelers have become an increasingly powerful and important travel market segment over the past few years as more women continue to enter into fields that have a heavy travel requirement such as finance, marketing, and business. As the percentage of female business travelers continues to rise, female professionals are on track to travel just as much as their male counterparts. Many women who travel alone describe an incredible sense of freedom and possibility, but there are also the challenges, ranging from safety to health, that make solo traveling daunting enough that many women may never take the opportunity.
All travelers should always take precautions, but here are Passport Health’s top 10 safety travel tips especially designed for female business travelers.
1. Take Your Health with You
Whether you’re a business executive or a seasoned adventurer, you’ll need to deal with unique health issues on the road. It’s crucial to have an individual travel health assessment; receiving required immunizations, obtaining travel health insurance, understanding tropical disease prevention strategies, and traveling with prescription medications will all help to keep you well overseas. In addition, packing an adequate supply of feminine hygiene products, contraceptives, and a first aid kit is essential since some items may be scarce in some parts of the world.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Always be conscious of your surroundings and the people around you. Never leave your food or drinks unattended and don’t appear or tell anyone you are traveling alone. In addition, avoid walking alone late at night, and stay in public areas where there are always other people around. Taking some time before your trip to research your destination will help you determine the unsavory parts of the town to avoid.
3. Crime-Proof Yourself
It’s crucial that solo female travelers do not stand out from the crowd. You should minimize any attention brought to yourself to avoid running into trouble. Lower your tourist profile and try not to ever give the impression you’re lost. If you are lost, ask for directions from a police officer, shop keeper, or another woman on the street. Make sure to leave all valuable items in your hotel safe, and avoid carrying any flashy items around. This will help minimize the attention from thieves who may think a solo woman is an easy target.
4. Find Safe Accommodations
A traveler’s primary goal should be finding the safest accommodations in order to feel comfortable on her trip. Ground transportation and hotel accommodations should be planned well in advance. Requesting a room that is not on the ground level, is close to the elevators, and has proper safety features like locks on the doors and windows will all contribute to a safer environment. Planning all the transportation arrangements ahead of time and relying on the hotel’s recommendations can help to ensure you’re using only legal and reputable driving services.
5. Stay Connected
When traveling solo, it’s important to stay in touch with someone who can keep tabs on you, whether it’s a friend or family member. Make sure to keep that person up-to-date with your location, and provide him or her with a general itinerary of your trip. It’s also a good idea to link up with other solo female travelers along the way with whom you feel comfortable sharing a taxi or sitting next to on a train or bus.
6. Make Sure You’re Covered
When getting ready to travel, having the right insurance is a key consideration to maximize any traveler’s peace of mind and safety overseas. There are three different types of insurance travelers should consider, including medical evacuation, travel health, and trip cancellation insurance. Women who are traveling alone should always be prepared for the different situations that could occur, and it’s best to only seek medical help from high-quality providers. Insurance will help alleviate concerns about expense.
7. Confidence is Key
Whether you’re walking on a street at home or 7,000 miles away, walking confidently and with direction is an effective technique for making yourself appear less vulnerable. Women should look and act as if they know where they are going and know what they are doing at all times. An easy way to do this is to try and blend in with the locals in terms of actions and appearance. Make sure you are always polite but reserved, since some types of body language and smiling can be interpreted as a sign of encouragement towards males.
8. Identity Protection
For female travelers, there are a few tips that are easy to implement to protect your identity and disguise that you’re flying solo. When checking into a hotel, sign in as Mr. or Mrs., and ask the desk clerk not to mention your room number aloud so other guests can’t hear. Leave the television or radio on when you’re gone as well as the do not disturb sign to give the illusion the room is occupied. Whether or not you are married, wearing a fake wedding ring may fend off unwanted attention. In addition, as a precaution against loss or theft, have copies of all your travel documents, and leave a copy with family and friends at home.
9. Strictly Business
Women who travel abroad for professional purposes may realize in some parts of the world, the concept of a career women is highly unusual. It’s important to get thoroughly acquainted with the destination country’s customs and business protocol. You should always meet your business contacts in the lobby of your hotel to avoid giving out your room number. Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the office and conform to the attire that is acceptable in your destination.
10. Find Your Feet
Females who travel abroad for business may find that, in some parts of the world, privileges and rights are different for women when compared to the equality and freedoms enjoyed at home. Among some of these challenges are a lack of access to female physicians and discriminatory treatment by officials. It is important to maintain cultural sensitivity while abroad and inform yourself before you go. The more you are able to adjust to the different culture norms, the safer you will be in your travels.