Expert's Safety Tips for Female Travellers
||THIS FOOD LOOKS
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT -- Picture this. You
are travelling on an overnight train in Europe. The young
couple seated beside you are very chatty and offer lots
of good advice about what to do at your destination. They
unpack a wonderful picnic of sausage, cheese, fresh bread
and wine. The aromas are so enticing, they offer to share
their food and wine. You're thinking, 'this is what European
travel is all about'. Again, evaluate very carefully before
you partake. Understand that drugging is always a possibility.
You don't want to wake up to find your friendly neighbours
gone along with all your belongings.
||EXPENSIVE JEWELRY BELONGS
AT HOME -- Unless you are attending a fabulous
wedding or Society Fashion Ball abroad, leave all your jewels
at home. They will always be a hindrance to your safety.
Take off any attention grabbing rings and earrings. Wear
an inexpensive, utilitarian watch, something that goes unnoticed.
If you absolutely must sport some 'bling' for an evening
on the town, try dressing up your hair. A dime-store rhinestone
barrette or sparkly hair pin works wonders when worn with
black shirt and pants.
||YOUR WALLET IS NOT REALLY
YOUR WALLET -- Always carry a fake wallet
with you. That's the one you want the pickpocket or mugger
to get if they single you out. Journeywoman loves putting
this decoy together. We fill it with a few local dollars
and then augment the wad with currency no longer in circulation
like French francs and Dutch guilders. Everybody has plastic
cards with name and user number on it that look like credit
cards but aren't. This includes membership cards for video
rentals or one that offers gift points at your local grocery.
Neither have contact information on them so you can use
those without fear. Never fight with anybody who demands
your wallet. Having your fake in your purse to hand over
is a very smart move.
||WHERE TO KEEP YOUR MONEY
AND DOCUMENTS -- Journeywoman keeps everything
close to her body in a poly-cotton money belt that goes
around her waist and is kept extra secure by pinning the
band closed with a safety pin. Even in the heat the cotton
blend doesn't make you feel uncomfortable. This belt has
two pockets. In the first goes copies of (1) first page
of your passport (2) credit and debit card numbers and 'help
line' telephone numbers to cancel stolen or lost cards (3)
health insurance (4) plane tickets. In the second goes (1)
credit card, (2) debit card (3) some emergency money. Then,
in a secure pant or jacket pocket Journeywoman keeps money
for the day -- transportation, museum entries, snacks and
||WHAT ABOUT YOUR PASSPORT
AND OTHER VALUABLES? -- If the hotel has
a safe in the room you can leave your valuables there. If
the manager has a common hotel safe in which all guests
can leave their valuables, check to see if the hotel is
liable for any loss before you entrust your things to him.
Put everything in an envelope, seal it shut and write your
initials across the closed flap in the back of the envelope.
This insures that no sticky-fingered staff member helps
themselves to part of your possessions or cash. Get the
hotel to sign your note that states you left your valuables
with them for safe keeping.
A BIT OF NOISE NEVER HURTS -- It's no secret
that wrongdoers want to keep their presence and their identity
a secret. Keep that premise in mind by pointing your finger
and shouting, 'go away' at anybody who is purposely invading
your space. The language you speak is not important. What
affects would-be thieves is the attention being drawn to
them. Want to be prepared for any negative situations? Consider
carrying a personal security alarm that emits a piercing
sound to help ward off an attacker or deter an intruder.
||A VITAMIN BOTTLE CAN HELP
IN AN EMERGENCY -- When Journeywoman travels
solo for long periods of time it's very important to have
a good backup plan if I am robbed or if I lose my credit
cards. Here is one of my best tricks. Save your empty vitamin
pill bottles, generally you can't see through these. Roll
up five twenty dollar bills, put them into the bottle and
add some old loose pills. If you shake this bottle it still
sounds like a pill bottle and nobody would consider looking
into it for money. You can leave this bottle in your backpack,
your hotel room or in your cosmetic case. The contents remain
safe and ready for you should you need it.
bra is my money belt...
at home or when I'm travelling, I find that padded push-up
bras are great for a night out. When I dress up for the
evening, I take the pads out of my push-up bra, wrap the
money I need for the evening in tissues and put the packets
back where the pads originally were. Great solution. Works
(Source: travel tip from Mary in Dublin, Ireland)
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