Best Safety Products for Solo Women Travelers Over 50

by | Oct 29, 2022

Happy woman having fun during trekking activities day in the woods
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Last updated on January 30th, 2024

Featured image: With the right products and precautions, solo female travelers can be safer on the road | Photo by biasciolialessandro on Envato

Personal Safety Products Recommended by Solo Travelers

By Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman

Here’s a scenario to consider: Imagine you are in a country – any country – on your own. You’re leaving dinner, you’re walking down the street and as you round the corner to head back to your accommodation, you’re jumped, you’re grabbed. You’re caught in somebody’s grip and down you go face-first onto the gravel, onto the pavement. What do you do? 

According to women’s safety expert Lorna Seligu, the first thing you should do if you’re attacked is to scream, yell and shout. Anything to create chaos, and noise to attract attention. Yelling and screaming lets people know that something is going on in that environment and you need help. Just as importantly, yelling also changes the mindset of the attacker, of the perpetrator. Read Lorna’s tip and watch her self-defense training video here. 

Even when you feel prepared to defend yourself, there are some safety products that give women confidence when they travel. In our most recent safety survey, we asked female solo travelers what personal safety products they would recommend, based on their own first-hand experience. Remember, a safety product is only good when it’s being used!

Top safety products for solo female travelers 

If you have an external protection device, carry it with you in your hand, not in your backpack. Know how to use it, because if you don’t it doesn’t serve a purpose.

  1. Rubber door stopper or door alarm
  2. Travel flashlight or headlamp
  3. Collapsible walking stick
  4. Secret bra pouch
  5. Cross-body purse
  6. Pickpocket-safe backpack
  7. Clothing with hidden pockets
  8. Personal alarm
  9. Satellite phone or watch
  10. Waist or moneybelt
  11. Safety whistle
  12. First aid kit
  13. Carbon monoxide detector
Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Mini Backpack

A theft-proof backpack, like this one from Pacsafe, is important for solo female travelers

Rubber door stoppers

1. Rubber Door Stop or Door Alarm

Many women are surprised when my very first safety recommendation is a simple rubber door stop to prevent a door from opening. You never know when a door lock might break, and not all doors have folding hinge safety locks. Find one here. Women also recommend the Lewis & Clark door alarm, available on Amazon here, but keep in mind this motion-detector only works AFTER the door is open.

Gearlight Headlamp

2. Headlamp or Flashlight

Never leave home without a headlamp or flashlight.  My preferred brand is Woods, which I take on every single trip. You never know when a natural disaster might strike (or when you might need both hands available for a midnight trip to the loo while camping, trekking or other nocturnal adventures). Find a headlamp here.

Trekology walking hiking poles

3. Collapsible Walking Stick

Not only is a walking stick helpful for mobility, women recommend them can also be used to create more space and expand your personal boundaries. Lightweight and easy to store, walking sticks like these ones from Trekology can fold into smaller parts for convenient transportation and storage. 

black bra wallet

4. Secret Bra Pouch

There’s more than one place we women can store our valuables. Women recommend the Coversafe S25 Secret Bra Pouch, which sits comfortably on the front or side of most bras. Its unique fabric is exceptionally soft and comfortable.  Learn more at pacsafe.com

Pacsafe Crossbody Bag

5. Cross-body Purse 

Many women prefer a cross-body purse to keep valuables safe. I usually keep my passport, wallet and phone in mine, rather than a backpack so that I always know where it is. Pacsafe offers a wide range of styles, all with reinforced straps and RFID-blocking materials. Find one on Pacsafe here!

Pacsafe Mini Daypack

6. Anti-theft Backpack 

One of our most recommended brands is Pacsafe’s Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Mini Backpack, which provides a stylish, cut-resistant fabric in different colours.  Learn more at pacsafe.com.

ScotteVest Safety vest

7. Clothing with hidden pockets 

The SCOTTeVEST is an ingenious travel item that features multiple hidden pockets designed to foil pickpockets and to provide you with ample places to stash your travel items like wallet, passport, train tickets and anything else you want to keep close. Offered in a variety of formats: vests, jackets, skirts, cardigans and coats.  Learn more at scottevest.com

Personal Alarm Wrist band

8. Personal Alarm

Personal alarms can be helpful if you are in an emergency situation. Some are able to detect falls and can send an automated message to emergency contacts. If you choose to wear one, consider a watch rather than a pendant, as this could make you look vulnerable. Try this one from Vigilant.

Garmin InReach satellite phone

9. Satellite Phone or Watch

Travelling in Alberta’s backcountry without wifi or cellular service, I promised myself to never venture into the wilderness again without a satellite phone. Try Inreach by Garmin / Spot or Zoleo.  Garmin’s fenix 6S watch is powered by battery that allows for GPS.

10. Security Waist Wallet or Moneybelt

Secure your passport, cash and cards in this handy waist wallet that rests comfortably beneath your clothes. The Coversafe X100 RFID Blocking Security Waist Wallet comes in black or gray and has rfid blocking technology, which means your phone is protected too.

Find one at pacsafe.com

JW whistle

11. Safety Whistle

If you can’t use your voice or are hiking outdoors, a whistle is a great option, like our JourneyWoman whistle! We like ones that have a lanyard, float or attach to a backpack, keeping it within reach. There are also many options available, some with lights and alternating signals, like this one from Albatross.

Red first aid kit pouch

12. First Aid Kit

While most places have first aid kits, I like having my own and customizing it for each adventure. I’m particularly fond of having a range of bandaids as I tend to be accident prone. There are many travel-size variations available that contain the first aid essentials to help treat common travel injuries such as blisters, cuts and grazes. bandages and sterilizer, like this one from Long Run.

Portable carbon monoxide travel alarm

13. Carbon Monoxide Detector Travel Size 

Carbon monoxide comes from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, charcoal or propane. It’s a colorless and odorless gas that’s virtually undetectable with the naked eye until you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Excessive carbon monoxide is more likely in gas-heated hotel rooms or vacation homes.

Find one at amazon.com.

More Safety Advice for Women Over 50

As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.

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