Travel Safety Tips

Traveling through main land Spain or one of its many Islands? Wonderful. There is beauty in the rugged mountains as there is on the black sand beaches but what about your safety if you are moving further afield?

Central and South America are now increasingly popular travel destinations and while they can be safe with a few wise safety rules in place, lone women will need a few extra pointers. They are mostly common sense but when the travel bug grips and the excitement of being somewhere new takes hold be sure it doesn’t’ take your common sense with it.

While you may be travelling alone the trick is not to make that too obvious. Making friends quickly or tagging along with a group will not only enrich your journey but will also give you companions to share certain experiences with.

Know the risks and stay away from them. After all this is one of the poorest continents which makes crime a problem, and you need to be self-aware.

Acting sensibly at all times with your money, your dress code and how much you drink are precautions that will ensure you travel safely.

Lone women travellers always have and always will receive some unwanted attention from men but consider that if have crossed continents you have also swapped cultures. It’s not usual for a South American Women to be seen alone, this is a male dominated country so you will stand out at a bar or club.

Adding alcohol to the mix is asking for trouble.

Should you find yourself with unwanted advances avoid eye contact and walk directly to where you can be safe. A shop, a backpacker’s hostel or a hotel, anywhere where you can feel safe. Re-evaluate and try to look confident. Calling out to an imaginary friend in the bustle or quickly making chat with people standing close by should see your admirer move on.

If it doesn’t, make sure you alert the situation to other people around you. Speak loudly and say ‘No’ . Stay where there are plenty of people.

  • Follow sensible safety precautions you would at home and don’t do anything to compromise your position.
  • Keep small notes for paying with and don’t keep all your money in one place.
  • Look like a pauper and you should receive less attention. Leave you jewellery at home, no flashy earrings and rings.
  • Only use cash machines where you feel safe to do so and NEVER let anyone distract you. Tricks to disorientate you are to throw or spill something onto you, ask for directions or feign help required. Do not be fooled. Deal with your money and put it away.
  • Be firm. If you are being hassled be very strong and try not to look intimidated – this is a tricky one but men are more likely to stick with someone they think they can break.
  • Should you want to take a trip off the beaten track it would be unwise to go alone. If it cannot be avoided be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • It is illegal to photograph government buildings and installations so do ask permission first. If in doubt leave the image as a memory. I have even had my camera taken from me by an official in the main Post Office in Valencia so it will happen.
  • Learn some of the language before you travel. Some simple phrases could be of help should you need them and pulling out a dictionary or map shows people around that you are unsure. You do not want to be misdirected by unscrupulous individuals.

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