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5 Tips for Traveling as a Young Woman

It’s true, it can be dangerous to travel as a woman. Constantly, we’re told about about sexual assaults, harassment and sadly, kidnappings. However, with the right mindset and good judgement you can most likely prevent these dangerous incidents and conquer any city.

For the duration of my traveling, I was either alone or meeting with friends that were also female. An amazing thing about the young women I traveled with, is that we made sure and actually insisted on staying in contact. Whether it was a quick text or assuring they had made it to the airport. We made sure to check in on each others travels until we met up

Choosing a living accommodation. There’s sometimes only two options when traveling: hotels and hostels. Personally, I prefer living in a hostel. A hostel is a low-budget accommodation shared among travelers. When booking a stay in a hostel, you typically book a bed for the night, not a room. Within this room, you are sharing with other travelers. Sometimes, you could be sharing a room with up to twenty travelers. Bathrooms are dorm-style; large, with several shower stalls and a row of sinks. Hostels usually have only one or two bathrooms on each floor. Sounds insane right? Buuut…hostels lend to more interaction among travelers, cost much less than a hotel, they just do not provide the privacy or personal service found at a hotel.

Time your transportation. Whether you’re flying, taking a train, bus or boat it’s better to plan to travel during the day. It gives you time to explore the city when everyone is in motion. If you have to take a late flight, be sure to email your hostel or hotel to meet you at the airport.

Boys will be Boys. Being a woman, no matter where you are in the world you’re going to get looks, stares and the infamous cat calls. Men will be men and it’s up to you to be prepared with what will occur after. Being tall, African American and a female in Southeast Asia, my color alone makes me stick out like a sore thumb. Just smile and keep on moving toward your destination.

Map It Out! Having a map and knowing the directions before you step out. If there are certain landmarks and attractions you want to see, it’s always best to have a visual of the city. Side note: Usually your hostel gives you a map that has their exact location for when you’re exploring the city (or being lost).

Give yourself a curfew. The sun starts to set and you still want to explore the city, I get it. It’s great to see how a city can transform in the night time. Just be mindful of the area. Make sure it is not just safe for foreigners, but for women too.

Traveling somewhere by yourself at night is not the best idea. If natives see you out late, you could become their prime TARGET for who knows what. If you do choose to explore a country’s night life, try to join with other foreigners. Trust me, there is always safety in numbers.


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Lauren Hawkins

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