Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tips for the solo female traveller

From my paper, 28 Feb 2008 edition



Tips for the solo female traveler

By Lim Wei Chean


     Travelling can be a liberating experience, and being female

should not curtail that.

     I have been on many trips, some on my own, other times

with female friends.

     I’m apparently not alone. According to a MasterCard survey

last year, four in every 10 Asia-Pacific trips are made by women.

It also shows that 42 per cent of women had traveled in the last

12 months, compared with 37 per cent of men.

     So while we fly out and have fun, here are a few tips gained

from my own experience:


@ Never carry all your money on your body and flash it to

all and sundry. It helps to separate your cash into several

stashes, securely distributed.

     If you get robbed or lose an item, you will not be left stranded.


@ Never say that you are travelling alone, especially in a

situation where you don’t know your way around.

     There are times when it helps to fib a bit when meeting

someone on your travels for the first time.

     A single female traveller is easy prey, but a female

travelling in a group is more difficult to target as she has

friends who can come to the rescue.


@ If you arrive at a destination late at night, of for the first

time, and you are not sure of how to get to your destination,

arrange for someone to pick you up from the train station

or airport.

     An alley that looks benign in the day can be full of dubious

characters at night.


@ Don’t forget your loved ones back home.

     One way of reassuring them you are safe is to promise

to send them an SMS or two every so often so that they know

you are safe.

     Also leave contact details of your friends at home, along

with a copy of your travel documents and plans, so they know

who to turn to in case of an emergency.


@ All travelling needs is a good dose of common sense,

a sense of adventure and confidence. A sincere smile

when asking a question will generally open doors.


The writer is a Straits Times reporter and a frequent traveller.

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