If you’re a woman looking to travel abroad, you’ve probably already raised a few eyebrows and given your Dad another grey hair. Statistically, we’re more at risk than men for all sorts of predators due to some archaic, unfair opinions about women. I say: forget all the naysayers and get ready to leave the haters in the dust. Let’s get out of this country!
Unusual Tips for International Travel:
1. Throw that tote or mini backpack into the closet and get yourself a bag that you can zip up, easily guard with your arm when on your shoulder, and isn’t name-brand. Last time I went to Europe I left my satchell style bag at home and bought a new one at Ross for like $15. I threw that sucker out after I got back, mostly because I spilled a lot of makeup and water in it, but it was well worth it in the end. If you are wearing a backpack, make sure you keep that thing well-secured, and know where your valuables are!
2. Know your weapons. Did you know that pepper spray is considered a firearm in the United Kingdom? Do your research before you go, make sure you’re not gonna get in trouble with your lipstick switchblade knife (even though it’s the best thing ever).
3. Get insured. You wouldn’t go driving around town everyday without insurance, why would you go to another country without a safety net? Make sure you have a policy in place before you go. South Cross Travel Insurance is one of the companies I recommend, especially if you’re headed towards New Zealand, Indonesia, or the South Pacific. Do your research before though! As with most things in life, there are always people looking to kick you when you’re down.
4. Know thy money-stashing places. If you’re going to be walking through mega-crowded areas, you should know better than to have your wallet hanging out of your pocket or sunglasses in a shirt pocket. Either guard your bag like a fortress of steel or figure out something else. Ideas:
- In the bra. I know it’s gross, but sometimes it’s necessary
- lockable zippers
- Secret compartments (chapsticks, sunscreen bottles, pens, etc)
- the pad method. Yes, use a sanitary napkin as a wallet. No one will ever suspect the pad method. Trust.
- borrow your grandma’s under-clothing wallet pouch. Stash your passport, money, keys and bills underneath that button up.
- lock your stuff up at your hotel
- keep a photocopy of your passport instead of bringing your passport with you
- Don’t be flashy! Be discreet!
5. Don’t trust that ATM. You’ve heard about skimmers: the things that theives put over ATMs that grabs your credit card number and information without you even knowing! Look for loose wires, likely around the card slot, also–try to go inside a bank if you can when you need to withdraw money. You might want to just invest in a good credit card.
6. Watch your bag when you’re out dancing. Something that a lot of folks do is try to dance with you then wiggle the purse out of your grasp, you won’t even realize it happened until they’re gone! Watch your drink too, but you know that already
7. Utilize the RBF. Resting Bitch Face. It’s a stealthy weapon. Don’t be staring down at your iphone looking nervous on the street. Walk tall, like everyone is in your way, even if you feel threatened and scared on the inside. Don’t go down bad streets, meet new friends in public, and don’t for the love of god don’t act like a tourist.