This Sunday 8th March 2020 we come together for a global celebration on International Women’s Day! First calendared in 1911, this year’s theme – ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ – calls us all to share the empowering #EachforEqual hashtag and our best ‘hands out’ pose in support of women and gender parity.
In a nutshell, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, raises awareness against gender bias, and demands the acceleration of gender equality. Although set in the global calendar, the ethos of International Women’s Day runs year-round and calls for every individual to take responsibility and collectively play their part in the fight to establish a gender equal world. This year, we champion the tag #CollectiveIndividualism because an equal world is a happier and more prosperous world. Each and every one of us must decide, ourselves, to take human rights and women’s rights seriously, and help impact society.
Note that no one government, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network, NGO or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. With many organisations advertising their unique IWD message, at On The Go Tours we believe everyone deserves wonderful travel experiences. Travelling alone can be daunting, especially for women, but also incredibly empowering, confidence building and (above all) fun! But we understand the risks associated with solo travel, which is why we’ve created an inclusive list of how to travel safe.
Top 10 Tips For Travelling Solo as a Woman
While solo travel may be one of the hottest trends right now, it’s still a daunting prospect for many women who feel the risks may outweigh the rewards. To help you make the most of your experience, here are our top 10 tips on how to travel safe and have along the way.
Do Your Homework
It’s crucial that you research your destination thoroughly whether travelling solo or in a group of 10 or more. It’s a good idea to know what the typical tourist scams may be, the areas you should avoid and what the local emergency number is. Taking a moment to do some homework minimises the risk of things going wrong and helps put you mind at ease.
Learn a few key phrases
Being able to communicate (even if it’s just a few words) is a great way to engage with the local people. Knowing a handful of key phrases, standard greetings and words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can only help you. It’s useful to know how to ask for directions and the word for ‘help’ should something happen and you need to grab people’s attention. It’s also worth writing down the name and address of your accommodation to show someone if you get lost.
Join a tour
If you’re nervous about travelling alone, there are plenty of group tours for solo travellers out there. Not only will you find yourself surrounded by other like-minded travellers, but group tours often have all your accommodation, transport and activities arranged for you so you don’t need to worry about any of the logistics. We offer a range of exciting group tours, click here for more information.
Dress to the culture
In an ideal world, women would be able to travel dressed however they like. But if you are visiting a country where the locals dress conservatively, it’s best to do the same. By blending in, you avoid attracting attention to yourself as a tourist and also show your respect for the local culture. For example, in traditionally Muslim countries, you should keep your shoulders and knees covered. It’s important to research up on dress properly. For further guidance, read our travel advice pages here.
Let someone know where you are
Always keep your friends or family back home regularly updated with your travel plans. By sharing your itinerary, hotels and flight information, you’ll not only put their minds at rest but also cover your bases should anything happen. If you’re wanting to spend a little time off grid, try and at least tell the front desk of your hotel where you’re going each day.
Allow for spontaneity
While it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind, leave some room in your itinerary to be spontaneous. You may make a new group of friends you want to hang out with for an afternoon or stumble across a destination you want to spend more time in. You don’t want to come home feeling like you missed out on a great opportunity, so try not to be too fixed with your arrangements. When it comes to spontaneity, it’s all a balancing act.
Trust your gut instincts
Your gut instincts are usually right – so it’s important to listen to it. If someone or a certain situation makes you feel uneasy, there is no shame in being assertive and getting out of there. Travelling solo is great for getting you out of your comfort zone, but it should never challenge your safety – men and women alike.
Arrive at a sensible time
Try to avoid arriving too late on your first night. That way, if anything haphazard or unexpected should turn up – e.g. you booked the wrong accommodation or mistook the area – you have time to adjust and make the correction. Rule of thumb: aim to arrive between morning and early or mid-afternoon.
Keep your documents secure
It’s crucial to keep your documents secure to keep yourself safe. Have a back-up set photocopied or stored electronically. It might also be worth investing in pad lock compartment in your bag or rucksack.
Watch your drinking
We’re all for having a good time, but (as with anywhere) make sure you’re in conscious control of your thoughts and actions. Falling over the edge in an unfamiliar environment makes you vulnerable. Never leave your drink unattended and avoid accepting ones from strangers.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Show us your best pose on social media and use the following hashtags #IWD2020 #EachforEqual #CollectiveIndividualism as a powerful call-to-action for others and play your part in the mission towards gender parity.