Safety Tips for Women Travelers
We believe that through education and supportive services, women can change the world; no dream is ever too big. We are vigilant addressing the risks women face today, at home and abroad. We’ve compiled a list of welfare and wellness tips for female travelers to stay safe while they take off on their adventure.
SAVE EVERYTHING IN THE CLOUD
Wifi is everywhere in Thailand. For documents, keep front-and-back copies of your credit cards saved to cloud storage like Google Docs or Dropbox, as well as a copy of your passport, train tickets ect. That way if you lose them AND your computer or phone, you won’t be totally up a creek.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BOOK
What are the best neighborhoods and the ones you should avoid? Are there only certain kinds of taxis you should take? Crowdsource your information so you know that it’s more objective than a hotel booking site.
TRY TO BLEND IN
What are the locals wearing? The more you stand out, the more you brand yourself as someone who is unfamiliar with the location, which makes you more vulnerable to criminals. In Chiang Mai that means no elephant hippy pants (yes they are so comfortable) and chang beer tank tops.
Be aware that food and drink spiking occurs, mostly around popular backpacker destinations such as Khao San Road in Bangkok the night-time entertainment zones in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, and during the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan. Choose a drink that you open yourself like a beer or wine cooler. Thailand has really yummy wine coolers with flavors like apple cider and mojito.
DON’T BRING ANYTHING TO ASIA THAT CAN’T BE REPLACED
Try to leave your valubles at home. But for the stuff you do bring you should have a day bag into which you can fit all of your important items: your passport, your camera, your medication, your jewelry, your credit cards, your smartphone, and any other technology, photography or otherwise valuable equipment. Keep some emergency cash $50 hidden somewhere secret like in a tampon applicator, just in case.
DON'T GO TO JAIL
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. The possession of even small quantities of "soft drugs" for recreational purposes can result in lengthy jail sentences. South East Asia has so much to offer, you can have a great time without being high.
Smile, you are on holiday!
When you appear to be friendly, other people will reach out to you to help you. Thailand isn’t known as the Kingdom of Smiles for nothing. Thai people don’t expect you to speak their language, and they probably don’t speak yours, so a simple smile says a lot there.
There are lots of great networks to connect female travelers all around the world. You can ask them about the customs and things to do in their area, or even make plans to meet up. We like:
HEADING TO THAILAND? BOOK A TREK WITH CHAI LAI SISTERS
As a solo female traveler or even a woman traveling in a small group, you have to be extra cautious. Going out into the jungle with strangers can be nerve-wracking and may limit you from getting all the experiences you hoped for. If you’re visiting Southeast Asia, fear no more. Chai Lai Sisters is the first indigenous women-run tour company in Thailand. Chai Lai Sisters goal is not only to empower Indigenous female tour guides but also our female travelers. Traveling in remote parts of the world is thrilling, but it also comes with a great deal of vulnerability. Reports of sexual harassment and worse are unfortunately common for female travelers around the globe. All women should have the right to feel safe and comfortable, wherever they are. Chai Lai Sisters brings women together to create a circle of female trust, security and safety. They have many different tours and homestays to choose from. They’re eco-conscious, too, planting 3 trees for every guest. Chai Lai Sisters gives you a chance to travel and do good by supporting local, ethnic minorities and the environment.
If something noteworthy happens in the country you’re in or at home, they will let you know ASAP. And download their Smart Traveler app.
USE TRUSTED DRIVERS
Ask you host or hotel to book a taxi for you or arrange a private transfer from the airport when you arrive, especially if you’re arriving at night. If it’s in your budget, this can make getting your bearings easier. Track your cab via Google Maps so you can tell if you’re going off route.
DON'T TRUST PEOPLE TOO QUICKLY
You might be excited to meet new friends and live like a local but unfortunately there are charming con-artists who make a living of tourists.
GET A LOCAL NUMBER
As a woman traveling alone, insurance may come in the form of a cell phone. Though you should rely far more on your intuition than a cell phone in the event of a dicey situation, knowing that you can call ahead to secure a hotel room or contact a friend can be extremely helpful. If you plan on being in a country for some time, having an unlocked GSM cell phone with a local, prepaid SIM card is a great option.
KEEP THE NUMBERS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES HANDY
No, 911 is not a universal number that you can dial to get help! However, many countries have a simple number that one can dial in case of an emergency. Here is a list of emergency phone numbers for every country in the world.