As women, we can’t help but to be paranoid and cautious when it comes to navigating life daily. Even in just the little things like going for a walk in the evening or getting into a ride from one destination to the other. The world isn’t safe for us, so when a woman named Zainab Oladehinde tweeted about her horrifying solo travel experience to Zanzibar for her birthday, it was just a reminder of how scary the world is for women.
Although it’s unfortunate that women can’t even go down the street without fear, there are some helpful ways to ensure you have a fun and safe trip. Here are some resources that have helped women on their solo travels.
- Defense Weapons
I know it’s sad that it has come to this, but having tools to help you protect yourself can help you buy some time if you’re ever attacked and need to get help. These are small things you can carry in your bag as you go out such as a pocket knife, mase, or a taser.
- Door Stop & Personal Alarms
These can also buy you some time by distracting and startling the intruder. The door stop alarm can help alert you when someone is trespassing.
- Pretend To Be Married
I’m sure every woman at some point in her life has had to lie about being married or having a boyfriend to stop unwanted attention. Some men are even bold enough to ask why you can’t have friends. It’s ridiculous that women have to lie about their relationship status but this can help ward off unwanted attention, especially if you have a ring on.
- Never Let Anyone Know You’re Traveling Alone
You can never really know people’s intentions, and being a solo traveler can make you an easy target. In the situation you’re asked if you’re travelling by yourself, you can use the marriage lie or say that you’re meeting up with friends. In Zainab’s case, the man probably noticed she was by herself before attempting to assault her in her room.
- Have Copies of Your Travel Documents
Hotel rooms and accommodations usually have safes to put your valuables in, but in case you find yourself in a situation where you’re in trouble or have your items stolen, carrying photocopies of your travel documents in your bag will help you greatly.
- Research Your Destination
Whether a solo traveler or not, this is a key part of any trip. Familiarize yourself with what you might be getting into. Research about black women that have traveled to the same place you’re going to, and find out what was helpful for them. Research can also help you learn safe places and locations to go to, while there.
- Learn Some Simple Phrases To Communicate With Locals
This is where Google comes in. A lot of the time, you will encounter locals that don’t speak English or understand your language. It’s good not to appear too foreign so that you’re not easily taken advantage of. Although locals will most likely be able to tell when you’re not from their area, at least you will feel a bit safe knowing you can communicate with them, even if you aren’t so fluent in their language.
- Share Your Location and Travel Details With Someone You Trust
Location sharing has gone a long way in tracking people and items. If anything happens, at least someone knows where you were last seen. This is a useful technique when it comes to meeting someone new as well.