Posted by: gardner310 | October 6, 2009

TIPS for Women Traveling Alone

ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) supplied this valuable information.

Alexandria, Va., Oct. 5, 2009 – Now more than ever, women are traveling by themselves for business or pleasure. And although their reasons for traveling are similar to their male counterparts, women traveling alone have very different concerns. From safety issues to cultural variations, women travelers encounter a variety of difficulties that can be avoided if the necessary precautions are taken.

“ASTA travel agents understand that both men and women need to be educated travelers, but women, especially, need to plan every step of their trip – from packing a suitcase to choosing a hotel room – to ensure a safe return,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo.

To learn how you can travel safer, ASTA has provided the following tips:

Know Before You Go.

  • Learn as much about the destination as possible, especially when traveling to a foreign country. An area’s religious or cultural beliefs can directly impact you, compelling you to adapt your dress and demeanor to comply with local customs.

Welcome to Hotel Safety

  • Get to know the staff, who will be familiar with guests and are able to more effectively monitor who enters and exits the building.
  • Ask for a room on a higher floor near the elevator but away from emergency exits, stairwells, and any renovation work.
  • Never accept a room if the clerk loudly calls out your name and room number.

Getting Around

  • While at the front desk, grab a card or matchbook from the front desk with the hotel’s name, address and phone number on it, and keep this card on you at all times. This is especially helpful in foreign countries where you taxi driver might not speak English or in case there are several hotels with similar names in the area.
  • Explore transportation options available at your destination ahead of time, especially if you will be arriving late in the evening. Travel agents can help determine the safest choice and make the necessary arrangements.
  • If renting a car, carefully examine maps, or rent a GPS to help you navigate unfamiliar roads.

Packing Smart

  • Pack light so you won’t be weighed down and look weighed down, both of which could make you an ideal target for pickpockets.
  • Avoid expensive looking baggage and clothing, lock all suitcases and only use covered luggage tags with your office address written on it rather than your home.
  • Carry only one credit card, and don’t keep all your money in one place.

Know Your Surroundings

  • Study a map of the area you will be visiting. If available, consider downloading area maps to your phone.
  • Learn as much as possible about getting around the streets to avoid looking like a lost tourist.
  • Ask the concierge about where – and, more importantly, where not – to go.

There may be safety in numbers, but there is also safety in knowledge. With some advance planning and the advice of a professional travel agent, your vacation or business trip can be safe, hassle-free and memorable.

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