More and more women are traveling for
business and pleasure. Whether traveling solo or with others, they tend to
be perceived as easier targets by thieves and would-be assailants, and
need to exercise a higher standard of care. Here are a few useful tips
women can use to ensure a safer trip:
- Avoid wearing flamboyant or expensive
jewelry - the less conspicuous you are, the less likely youíll be a
thiefís target. Conversely, a wedding ring will help keep away
- When you first enter your hotel room,
leave the door open and check to see that no one is in the bathroom or
under the bed. If family or associates are with you, have them stay in
the doorway while you check the room.
- Be careful about the leftovers you place
outside your door. If there is a single drinking cup with lipstick
markings and the remnants from a single meal, any passerby in the hall
can make judgments about the vulnerability of the roomís occupant.
- Do not open the door for unexpected
callers, and call the front desk to verify that someone claiming to be
making an unexpected service call is from the hotel.
- If you order food to be delivered from
outside the hotel, the most secure procedure is to meet the delivery
person in the lobby to pick up and pay for the delivery. If you
instruct the front desk to permit outside delivery to your room, the
delivery person will know your name and room number and, after the
delivery is made, whether you are alone or with others. It is unwise
for a woman traveling alone to have an outsider know such detailed
information about her.
- When you arrive at the hotel, drop off
your luggage at the desk first, then park your car in a well-lit area,
preferably within sight of the hotel entrance. A woman alone at night
might ask someone at the hotel desk to escort her to park and walk
back to the hotel. Similarly, at a time when you would be alone when
walking to your car, you might ask for a hotel employee escort. It is
always smart to be observant before approaching and unlocking your car
or parking and getting out. If there are unexplained loiterers or
people sitting in a nearby car, donít approach your car. If you are
already in your car, donít get out, but drive to a safe place such
as the hotel entrance.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and
those around you. Whether walking through an airport terminal or down
the street, always keep looking around and stay alert.
- If something or someone doesnít seem
"right," walk away and avoid what could develop into a
precarious situation. Remember, you need to look after yourself.
Numerous books are available which deal
with womenís security. Two of the best are, Street Sense for Women
by Louis Mizell, and What Every Woman Needs to Know About Sexual
Assault (Citizens Against Crime, 800-466-1010, mention your WTA membership and receive a 10% discount.)
For more information on personal security
while traveling, see Personal Security
While Traveling in the U.S.
here to view or download.
The information in this brochure is
provided by Peter V. Savage, author of The Safe Travel Book,
(available at 800-462-6420 or 888-499-7277.) Savage has over 20 years
experience as an international security consultant. His articles appear
regularly in Bottom Line: Personal, and he has written for Travel
Executive, The Business Traveler, Travel One, and
various other travel and security publications. He has appeared on both
the Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo shows, and regularly appears
on CNN when travel security is affected. Savage is currently active
as a security counselor and principal in Passport Health, Inc., a travel
medicine clinic with offices nationwide.
The information provided is purely advisory
in nature. While the information is valuable, it is not comprehensive. We
can point you in the right direction, but we highly recommend that you
take the time to make the calls and conduct research carefully to make
your trip a safe and smooth one.