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Women Travelers

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 unwanted attention.
  • 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 by Citizens Against Crime, 800-466-1010.

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.