112.999 Travel Advice For Women

112.999 Travel Advice For Women 

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 Tips For Women Travelling In The Baltic States Central Europe Eastern Europe Northern Europe Southern Europe Western Europe Scandinavia & Russia

Overview

This page includes travel tips for women with advice about dress, culturally inappropriate clothing, personal safety, the unwanted attention of men, health, running out of tampons all issues you might worry about but not ones that should put any  women off travelling – even though media reports about so-called date rape.’drugs and being pestered on transport such as trains or in backpacker bars might make even the bravest of us a bit paranoid.

That said, more and more women are slinging on their backpacks and travelling solo which can be very liberating but daunting., so to make things easier here are a few measures to help you avoid the pitfalls experienced by some female travellers who choose to go it  alone

Dealing With Unwanted Male Attention

One of the most common complaints from solo female travellers is that of unwanted male attention, which is at the very least annoying but can be downright intimidating. Whether the harassment involves pinching, hissing, comments or other unwanted behaviour, the main thing is to get away from the situation as quickly as you can.

Avoid walking alone in isolated places or after dark and make sure you dress and behave according to local customs to avoid drawing attention to yourself. It could be worthwhile considering buying a cheap band ring that will pass off as a wedding ring; this offers a universal and often very effective sign that you’re off limits.

Even if you’re free and single and are open to meeting someone during your travels, it goes without saying that you need to be careful. Misunderstandings can easily arise if you don’t speak the same language, so it’s best not to invite anyone back to your room until you have been out with them several times in a public place, and are sure they are who they appear to be. Practise safe sex: always carry and use a reliable brand of condom. A sexually transmitted infection is the last kind of souvenir you want to take home with you after your travels.

Blending in: Choosing Appropriate Clothing & Behaviour

Research the culture of your destination before you travel to find out what behaviour and clothing is appropriate so that you can pack suitable clothes and cover up areas that are better not on display. In some countries or cultures, dress standards may be far more conservative than you are used to, and may be stricter for women than for men. The way you are dressed could affect the way people react to you. It’s best to err on the side of caution and dress modestly if you are not sure.

In some Islamic countries you need to wear clothing that covers your entire body, including a scarf over your hair. When in Rome do as the Romans do. If you don’t do this you could face harassment or even get arrested. If you’re visiting religious sites, be aware that women are not allowed in some religious buildings and others have strict dress codes that you should respect. In South East Asia, for example, you may be expected to cover your shoulders, arms and legs to enter Buddhist temples, and you should always remove your shoes.

Avoiding Drink-Spiking

Drink-spiking has been reported across the world, with victims often robbed or sexually assaulted, and it’s a scary prospect for any traveller. Victims often have little or no recollection of what has happened to them when they come around.

If you’re out in a bar, make sure your drinks are poured in full view, and keep an eye on your drink all the time: never leave it unattended or in the care of a stranger.

Don’t share drinks and avoid drinking from shared containers such as punch bowls or barrels of sangria. Never accept a drink from a stranger unless you go with them to the bar to see the drink being poured.

If you find your drink tastes or smells strange (or salty), leave it – and if it makes you feel sick or unusually drunk ask someone to take you to your hotel. If you are a victim of drink spiking, always seek medical help and report the incident to the nearest police office.

Minimising The Risks Of Being Sexually Assaulted

There’s no doubt that you face greater risks when you’re travelling alone and that you should take extra precautions. Arrive in cities you have not been to before during the daytime. The areas around bus and train stations are often a bit unsavoury and sometimes deserted at night.

When you’re walking through the streets alone, stride along like you know where you’re going and always stay conscious of what’s happening around you. Don’t talk on your mobile phone while you walk along, or search through your bag or purse, because you will be off guard and more easily overpowered.

Avoid walking alone during the early hours of the morning, after bars and clubs close, when most attacks take place.Most sexual attacks in the street are against women with long hair, often in a ponytail that can be easily grabbed. It may seem extreme but if you have long hair and don’t mind a change, you could consider cutting it shorter before you embark on your travels? You may even find it more practical all-round once you’re on the road.

Listen to your instincts and follow them. If you don’t like the look of a street or a person, get away from the situation quickly. If you get suspicious about someone following you, and there’s no obvious way of escaping them, turn around and look them in the eye and ask them a question (such as asking the time). Once you’ve seen their face you lose your appeal because you could easily identify them in a line-up.

If the attacker continues to approach you, hold out your hands in front of you and shout “Stop” or “Stay away” in a loud voice. If you look like you will put up a fight and make it difficult for them, they are far less likely to bother. You could also carry pepper spray in case of assault.· If regardless of these actions they do grab you, aim for the groin, and pinch them around the armpit or inner thigh, where it hurts. Another deterrent, which has proved successful for some women, is to pretend you are about to throw up in the attacker’s face.

Though it is not a pleasant prospect to consider, if the worst does happen head straight for your hotel or a hospital. The obvious place to head for may be a police station, but this is not always the ideal first stop, depending on your destination: reactions to rape reports can vary from one culture to the next, and it may be more reassuring to see friendly hotel or hospital staff first who are likely to speak some English. Don’t shower before you report to the police, however, as you could destroy crucial evidence.

Avoiding Being Mugged Or Robbed

Any traveller can be the victim of a mugging, but thieves often perceive women as easier targets.·Try to avoid being out alone after dark but if you can’t, carry a torch with you so you can see the path ahead of you as many areas of even some capital cities can be poorly lit at night.

It’s also best to avoid wearing obvious jewellery that draws attention to your potential wealth and could cause you an injury if a thief tries to grab it from you (especially a necklace).
If someone tries to grab your bag, shout for help but let it go rather than risk getting hurt by fighting back.

Money belts can work but are well-known amongst thieves, so you could consider sewing a small seam-like pocket into your bras before you travel so you can keep a spare note there in case you’re mugged. That way you will never find yourself stranded without cash. Just remember to remove the note before you do the laundry!

Staying Healthy

For women travellers, packing requires planning for periods, and potentially for thrush attacks and urinary tract infections. If you are travelling anywhere remote, pack an adequate supply of tampons or other sanitary products to last you throughout your trip or you could be stuck as they may not be available locally. Even if products are available in local shops, they can be very expensive and may be less than streamlined, and not quite the type you’re used to at home! Another option is to use the contraceptive pill to postpone or skip periods. Discuss this with your GP or Family Planning Clinic before you travel.

If you usually take pain killers during your period (for cramps or other symptoms), take them with you after checking they are legal at your destination. If you’re crossing international borders, don’t remove them from their original packaging. If you are travelling by plane these drugs may only be permitted in hold luggage.

Reusable menstrual products such as the silicone Diva Cup are now on the market if you are travelling for a long time in areas where it’s hard to find or dispose of normal products.

Cystitis Thrush,& Urinary Track Infections

Thrush attacks are more common in tropical climates, and this combined with changes in diet can leave travellers prone to attacks. Wear cotton pants as man-made fabrics encourage fungal infection. If you get thrush, eating yoghurt containing the acidophilus bacteria can help get rid of it, or you could pack some thrush treatment (such as Canesten) just in case.

Urinary tract infections are also a risk, particularly if you’re having sex during your travels. Drink plenty of water to help flush out any nasty organisms, and keep your genital area clean before and after sex to avoid infection. If you’re prone to getting Cystitis, one of the most common urinary tract infections, you could ask your GP for a course of antibiotics in case you get an occurrence while you’re away.

You can also help yourself by making your urine less acidic by drinking a glass of water with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in it. Products that contain sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate have the same effect, and can be bought from your pharmacist before you travel.

Getting The Most From Your Trip

Despite all of this, for many women travelling is one of life’s most liberating experiences, and the dangers shouldn’t put you off. This guide is not intended to scare you, but to prepare you: and help you stay safe, and enjoy your travels! Article By Rebecca Burns

Hungary Village + editorial comment

 

 

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