Is a trip to the beautiful and vast country of India on your horizon? It’s a fantastic destination for culture-lovers and nature buffs but female travelers going it alone should take some extra precautions.
India’s spirit and beauty attract tons of travelers every year and the country has become a popular back packing destination – with both groups and solo travelers. However, when it comes to traveling to India alone as a woman, there are a few extra precautions to take.
That being said, India shouldn’t be avoided. It’s a fascinating country and most solo female travelers have problem-free visits. Once you’ve booked your cheap flights to India, here are some safety tips for your next trip.
Do your research before you go
As with any trip, it pays to know a little about the country you’re visiting before you leave. When traveling to a country as vast and varied as India, this is especially relevant! Know which areas to visit and which to avoid; what to wear in which city; and what the customs are. India is so different from the U.S. and what’s seen as normal behaviour here, may be the opposite there. Do your research, respect the local customs and traditions and find out a little more about the area you’re planning to visit – not only will you feel more comfortable, you’ll know how to make the most of your trip as well!
When passes are made at you, react. Loudly.
This one goes for pretty much any country: if at any point you’re on the receiving end of unwelcome attention in public from men, the best thing to do is to offer a loud, noticable reaction and give them a public scolding. Say something like, “What do you think you’re doing?” loud enough to attract attention from others nearby.
Respect the culture & dress appropriately
Many parts of India are still pretty conservative, and it’s respectful as a traveler to appreciate the local culture in choosing what to wear. Be sure to pack long pants to cover your legs and also shawls or blouses that cover your chest. Scarves make excellent accessories and really pull an outfit together, so embrace it! What you’re wearing should never be cause for anyone to show unwelcome attention. Nonetheless, it will make your travels in India much more stress free if you choose to cover up.
Book your hotel in the right area
Whatever your budget, you can’t put a price on safety. It pays to book a hotel or hostel in a safe part of town. You want to also make sure your room has a working lock and bolt. Check it as soon as you arrive in your room and if it’s not working, ask to change rooms. A rubber doorstop, which you can slide under the door from inside, is also a good idea.
Be confident & walk with purpose
You know how to strut your stuff, so now it’s time to learn to walk with purpose. Walk like you know exactly where you’re going, not wandering around with a map in your hand, looking like you’re lost. If you appear confident, you are much less likely to be hassled. Keep your head up and be alert.
Trust your instincts
If you’re ever in a situation which is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your gut and leave. Don’t be afraid of being ‘silly’, or making an ‘unnecessary fuss’ – it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you have every right to leave a situation whenever you want to.
Time your transport just right
If possible, plan your transport from place to place so that it doesn’t arrive late at night. You’ll leave the bus or train to find tuk tuk drivers aplenty, all vying for your attention and business. Unfortunately, you could well end up paying well over top dollar. If you can, arrive during the day time – it’s safer, and you’ll be more awake and able to make an informed decision!
Have you experienced India as a solo female traveler? What advice would you give to others thinking of doing the same?