Women Travelers

Tips for Women Travelers

While all students should remain vigilant throughout their international travels, women often have to take extra precautions to remain as safe as possible.  Please review the safety considerations for women, knowing that you can read more information regarding gender and sexual health abroad on the Global Penn State website.

  • When staying in hotels or youth hostels abroad, always lock your door and do not tell strangers (especially men) if you are staying alone.
  • Try to sit near other women on public transportation.
  • For long bus or train rides, make a seat reservation if possible to ensure that you have a place to sit.  If you are going to sleep on a bus or train, keep your money/valuable pouch under your clothing and (if possible) loop your luggage straps around your arms or legs so that you will know if someone tries to take your luggage while you are asleep.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and trust your instincts if for any reason you feel unsafe.
  • Always try to walk confidently and give the impression that you know where you are going and what you are doing.
  • Do not go down dark streets or abandoned alleys by yourself, especially at night.  If you must go out by yourself at night, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
  • Do not get into a cab or taxi by yourself.  If you must travel by taxi late at night, it is wise to take it with someone you know and trust. Only use reputable, recommended taxis. Also, do not hail a taxi- call for one and ask the driver’s name. When they arrive confirm their name before getting into the taxi.
  • If you find yourself in an area where you do not see any other women, leave the area as soon as possible.  If local women are not hanging around in a particular place, then that place probably is not safe for women. If necessary, do not be afraid to ask local women for help or advice in dealing with potentially unsafe situations.