How to keep street harassers away when your travelling solo

Posted in High Risk Travel Insurance Travel Tips for high risk locations, High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance, High Risk zone travel advice, Tips for traveling to dangerous locations on 16 April 2019

Solo travelling can be exciting, liberating, scary and unnerving all at the same time which can be a great feeling when embarking on your trip overseas and exploring the unknown and unfamiliar.

However, not everyone you encounter on your trip will necessary be friendly, kind, trustworthy or helpful and sometimes, you may even experience harassment when walking down the street, which can be uncomfortable to say the least. That's why we have compiled 5 solo travelling safety tips on keeping unwanted attention away.

1) Understand the local culture

Body language, hand gestures, comments and looks can all mean different things in different cultures when travelling to a foreign country. Ensure you read up on local etiquette before you leave and embrace all practices if you must.

.As a female travelling solo, you may receive a lot of unwanted attention from men in the street. One quick way to fire your harassers down is to tell them you are married and flash them a ring placed on your wedding finger even if you are not married, but make sure not to take or wear any flashy or expensive jewellery!

a local market

2) Be Firm

Whilst it may be second nature to a woman to be polite and 'nice' at home and from a young age we are all taught to be friendly, when travelling alone, it is not always suitable to act in this way. In different cultures a simple smile can be interpreted differently and act as an invitation to strike up a conversation.

Be confident and firm when travelling if you are approached by a stranger. Although you don't need to be completely cold or rude, you don't want to welcome any further interaction. Divert eye contact and move on your way.

women making a cross sign with her hands

3) Wear Sunglasses

Not only will these keep the glaring sun out of your eyes but they will also help with avoiding eye contact in an area you may feel uncomfortable or even unsafe. If you're a woman travelling solo, sunglasses are a must-have to carry around with you. In some countries women can experience a lot of unwanted attention from local men which can be distressing, so by wearing sunglasses you can avoid accidental eye contact which can sometimes be mistaken as a conscious invitation.

group of people wearing sunglasses taking a phone together

4) Use headphones

Just as above, using headphones will help deter any unwanted attention. The first signal from a street harasser will tend to be shouting obscenities or trying to gain your attention. A good way to avoid this is by wearing headphones when travelling in daylight. If it becomes obvious that you are unable to hear what they are saying, Even if you are not actually listening to music but by pretending you are, they will usually stop and focus their attention elsewhere.

It is important to note that this may not be the best solution come sundown or in remote areas as this can cause potential problems of not being able to hear a persons approach. Put your head and your eyes down, don't make any interaction and just keep walking.

man with his earphones in and looking at his phone

5) Seek refuge in a crowded place

If you find yourself in a situation where you are being followed and your follower refuses to stop, one quick way to get them off your back is by heading to a crowded place of business such as a cafe or a hotel. Inside you will be able to alert someone to what is happening, they can inform the police and you can wait safely inside until the matter is dealt with.

place with many people

Get covered with Travel Insurance

Before you travel, one of the most important things to remember is to book your travel insurance!

When travelling to challenging or 'high risk' environments across the world, you'll need a travel insurance product that can offer enhanced protection and extensive emergency assistance which is exactly where High-Risk Voyager travel insurance can help. Even in countries the FCDO have advised against all or 'all but essential' travel!

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travel insurance form

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