Women who travel do not go about it the same way men do. However, do women really run more risks abroad than they do at home? Not necessarily, because at home, a woman does not face the same worries as a man when it comes to safety.
Even after hundreds of departures, I still personally harbour some concerns. Not the ones that stop me from leaving, but the ones that reminds me to listen to my inner voice. In short, to follow my instinct!
SOME TIPS TO BETTER TRAVEL AS A WOMAN:
1- Read up on habits and customs from the countries you are visiting!
It is essential to stay informed on the traditions and proper etiquette/protocol to be respected prior to departure, so as not to offend anyone. Do it out of respect for the women in that country, but also to improve your chances of interacting with the population as a whole, who will appreciate your efforts to adapt!
2- Light and ample clothing is key!
Before leaving, outdoors and sports boutiques are no doubt the best places to find clothing adapted to the different climates and cultures. Everywhere in Asia, with the exception of India, Becky-style pants will be well received.
On arrival, light tunics are ideal for warmer environments where it is necessary to cover your arms. As a general rule, cover your knees and your shoulders, no matter which part of the world in which you find yourself. The Delaney shirt, as well as the Unite cardigan are most appropriate, while still being comfortable and trendy!
Finally, pareos and scarves are no doubt a traveller’s best friend. Practical to cover your head while visiting a religious sanctuary, but also to use as a “bathroom door”! The large Kenza scarf is also most practical!
3- Follow the news!
Regularly visit the Tips and Notifications webpage from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. It provides you with a ton of up-to-date information. If your destination country is going through a period of climate or political instability, regularly review the “Notifications” section. On arrival, you will also be able to obtain information from your embassy located in the country visited.
4- Don’t do elsewhere what you would not do at home!
Leaving with strangers in a place that you have just discovered, even more so if you had a few drinks, is a good way to come into trouble! Avoid going out alone at night, and try to stick to main arteries. Follow your common sense!
It is highly recommended to use the transportation or shuttle service from the hotel where you reserved your first night! In a number of countries, taxi drivers get a commission from the hotel chains if they take on travellers. You will likely be told that your hotel (strategically located and where you have at least reserved your first night on the upper levels) has “burned down” in order to take you to another establishment. The last thing you will feel like doing after a long flight will be to argue with your driver.
You can travel – and you also ladies – no matter your phobias, your age or your budget!
By Ariane Arpin-Delorme
Recommended readings: “Le voyage pour les filles qui ont peur de tout” – Marie-Julie Gagnon & Ariane Arpin-Delorme –Michel Lafon Publishing
Travel consultant, teacher in Tourism Techniques at the college level, lecturer, author and travel columnist, Ariane Arpin-Delorme is a true passionate in all that she does. She founded Parfums d’Asie travel agency a few years ago, followed by Esprit d’Aventure (www.esprit-daventure.com) in 2013, where she continues to work as a personalized travel agent. Having traveled in over 50 countries, she has accumulated an array of varied experiences in the tourism industry and participated in many projects based on international collaboration. Her drive: going forward in meeting new people, climb the highest summits in the world, and go sailing…