Did you read and got inspired by our recent blog on the best places in India for solo women travellers? Well, if you’re still contemplating whether you must plan your own little sojourn or not, here are some tips that will help you ensure that you have a safe trip:
Safety Tips for Solo Women Travellers in India
- Make a hotel booking in advance after duly reading online reviews and don’t wait for taxi or auto drivers to ferry you to the lodging of their choice.
- START SMALL. Begin by travelling to just the nearby places, and once you have some experience, only then plan solo trips to the relatively far-off places.
- Don’t let cabbies pick up ‘friends’. Make sure it is only you and the driver.
- Study the routes on maps beforehand, and always keep your smartphone navigation ‘ON’ as you drive through cities and towns.
- Do as much of the sightseeing as possible during the day, and head back to the hotel for the night. If walking in dark, try staying close to a couple or family.
- Keep someone informed of your travel plans and instantaneous whereabouts.
- Learn few words of the local language as speaking to people in their mother tongue tends to deter miscreants.
- Dress appropriately, depending on which place you are visiting.
- Don’t be afraid to shout for help, in case you feel threatened.
- Keep 100 on speed dial.
- Walk confidently, as many people are able to smell fear and vulnerability.
- Be ready to shell a little extra on accommodation, for safety reasons.
- Have a can of pepper spray in your bag.
- While walking on the streets, better not to look at your phone, especially if it looks expensive, or even a map as it can give your tourist status away. Plus, lots of thieves especially target smartphones. If you really need to see the phone or the map, step inside a shop.
- Be around other women. Opt for an all-women hostel or dorm, sit next to a female on a bus or any other public transport and join a female-only group on a social media site, especially wherein the members know the place you are going to.
- Yes, we all like to party but don’t have so much to drink that you can’t even stand on your feet. Always enjoy responsibly, so you know what is going on around you.
- Don’s step out with a heavy suitcase; take a small backpack with only what you need because if you ever land in trouble, you won’t be able to run with the weight. Also, leave all your valuable stuff at your hotel room.
- Don’t keep all your money at one place. Divide it in bags/purses, and take only what you think you will need for the day’s excursion.
- In crowded places like bazaars or metro train, always keep your bag on the front and not the back, and do not keep your phone in your pocket. Stuff it inside the bag too.
- Learn the art of self-defence.
- Everybody lies, and it often pays off. Should a stranger ask you if you are alone in the city/town, look them in the eye, and lie to their face.
- Purchase travel insurance so if you get robbed, you have an option to minimise the damage.
- You might have to depend on strangers for directions or recommendations on local experiences. But, if you feel that the stranger has malicious intentions, find a way to escape the conversation. Pretending to receive a call generally helps.
- Before beginning the trip, do your research on the internet about the common ways you could get scammed.
- Most importantly, use your head. Only go on trips you know you can handle alone, and don’t be too vicarious too soon.
There you go! These are some of the tips that can help you stay safe on a solo trip through India. If anything else comes to your mind (could be a result of on-the-spot improvisation), do remember to share it with everyone in the comments down below.