Airport Safety Tips For Women Traveling Alone
Traveling alone is one of the greatest things you can do for personal growth. It forces you to go out of your comfort zone, to make friends where you have none, to ask yourself every day, “What do I want to do?” without worrying about anyone else’s agenda, and to adapt to new cultures. If you’re looking for a crash course in self-discovery and bravery, traveling solo is the way to go. That being said, traveling alone as a woman comes with a special set of risks. Unfortunately, thieves and con artists often see women traveling solo as easy targets. And while you want to travel with a spirit of openness, you need to remain cautious while you’re en route to your destination, especially at the airport. Keep in mind that for some criminals, buying a $100 ticket to anywhere is a good investment if it means getting into the airport gates and targeting travelers. Here are airport safety tips for women traveling alone.
Don’t let someone take a photo of you
You want to document your trip, so you take selfies at the check in counter and getting on the plane. Keep it to selfies. Don’t ask a stranger to take a photo of you because your camera is most likely on your phone. With access to your phone, that person can gather all sorts of other information about you.
Take phone calls somewhere private
If you’re going to take a phone call and tell a friend all about your adventures-to-come, take it somewhere very private. Don’t blab about your agenda, hotels you’ll be staying at and more where strangers can hear you. If you can avoid it, just don’t speak out loud about these things at all.
Make it look like you’re with a group
If you feel at all unsafe, sense that someone is watching you, or are at an airport that is rather empty, make it look like you’re with a large group. Find a tourist group or large family and stick near them until you board your plane.
Don’t overshare with your seatmate
If you’re on a long flight, you may get chatty with the passenger sitting next to you. But be careful not to share too many details, like the location of your hotel or exact times and dates you’ll visit certain sites.
Keep itineraries with you
Keep all printed itineraries, hotel reservations, addresses of places you’ll be staying and the like in your carry-on bag. If these are in a piece of checked luggage, then that means TSA might rummage through it, and anybody can see it while they do that.
Never hesitate to ask for an escort
If you’re traveling through a mostly-empty airport late at night, don’t hesitate to ask airport security to arrange an escort for you who can bring you from gate A to gate B.
Don’t arrive late at night
It’s worth spending extra money on your safety. Don’t take the cheaper flight that will land you at your destination at 3 in the morning. That means you’ll be in a foreign place, in the dead of night.
Wait for the bathroom to get busy
If you are traveling at odd hours when an airport is mostly empty, be careful not to enter an empty bathroom. Theft often happens in airport bathrooms. Wait for a couple of other women to go in the bathroom, and go with them.
Don’t get drunk at the airport bar
Drinking bloody Marys can be a good way to pass the time during a layover, but it also makes you chatty and unaware of your circumstances. You might accidentally leave your purse open, overshare information with somebody at the bar, or fail to notice that somebody is following you.
Don’t add new friends on social media
If someone you chat with at the airport adds you on social media, wait until you are home to accept their request. They could be looking for a way to follow your travels through your Instagram, Facebook, etc. in real time.
Lugging four pieces of luggage everywhere you go makes you a prime target for theft. Pack just what you can comfortably carry.
Don’t accept help from non-airport personnel
Don’t let anyone besides official airport personnel help you carry your luggage. Anybody else could be trying to steal from you or sneak a glance at your itinerary.
Do not share a taxi away from the airport
First of all, when it comes time to exit the airport, ask someone who works there to flag you down a legitimate taxi service. Next, don’t share a taxi with a stranger, no matter how much it would cut down on costs. This person could lead you somewhere you don’t want to be.
Secure everything before you nap
If you need to take a nap in the airport, keep everything important like your wallet, phone, passport and itinerary in a small backpack or bag and sleep on top of that bag.
Wear something dark and bland
If someone does identify that you’re traveling solo and tries to follow you, you don’t want to be caught in a bright orange track suit. You’ll have a better shot at losing them if you’re wearing black or gray.