I woke up this morning with this topic very heavy on my mind, probably due to my most recent trip to Jamaica. The men were relentless and hella annoying. I would like to start out by saying how sad and very disheartening it is that I have to address this topic in the first place. I’d also like to say that I’m sure men get pursued while traveling too, but I feel like we as women get hounded and I can only speak from my experiences as a woman.
I am creating this blog post to discuss the ways that I’ve kept many men “at bay” while traveling as a solo woman. Like I said before, it sucks that this has to be a thing, but these tips have really helped me.
1. Buy A “Wedding Ring”
Yep. Head over to your nearest pawn shop and buy a cheap ring. It doesn’t even have to look like an expensive ring, it just had to be on the right finger. This has worked for me more times than I can count, in multiple cities and countries. Now, some men don’t care at all if you’re married, they will still pursue you. But this has worked for me maybe 85% of the time. Sometimes I don’t even say anything, I just smile, flash the ring, and they move along.
2. Have A Story
I am single and childless but when I travel, I am a mom of 2 with a husband of 7 years. Not joking. Sometimes men ask me if I am traveling alone and my go-to lie is that my husband is meeting up with me in a few minutes. Having a go-to story when you travel alone is a good way to ward off at least some of the unwanted attention. I don’t always condone lying, but when I do… 🙂
3. Stay Alert
This goes for anyone traveling, alone or otherwise. Don’t get so caught up in getting a photo or talking on the phone that you are distracted and unaware of what’s going on around you. Thieves and other people with ill intent are looking for visitors to be distracted. Don’t give them the opportunity to turn your trip into a disaster.
4. Keep Your Arsenal
Just kidding. Kinda. I’ve traveled with a just-in-case pocket knife and stun gun before. Nothing has ever happened to make me use either but I know how to use them and I will if I need to protect myself. You can put items like pepper spray and/or a stun gun in checked luggage if that’s something you’re interested in. I also travel with a safety whistle because it’s inconspicuous (depending on the color) and can go around your neck. It may sound silly, but whistles get LOUD.
5. Know Emergency Numbers
Hopefully it never comes down to this, but if it does, it’s important to know how to contact local police. This goes for anyone traveling and is kind of common sense.
Don’t Be Deterred
I know, I just said all this stuff that’s scary to think about. But if you want to travel solo for whatever reason, do it. You will find that it is much more liberating and eye-opening than scary. As always, common sense and research go a long way. Happy travels!