AIG Travel’s Tips for Women to Minimize Risks While Traveling
Whether they are business leaders, students or stay-at-home moms, this empowering travel guide contains tips to minimize risks and help women make their journey safe and enjoyable. Travel, either domestic or international, poses risks for anyone. It is possible to become a victim of a crime, experience a medical emergency or become impacted by a natural disaster. Travelers may not be familiar with the language, culture, or security threats of a particular destination, leaving them vulnerable to potential harm.
AIG Travel recognizes that in addition to the safety, medical and security needs of all travelers, women may also have unique travel considerations. With a reputation for providing a complete range of travel insurance and global assistance services, we have products and options to help women prepare for the unexpected when exploring the world.
45% of female travelers feel less safe or much less safe about traveling than they did five years ago.
84% reported that their employers either did not provide travel safety tips/resources or that they weren’t aware of any such tools.
63% of women think about safety always or frequently while traveling.
The top four risks that women consider before or during a trip center on theft and scams, such as pickpocketing/purse snatching (93%), credit card fraud (86%), identity theft (63%), and taxi scams (62%).
The top two actions that women take with a goal of increasing their personal safety before or during a trip are sharing an itinerary with a friend or family member (93%) and purchasing travel insurance, emergency travel medical coverage, and/or emergency travel evacuation coverage (87%).
24% of women travelers suffered an adverse situation when traveling on business (e.g. theft, physical assault, sexual harassment or attack, attempted kidnap, and intruders in hotel rooms).1
67% were uncomfortable on public transit and walking in an unfamiliar city.1
55% said they didn’t feel safe alone in a cab.1
31.4% of female business travelers have encountered sexual harassment while traveling.2
Yet only 5% had received female business traveler safety training and 31% said their employer didn’t adequately take care of them.1
When was the last time you talked about travel tips with your relatives, friends or colleagues? Whether it was on social media or during conversation - you likely discussed travel news or advice recently in some form or another. In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8 we gathered candid advice from the women road warriors of AIG to share their professional travel knowledge.
The world is an unpredictable place, and while you can’t be prepared for everything, knowing and planning for potential risks can help you travel confidently. Ask your relatives, friends and colleagues for their best travel advice and share yours to amplify the message for women to be aware and alert when traveling!
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Safety and Security
If you are a female traveler, research your travel destination(s) to familiarize yourself with local laws and customs, security and health issues, transportation and accommodations, and getting around in order to be prepared. Planning ahead can help present yourself as a less desirable target for criminals and conmen.
As a woman, you need to understand these details before traveling because everyday activities and actions you do in your home country may be illegal for women in other countries. Many societies are male-dominated, which affects professional and social customs in many parts of the world. Not knowing or disrespecting local customs might cause you to be the recipient of aggressive behavior from locals.
Be vigilant in following these tips in order to always be on guard and be a less desirable target for criminals and conmen.
Abductions often fall into two categories: for profit or sexually motivated.
When choosing accommodations, staying in a well-known and reputable hotel is generally safer than using unknown hotels, hostels or privately rented homes. Some hotels offer women-only floors, always ask before you book. Try to find a hotel with these features:
Staying safe in your hotel:
Many travelers enjoy alternative accommodations, such as hostels, dorms, privately rented rooms or homes especially when traveling solo. These alternative accommodations may cause additional travel risks, especially for women. When researching alternative accommodations:
Staying safe in your alternative accommodation:
Always find out transportation risks you may encounter in the destination you are visiting first whether you use taxi, car, shuttle services, public transportation, car rental or ridesharing services. Research them ahead of time and try to reserve transportation to and from the airport before flying:
While you are in the vehicle:
Before exiting the vehicle:
Rental car tips:
If you must use public transportation:
It is key to take some basic precautions to be a confident and alert traveler as a woman sightseeing and getting around. Looking like you belong is the key to making yourself a difficult target.
Consult with your doctor before traveling to obtain specific travel health recommendations and vaccinations, and medical clearance as required, especially if you have recently been sick or find yourself coming down with an illness close to your travel date. It is also worth inquiring whether it is necessary or advisable to get a dental check-up. This is particularly important for people with chronic or recurrent dental problems.
Below are some useful items that you may wish to include in a travel medical kit or purchase at your destination:
Be smart with your social media accounts and digital devices. Strangers or social hackers connected to your social media network may obtain access to your social media accounts. Research the destination since in some places, authorities can confiscate and look at your computer data and even take action based on what they find. This is especially pertinent if someone posts something about politics or the government of a country even on personal social media while in-country.
Some AIG policyholders have access to the Travel Guard® Assistance Website and Mobile App and can view more in-depth information, security awareness training and security tips for women travelers.
AIG assumes no liability or responsibility for the use, interpretation or application of any of the information contained herein. The information is for general informational purposes only. None of the information contained in this material is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical problem.