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.
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
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. The world is an unpredictable place, and while you can’t be prepared for everything, knowing and planning for potential hazards can help you feel confident that you 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.