Women travelling alone are vulnerable to being on the receiving end of unwanted attention. This is particularly true in countries where women do not enjoy as much freedom as women in Northern Europe, Australia, NZ, Japan and USA.
You can be an easy target so it is very important to take care yourself. You do not have to be paranoid about safety just take sensible precautions. When you arrive at your overnight accommodation make sure it is secure and you know the location of the fire escape. Keep your hotel room door locked at all times and use the double lock or chain if fitted.
If it is a multi-storey building ask for a room that is not on the first floor. Do not broadcast your room number. If asked for your room number when ordering a drink or meal show them your room key rather than saying it out loud. Alternatively write it on a piece of paper.
When ordering room service, ask them to call when the waiter is coming with the order. While the waiter is laying out the food on the table, stay by the door just in case you need to make a quick exit or call for help.
When speaking to others never reveal your itinerary. A little white lie can also keep her safe. If you are single buy a cheap wedding style ring and put it on your left hand wedding ring finger. Do not hitch hike; that is just silly.
If you wear revealing western clothing you will attract unwanted attention and possible hostility. You are in a Muslim country where it is expected that women wear clothing that covers their legs, arms, collarbone and in some cases head and face.
If you wear sleeveless tops, shorts, mini skirts, above the knee skirts, tight fitting tops or cleavage revealing tops you will get hassled. Pack carefully as your designer T-shirt and lovely V-neck sweater may be interpreted as disrespectful. Loose long-sleeved blouses and ankle-length skirts are a good choice.
A good tip is to take a pashmina scarf or something similar and use it to cover your head and shoulders. You will give the impression of being a European woman who lives and works in the country who is showing respect to the local sensibilities.
Simply making eye contact or accepting a drink can be construed as a serious come-on in some countries. If you are really being pestered, go into a shop or hotel and explain that you are a tourist and there is a person annoying you, that you are afraid and don't know how to handle it.
Can they help by calling the police or telling the obnoxious person to go away? In some countries like Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive. All ways carry a full charged mobile phone and know the number for the local police and ambulance service. Bring your own toilet paper, pads, sanitizer, condoms.
If you go with the attitude that no Muslim male dominated society is going to dictate what you wear, expect to be stared at, followed by groups of males and possibly attacked by older Muslim females for showing too much skin.
Muslim men think nothing of hassling foreign women. To them it is a sport. They think you are easy, a women of loose morals. Being aggressive and trying to tell them to get lost can just make the situation more amusing for them. If you want to enjoy your holiday dress sensibly.
Being comfortable must be your main priority when choosing what to wear whilst travelling. Sitting for hours on your way to your holiday whether you go by ship, airplane, or taking a long drive, is not the time to be dressed in a perfectly matched suit and hat with matching purse. Getting there can be exhausting, uncomfortable, tedious and tiring. Dress for comfort not style.
A good choice is to choose clothes in a light material and which fit you well but not tight. Extremely tight clothing will make you feel uncomfortable. Make sure none of the material is rough or itchy. Bring along a jumper or cardigan as the air conditioning can sometimes be a bit too strong.
If you are not warm you will not be able to sleep on long haul flights. In the air your feet will expand so sneakers. pumps or sandals are ideal. If you get cold feet have some soaks to wear for the flights duration.
If you are travelling whilst pregnant be prepared. Pack some water, antacids and painkillers for when the stuffy atmosphere on the plane and the cramped economy coach seats cause havoc to your body. Your cravings may get the better of you so have some snacks available or have enough money, easily available, to buy some on the plane.
Arrive at the airport early. Allow yourself enough time to move around the airport. You are going to have problems running to catch a flight. Try to get a seat along the aisle. You may have to visit the toilet more than the other passengers. It is good to get up, walk and stretch.
I read an interesting piece of research. Convicted rapists in America were interviewed in prison and the researchers came to the following conclusions. They are looking for women who are distracted.
Women on mobile phones or looking through their handbags whilst walking along are good targets and can be easily over powered. They like women with long hairstyles, ponytails, buns, dreads, bunches or braids as they can be easily grabbed. Women with short hair styles are rarely targets. Surprisingly most attacks are in the morning between 5am and 8.30am. They do not like women who put up a fight.
They said that they would be put off if the woman started shouting and yelling is a good strategy. Most rapist said they were looking for a target that would not cause any problems so start making trouble. Hit him very hard in his testicles. Grab his fingers and bend them backwards. Poke his eyes.
They avoid tackling women who have armed themselves with pointy objects like umbrellas. If you do not have an umbrella and feel threatened put your room or car keys between your fingers to slash across any attackers face.
Use your nails to scratch your attacker as the Police can get DNA evidence from his skin cells caught under your nails. Pulling lumps of his hair out by the root is also very good source of DNA.