raveling on your own is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it has its dangers. The number of women traveling alone has been on the rise in recent years, and the tactics for staying safe while on the road have gotten increasingly sophisticated—and important.
In a recent article, the New York Times interviewed female travelers, some of whom have survived assaults or violence while abroad. The piece touches on how the rise of women taking solo trips is being connected to the rise of violence against women. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of non0profit UN Women, told the Times that most countries don’t accurately track data regarding threats to women travelers—they don’t want to discourage tourism, for one thing. But it’s also not necessarily about a specific country having a problem:
“The root cause of this kind of violence against women in communities and in public and private spaces has a lot of do with the underlying gender stereotypes, social norms, entitlement and patriarchy,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said.
This may all sound very grim; yet, most of the women interviewed say that the potential for violence, or actual dangerous encounters, isn’t enough to stop them from exploring. In emails with Lifehacker, Dianelle Rivers-Mitchell, the founder and creator of Black Girls Travel Too, and Tracey Nesbitt, editor of Solo Traveler and moderator of the Facebook page Solo Traveler Society, both shared their safety tips that help them keep exploring.