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It might be the 21st century, but I still hear some women being afraid to travel due to various concerns, ranging from cost to safety. But having been to a number of destinations inside and outside the Philippines, I can safely say that any girl can overcome those fears and challenges as long as they prepare.
Hence, here are 7 tips that I’ve often followed when on the road:
- Research and plan to keep safe and to save.While a little spontaneity is fine when you’re on a trip, planning ahead and researching about your destination does have a host of benefits. For example, researching about your destination will tell you which places to see and which places to avoid. You may even come across some great deals if you look around before booking a stay, from special promos on hotel websites to those sold on group-buying sites like Deal Grocer.
- Bring around a photocopy of your important documents, such as your passport.That way, if you end up losing your bag, you still have a copy of your records left behind to help you file a report. You can even bring only the photocopies and leave the original documents in a safe place, so if your bag gets stolen, you only lose the photocopies. It can also do well to bring additional copies of your hotel reservation documents, etc. for the same reasons.
- Always have sun protection on hand.Whether it’s sunscreen or sunblock, you’ll need to put some protection on to ward off the sun’s rays while sightseeing. One good option is Nivea’s Moisturizing Immediate Collagen Protect Lotion, which has an SPF 50 rating.
- Pack a sarong.Also known in the Philippines as a “malong,” these versatile accessory is a must-have for all travels. You can use it as a makeshift blanket to keep warm while traveling, or spread it as a mat when you’re camping out. You can also use it as a wrap to cover up when you’re wearing shorts, but want to enter a place with a dress code like a church or temple.
- Always keep alert.Let’s admit it: it’s not always safe for women to travel, especially in some countries where women still face a lot of discrimination. So make sure to always keep your guard up. Develop your “situational awareness,” or being able to identify the signs that a situation can be dangerous and avoiding them, before anything happens.
- Learn a self-defense skill or two.Let’s shatter the stereotype that women are the weaker sex—and that we always need saving. As a corollary to Tip #5, it also helps if you learn a skill to help you defend yourself and escape dangerous situations. Here’s a video that can help you out.
- Know your first aid.
No matter how careful you are, accidents may happen. Whether it’s something minor like a scratch or a sprain, or something major like a car crash, you have to be prepared to administer first aid. So on top of packing a handy first aid kit, you should also know how to use those supplies.
Clara Buenconsejo is as manic as Manila. Cubao girl, forever commuter, proud volunteer for Heritage Conservation Society-Youth.
Follow her adventures on https://instagram.com/