Travelling solo in India is a beautiful experience but women in India are mostly advised never to do this. It may be due to several reports of violence committed against women travelling alone. It is a fact that eve teasing, rude comments, groping and stalking are all too common especially in crowded areas and public conveyances. Recent increase in rapes is another hindrance for solo women travellers. One must come thoroughly prepared to face and handle such situations.Here are five useful tips that would help you make a safe and comfortable trip and relish the joy of exploring this enchanting place all by yourself.
Here’s the list of top 5 Incredibly useful safety tips for women travelling alone in India:
1. Avoid late hours
Never travel alone at night is a common advice meted out to all women. In a way, it is wise to follow this advice because most tourist places and cities are not safe for anyone in the dark. Never plan your arrival or departure by night. Plan your trip in such a way that you will reach your destination during the day and also arrange for someone to meet you at the station or airport. Also, never travel by public transport at night.
2. Commute wisely
It is better never to flag down taxis especially when you are alone. The safest method is to use Uber or Ola online taxi services as they are reliable and safe and your journey will be tracked. While travelling by public transport, always look out for seats or compartments reserved for women. The seats in the front near the driver are usually reserved for women. In the case of travelling by reservation, it is better to book the upper berth as it gives you privacy as well as keeps you out of the commotion of vendors, beggars who are all too common in Indian trains. In case of empty carriages, it is better to travel by the ladies compartment.
The way you dress is also very important. India is still a conservative country and is strict about clothing. Though it is acceptable to use Western clothes in Metro cities, it is advisable to use traditional clothes like kurta while travelling alone in remote areas. This gives out the message that you love and respect the culture and the right people will be ready to help you. It is best to follow the local women. While dress code does not always the problem at the core, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and it is always to take that extra step for the sake of one’s safety. Also, it is safer not to visit places avoided by the local women.
4. Weapons of choice
Always keep a mobile phone with you so that you can contact someone in case of trouble. It is safe to be connected to your friends through social media and update them about your location. There are many useful Facebook groups for getting your queries answered and also to connect with other solo travellers. There are also many online sources which give you detailed information regarding destinations and transportation. You can also pose specific questions and doubts which would be usually answered by some fellow travellers. Besides this, you are not being overly dramatic by carrying a pepper spray or Taser at all times in your handbag or pocket. In a country like India, you never know when you will find these a blessing in your life, and a very handy weapon to teach those gropers a lesson. For the long run, do make it a point to be trained in a martial art of your choice. Another useful tip in case you have to hire an auto when you are alone is to make a call and loudly report the vehicle number so that the driver could hear you. In case of situations you cannot handle, it is better to dial 100 and call the police.
5. Be bold and confident
The most important tip is to maintain a confident and calm attitude. This would stand you in good stead in all situations. If you show you are frightened, the chance of being taken advantage of increases. Don’t be afraid to make a scene in case you feel hassled or harassed as this will embarrass the guilty person and people will come to your aid. Be assertive and shake off touts and persuasive vendors with an indifferent attitude. Be firm when you should be and answer in a decided negative when you must. Do not think about being polite in such situations. Always be on your own guard and don’t be too trusting as this may put you into scams and hassles you would like to avoid. Solo travelling by women is slowly gaining interest in India. Despite several obstacles more and more women are slowly gaining confidence to travel alone. India is a hospitable country and often crimes and violence are repeatedly committed only in certain areas which you must avoid after getting the right information from reliable sources. Following these tips would truly make your solo journey across India a truly unforgettable experience.