People & Stories

12 essential female travel tips for staying safe after dark

From parties and festivals to night markets and tours, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy a night out when you’re travelling. While we love dancing under the stars as much as anyone, it’s also important to be aware of the risks of travelling after dark and follow safety tips to avoid dangerous situations. From travelling in a group tour to safely using rideshare apps, we’ve put together 12 of our top female travel tips to help you stay safe and well while exploring after dark. 

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1. Avoid travelling alone at night

One of our top female travel safety tips for staying safe after dark is to avoid travelling alone at night. If you’re travelling solo, try to take long train or bus journeys in the daytime. You’ll feel more comfortable getting your bearings in a new destination in the light of day, plus there will be more people around to help you feel more secure. 

If you need to travel at night, you could try to meet some fellow travellers and ask if you can stick with them for the journey. Most people understand the dangers of travelling alone at night and will be happy for you to join their group. 

Even if you’re planning a night out with friends, make sure you figure out a safe way to meet them and get home afterwards, such as a rideshare service. If you do find yourself walking alone after dark, try to walk nearby a couple or a family, as you’re less of a target when you’re with other people. 

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women watching a show in a restaurant

2. Get to know the area before you travel

Before you travel anywhere at night, you should research the area well before you go. You’ll need to know basic things like which parts of town are the busiest or which parts to avoid, where you can get a rideshare service or taxi, plus where you can go for help if needed. It’s also helpful to learn about popular scams in the area where you’re travelling, so you can be extra aware of your surroundings. 

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3. Take a group tour

One of the best female travel safety tips is to take a group tour. This way, you’ll enjoy the comfort and safety of travelling with a group. You’ll meet plenty of fellow travellers and you’ll never have to travel alone after dark. You’ll also benefit from having a guide who can tell you which areas to avoid and which areas are the best for exploring. 

When you travel on a group tour with Trafalgar, your Travel Directors will take care of everything, from your accommodation and activities to your transport between cities. So you can kick back and enjoy your trip, without having to worry about every little detail. We even offer women only travel tours, so you can travel comfortably with supportive, like-minded women travellers. 

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woman walking down a brightly lit street in tokyo

4. Stick to the busy areas

If you’re travelling solo and can’t find anyone to go out with after dark, you should always stick to the crowded areas. There’s safety in number and you can use that to your advantage by sticking to the busiest streets rather than the quiet back alleys. If you do feel unsafe, you can always walk into the nearest hotel or restaurant and ask someone for help. 

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5. Make friends with local residents and fellow travellers

If you’re travelling alone, try to increase your visibility by getting to know the community. Introduce yourself to other female travellers and look out for each other. Chat to the hotel staff and let them know where you’re going and when you’re coming back. Learn some basic words and phrases in the local language so you can connect with the locals and also ask for help if needed. You might even make a few friends along the way.

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crowd of people at a German Christmas market

6. Pay for your safety

As much as we love a spontaneous trip, some things are better not left to chance. One of our top female travel safety tips is to plan as much as possible and always pay for your safety, even if you have to spend a bit more. Book a reliable transfer from the airport to your accommodation. Stay in accommodations in the busy, central areas. Take taxis or rideshare services instead of walking at night. Buy a local SIM card so you have mobile internet everywhere. Saving some money isn’t worth risking your safety, so always plan ahead and prioritise your safety. 

When you travel with Trafalgar, we make it easy by planning the safest options for you such as a luxury, private coach, centralised hotels, and private transfers. Plus, we wrap it up into one easy price, so all you have to budget for is your spending money.

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people walking down the neon lit Beale Street Memphis

7. Be safe with rideshare apps

A common way to get around is with rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. These apps can be very useful for getting around quickly and comfortably, especially at night. They also have extra safety features like tracking you and your driver on the ride, allowing you to share your journey with a friend and letting you pay with a credit card so no cash is exchanged. 

However, there are still some risks and female travel tips you’ll need to be aware of when using rideshare services. When waiting for your rideshare, be sure to stay inside or around people, as standing on the roadside with your phone in hand makes you an easy target for thieves. When your vehicle arrives, make sure you confirm the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo matches the description in the profile on the app. This is an easy way to avoid the danger of getting into cars pretending to be rideshare vehicles. 

Once you’re on your way, always keep your bags with you in case you need to get out of the car quickly. Always let a friend know where you’re going and when you expect to get there. Never share too much personal information with your driver or other passengers about where you’re travelling, how long you’re travelling, and if you’ll be alone (you should never share this information with any strangers). Lastly, always wear your seat belt!

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glowing night market in Morocco

8. Conceal your valuables

Whether you’re travelling in the daytime or after dark, you should never flaunt your valuables when walking around. You should keep your phone hidden as much as possible, keep your cash carefully concealed, and avoid wearing expensive clothing, jewellery or watches. Many thefts are crimes of opportunity so avoid making yourself an easy target. 

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9. Ditch the earbuds

While we love listening to music on a long journey, you should avoid walking around with earbuds in a new town or city, especially after dark. You’ll not only be less aware of your surroundings, but you’ll also be an easier target to thieves as they’ll know you likely have a smartphone in your pocket. Instead, consider carrying a personal safety alarm in your pocket that you can quickly trigger to make a really loud sound. It’s often enough to scare off any would-be muggers, or at least get the attention of someone so you can let them know you need help. 

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silhouette of a woman on a beach at sunset

10. Watch your drinks

We love letting our hair down and having a couple of drinks on a night out when travelling. However, it’s important to always keep a close eye on your drinks to ensure they aren’t tampered with or spiked. It’s also best to limit your drinks as getting drunk in an unknown place after dark can put anyone in a dangerous situation. 

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11. Write down your accommodation details

If you need to go out at night but you’re worried about finding your way back to your accommodation, always take a business card or ask someone at the front desk to write down the name, address, and phone number of the accommodation. If you get lost or can’t communicate with your taxi driver, you can give them the card so you can get home safely after dark.

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12. Trust your gut instincts

Lastly, and most importantly, always trust your gut instincts. If something feels off, it probably is. Many people, especially women, ignore their gut instincts because they don’t want to come off as rude, hysterical or overreacting. Wherever you go, always choose your safety over politeness and always trust your intuition. If you feel you need to get out of a situation, leave immediately and don’t worry about what others think. You’ll never be sorry you trusted yourself! 

Do you have any travel safety tips for women? Let us know in the comments below!

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