Security Tips for Female Travelers
Don't put valuables in your purse. Hide those valuables you must carry with you in a neck pouch or waist wallet. If you are sleeping in quarters shared with people you don't know well (such as the sleeping compartment of a train), wear your security wallet when you are sleeping. Your purse is still useful for carrying maps, lipstick, sunglasses, etc., and a small amount of cash. Keep coins in your pocket for subways, buses and tipping so you don't have to open your purse. If your purse has a long shoulder strap, drape it over your head so that the strap crosses your torso diagonally. This makes it more difficult for thieves to grab. Wide straps are safer and more comfortable than thin ones. Magellan's is offering a fantastic new Security Purse, with a steel cable sewn right into the strap to protect you from thieve who cut through regular straps and run off with your belongings.
Purse and security wallet should each contain your name and who to contact in case of a medical emergency. Also list any allergies you have (such as "allergic to penicillin"). Write this phrase in English and in the languages of the countries in which you will be traveling.
Stay alert in busy environments
When you are at the airport, train station or other travel hub, you are at your most vulnerable to pickpockets. You will be tired, disoriented and handling cash, tickets and passport. Remind yourself to take extra care and to not rush.
When going through passport checks
When going through passport, custom, or security checks, be on your best, most serious behavior. Even if you are in a long line and in a hurry, be polite, quiet and follow all instructions carefully. Answer all questions from the agent clearly and briefly. Never make humorous comments. Officials can send you to a holding and questioning area for the slightest reason. It is their job to take all comments and jokes seriously to help ensure your safety.
When you are keying in your numbers for your ATM, credit card or telephone card, someone may be looking over your shoulder to get the numbers. Be wary, even if no one is near you as some thieves shoulder-surf with binoculars! Look at the keypad to locate your PIN numbers, then use one hand to shield the keyboard while you press the keys with the other hand. Tuck your card away as soon as you can, don't leave it on the phone or machine while you talk or put things away.
Use your business address
Tuck a business card in the pocket of your overcoat and jacket. This will help in case you leave them in a restaurant or on a train. Put you hotel name and telephone number on the cards. Take business cards (with no hotel information) and give these to people you may want to have contact with later. don't give them your home address. Use a business card on your luggage label; never put your home address. Add your hotel name and address on the tag on your trip out; use your business card only on your trip back. If you don't have a business card, use your travel agent's business address for your home address.
Magellan's has a large selection of travel safety products to protect you and your possessions.
When wearing evening clothes
Safety pin your hotel and/or safe key inside your coat pocket if the key in your security wallet causes an unattractive bulge in your clothes.
Protect your luggage
Secure the strap to your luggage around the leg of your chair, around your leg, or sit on it while waiting in terminals or stations to prevent your bag from being grabbed. If you are sitting for a length of time, attach your luggage to your chair with a retractable cable lock.
Locks that have a long retractable wire cable are fabulous for train and bus travel. You can lock your suitcase to the overhead luggage rack and feel secure when you visit the ladies' room or walk around the train.
Magellan's sells exclusive Retriever Tags that say "Itinerary Inside" in several languages. You write your complete itinerary with dates, hotel addresses and phone numbers and place it the tag. If bags go astray, the tag instructs agents to open the itinerary inside to see where your bags should be delivered.
Don't take anything of great sentimental or monetary value. Take faux jewels or inexpensive real ones. Take two matching pairs of earrings so that if you lose one, you still have a pair. Depending on the level of misogyny at your destination, you may wish to wear a faux wedding ring.
Be ready for a hotel fire
In case of fire and quick evacuation during the night, pack your valuables in your purse and keep it near the bed with a flashlight. Keep shoes and overcoat handy also. One night I was staying in the lovely Chateau Frontenac in Quebec when the fire alarm sounded. They evacuated all the hotel guests to the streets. I was in a room near the top of that elegant old wooden hotel and was glad I could quickly pick up my valuables and put on clothing wearable outdoors. It was a false alarm, but the fashion show of goofy men's pajamas made the inconvenience worth the trouble!