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Women Travel Tips

hotel locksIf your hotel room comes with a sliding glass door and balcony, always check to be sure the door is locked. Your balcony may be connected to the one next door, granting easy access to your room. You'll want to make sure your windows are locked as well. Check each time you re-enter the room -- housekeeping may have unlocked them for one reason or another. Familiarize yourself with the way the locks on the doors and windows work so you can release them quickly in case of an emergency. If any of your locks don't work, ask for a new room.

What Not to Do at Your Hotel

Don't open your door for anyone, including "housekeeping" or "room service," without verifying the identity of the person at your door. If you haven't called for room service, call the hotel's restaurant. Do not open the door.

Sleep with comfortable shoes and your room key on your nightstand. A small flashlight is a good item to have nearby as well.

Don't give your room number to strangers, no matter how friendly. It's also wise to let men think that you're traveling with a companion who is sharing the room with you.

Unattended hotel fitness centers or pools are best avoided, especially if there aren't many other guests there.

If you take a cab back to your hotel after a late-night dinner or meeting, don't be afraid to ask the driver to wait until you are inside the hotel before he pulls away. Add an extra $1 - $2 dollars to the tip and he'll do so with a smile.

If you are trying to park in the hotel lot late at night and someone is lurking around the lot, park in front of the door in the check-in area and go to the front desk. Ask the clerk to have someone from hotel security meet you in the lot and escort you into the hotel.

Women who feel foolish about asking for extra security are women who endanger themselves. Use your gut instinct. If you feel uncomfortable, scared or threatened, there's probably something wrong. Hotel security is there for a reason. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Hotel Safety Tips

Driving Tips
Remember to keep your car doors locked at all times. If you have a breakdown, use your cell phone to call the police and then wait in your car with the doors locked. If you are approached by someone other than the police, stay in the car and crack your window open.

Park in well-lit areas. Do not keep anything in your car that will be an invitation for theft. Lock belongings in your trunk and take valuables into your hotel room with you. Avoid renting a hatchback car -- everything in your trunk will be visible to would-be thieves.

Ask for an up-to-date map when you arrive in a city or rent a car. If you need to ask for directions, ask families or women with children. Say: "Where is X? I'm meeting my husband there."

The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental

Tour Operators for Women
Below are tour operators and travel clubs that cater primarily, and often exclusively, to women travelers.

AdventureWomen: Active trips for women in the U.S. and around the world

backpacker hiker woman view cameraAdventurous Wench: Active women-only getaways in the Americas and Europe

Call of the Wild: Hiking, backpacking and other adventure trips for women in the U.S. and select international destinations

Gutsy Women Travel: Women-only tours catering to a variety of interests including history/culture, homes/gardens and gourmet dining/wines

Olivia: Cruises, ecotours, resort stays and luxury vacations for lesbian travelers

Sights and Soul Travels: Small-group, women-only tours of Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and South America

SWT Tours: Special-interest trips including a selection of European and American tours for women age 50 and up

Wild Women Travel: Cruises, tours and custom vacation packages for women

The Women's Travel Group: Women-only trips around the world

Women Traveling Together: Worldwide tours for women; paid members get tour discounts and a quarterly newsletter

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    --updated by Sarah Schlichter
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