But women aren’t just traveling for education, they are hopping on planes for pleasure and adventure as well.
Most of the women experience immense freedom and complete independence while traveling alone. But being a woman lone traveler you sometime become the focus of unwanted attention. Vulnerability to theft, harassment, obscene behavior, staking and loneliness are probably the biggest fears a lone traveling women goes through. With a little attention towards your surroundings can make a lot of difference in your journey.
Traveling by yourself in countries where you are unfamiliar with cultures and languages can be extremely unsettling but this is definitely not a reason to pass up any opportunities!
Traveling alone gives you time to see the things you want to and to meet people you would never normally speak to. If you are contemplating solo travel pluck up your courage, know your limits and when all else fails, feign confidence.
Before making plans for any destination just jot down few points about your visiting destination. Pen down the available accommodation, hang outs and restaurants from the guide books. Know as much you can about the local people and learn few local words and phrases that will help you in many stages of your voyage. Many cities have youth hostels and hotels that offer rooms on discounted rates to the single travelers. But these days some of trustable travel agencies are more convinent for single woman travellers.
Many women wonder if Turkey is safe for them to visit as a solo traveler. Yes, it most definitely is. Most female visitors find Turkish people extremely warm, welcoming, accommodating and helpful.
Tuırkey is statistically one of the safest major cities in Europe with low incidence of violent crime. But of course there are some reminders and tips for women travelers.
Just take the same precautions you’d normally take while on vacation, and you’ll be fine.
- If you’re a female, you’ll definitely attract the attention of the young males. This attention is harmless, but it surely can be annoying. The best way to handle it is to remain calm, to avoid eye contact and to make it clear that you are not interested by your behavior. Don’t talk back, it’s no use.
- If you are a single woman or a woman-only group, you should be a bit more cautious when someone or a group of men try to approach you or are following you. This rule applies in walking on a street, eating in a restaurant or drinking in a bar etc…
- Be formal at all times, even on third or fourth encounter. Be pleasant, but don’t smile readily at men you don’t know, even you think it is totally normal (like when registering at a hotel, taking a taxi ride, ordering food…).
- If a man approaches by being overly friendly, you should be overly formal.
- If you’re traveling alone and somehow you felt a little insecure, introduce yourself to Turkish women or families. You can simply start a conversation by asking a question. This informally includes you in their group.
- Establishing eye contact and a polite smile is not the normal way of interacting with strangers in Turkey. These can be easily misinterpreted as a signal of more personal interest. Turkish men tend to interpret an innocent act very differently. So if you smile at a Turkish man just to be nice, he might assume it to mean that you’re interested in being even friendlier. (Not every Turkish man, but the ones that you will encounter in touristic areas. No offence guys!)
- Don’t make eye contact with men on the street. If someone tries to talk to you, there is a great chance that he is trying to sell you something. Don’t even bother answering and just keep walking.
- There are cons in Istanbul too, like any other big city. You will encounter these people mostl in Sultanahmet. They are young men who approach very kindly and ask questions to start a conversation. Just ignore them. But this kind of behavior shouldn’t be considered as general. Usually, alone female travelers are treated with an almost exaggerated courtesy in Turkey. Turkish people will treat you as a member of their family and I’m sure you will be surprised by such behavior. Having all this warmth and hospitality at one hand and possible risks for encountering sexually hungry young men on the other side, it might seem difficult to balance your actions. It is not. You will soon learn to recognize how different these people are. It’s important to find a balance between polite formality and the openness that North American, European, and Australian women find so normal.
- Reported hassles include staring, minor groping and pinching, unpleasant sounds and comments, and unwanted romantic advances.
- Hassle is not what happens to all female travelers. Absolutely not! Most Turkish men are extremely polite to women.
- Violent crime, including assault and rape, is less common in Turkey than in many developed Western countries. Remember you will probably be in far less physical danger in Turkey than you’d be in many more “liberal” countries.
- Many women traveler say they feel safer in Turkey than at home. Observe local norms, take common-sense precautions and you will be safe.
Going Out at Night:
If you are a woman I’m sure you have felt unease at one point in your life when you were going out alone. These are my tips for women travelers who love going out at night;
- If you’re out late at night don’t wander in dark streets, take a taxi back to your hotel.
- Do not wander into dark and deserted streets.
- This is one of the most obvious tips among other tips for women travelers, but it works wonders;
Dress neatly and act reserved.
- Observe local customs. Dress and behave according to those local customs. Do things with others (a female or male companion you know, or a mixed group) when possible.
- Try to be in public and do things in public mostly. If you will go to a private place, like a house, an office etc, make sure that you are in group settings in which you know most of the people.
- This is one of the most important tips for women travelers;
Do not go out with men you don’t know. Avoid being alone in private with a man or men you do not know well, at all times.
Do not get in a car alone with a stranger man or men under no circumstances.
- If you are going to hang out with locals, mixed groups, including both Turkish men and Turkish women, you are usually fine.
- If you go somewhere for the first time, observe the place to find out if there are any mixed groups. If so it is a safe place.
As long as you adjust to local customs and attitudes (as you would do in any country you visit) and take normal, common sense precautions, there is no need to worry.
Woman Traveller Turkey