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WISE travel advice

As I waved my postgraduate daughter off, yes postgraduate as you never stop worrying, on yet another extended trip abroad with the wise words of stay safe, she became just another statistic in the number of single women going abroad on holiday on their own.  Apparently, according to recent figures 19 percent prefer to travel by themselves and 14 percent say they would rather go on holiday alone.  Labelled as WISE or ‘Women who Insist on Single Experiences’, this is a growing trend and has spurred the Foreign Office to publish advice on their website for women travellers and, although the tips are aimed at ensuring a hassle free and safe trip abroad, many are just common sense suggestions that equally apply to travelling in the UK.  Such as, when checking into hotels, use only a first initial.  Don’t use a title such as Ms, Mrs or Miss.  Never leave a key where someone can note your room number.  Don’t leave your window open if your room is on the ground floor and use a door wedge on the inside of your hotel room door for extra security.  Be careful about opening your door to anyone and, if in doubt, check with reception.  When travelling around, the key is to act confidently.  Wearing dark glasses can boost confidence and think about how your clothing will fit in with local customs and attitudes.  If travelling alone, you may attract unwelcome attention and you may receive unwanted propositions or remarks.  It is best just to ignore them.  Never accept car rides from strangers or hitchhike and if possible try and double up with someone you know when travelling by taxi.  Always pack your own baggage and never leave it unattended.  Never carry packages or anything else through customs for other people.  Try and stay in touch.  Keep your family and friends aware of your plans and leave a copy of your itinerary, passport, travel insurance documents and credit cards with someone at home.  It is worthwhile taking a copy of these with you when travelling and keep separate from the originals.  Once abroad, e-mail or telephone home regularly.  Carry a list of British Consular offices in the countries you plan to visit.  Don’t forget to check out the latest travel advice from the FCO before you go and find out about the culture and customs of the countries you will be visiting.  And why not take a look at the travel advice section on the www.travelandinsure.com website which contains easy to read advice on the support you can expect from embassies and consulates worldwide should you get into difficulty.

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