(BLACK PR WIRE) -- African American women are finding their place in the growing phenomenon of women traveling on their own, whether it is for business, education, vacation, family visits or other reasons. While a woman traveling on her own is a normal occurrence within the United States, women may have different concerns about venturing solo in a foreign country. Political unrest, treatment of women, cultural stereotypes and health conditions are factors that can affect a traveler’s safety and enjoyment of a destination. But they don’t have to stop your plans if you have all the facts.
There are tour agencies, cruises, books, websites and hotels that focus on the needs of the single female traveler. There are even guides for the African American female traveler. There are some advantages to joining these groups. You can make friendships with women who share your interests and may have experience on the locations you want to visit, plus the benefit of safety in numbers.
Whichever method you use, you should do extensive research into any potential destination. One important concern for female travelers is cultural attitudes towards dress. In some countries, the clothing styles are identical to those in the United States. In others, they are far more conservative, and a woman dressed less modestly than the local custom risks attracting undesirable attention or punishment. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. At the same time, don’t pack too heavily; stick with the necessities. Some travelers do this by packing old clothes they would get rid off anyway, and tossing them out for the return home.
Also, what is the status of women in this destination? How are people of different races treated? What is the typical cuisine? What is the attitude towards religious expression? What are permissible displays of affection? Has there been a recent history of unrest or violence? Is English spoken at all or will you have to communicate in a foreign language? If the latter, phrase books or conversational lessons in the other language are preferable to a straight word-to-word dictionary. These books can instruct you in the sentences a traveler would need to know, such as asking for directions to your hotel or ordering food.
Next, you should research the specifications of a particular trip. Are you going to make all the arrangements yourself, use a travel agency, or go online? Where will you be staying? If it is a hotel, make sure it is in a safe neighborhood. Know the emergency phone numbers and the directions from your hotel to the nearest U.S. embassy. How will you get around? If you will be using the bus, subway or some other public transportation, try to set next to another woman as you travel. Make copies of your passport and all your travel documents accessible. Keep these precautions in mind, and you will have a world of enriching experiences waiting for you.