SOLO TRAVEL IN INDIA: TIPS FOR FEMALES AND HIGH-NET-WORTH INDIVIDUALS TO KEEP SAFE
If you are planning to travel solo through India, you will most definitely be looking for information on how to properly prepare yourself before you take off. In our article ‘Bodyguard services in India’, you can find general information about traveling to and in India. Threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and crime are described as they do occur, unfortunately. However, you will discover that the risks are related to and depend on the cities or areas you plan to visit. Solo travel in India is something you should prepare properly before you start your journey.
In the article below, you can find further information about specific risks a solo female traveler may run and the safety precautions you can take. Also, as business opportunities are booming in India, influential individuals such as CEOs, diplomats, business people, and (U)HNWIs is another group of solo travelers who visit the country of the holy cow. Also, for this group, a separate section has been dedicated to informing you about possible threats and protection measures.
SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN INDIA
Traveling through India on your own as a female is a dream for many. And, many have done it already. There are a few things to consider, of which one is that men and women are still considered to be unequal. A breakthrough in the traditional pattern is ongoing, yet in the minds of conservative men, women who travel alone, drink alcohol in public, dress casually, and dance freely are considered to be ‘available’.
On the other hand, females traveling alone earn the trust of locals more easily, which may result in unexpected conversations and tips about some great restaurants, extraordinary encounters, and invitations to events you could never plan in advance. Many speak English, so a conversation with random people is often not a problem.
Based on some experiences of women who have traveled to and in India, we can give you the following pointers to plan your trip and stay safe at the same time.
- As women are not considered equal everywhere, you may find yourself in a situation that a man will not listen to your request or question. Accept it and ask the nearest woman to help you out instead.
- Women can use sections in public transport and road restaurants as well as waiting lines for registers that are especially dedicated to them. Sadly, such spaces are even necessary, but it helps to provide you with a safe area where you can relax. If men do harass you, tell them off loudly or threaten to take their picture and hand it over to the police.
- Do not save money on travel, accommodation and tourism companies. If you do, you run a higher risk of diminishing your safety.
- As a tourist, you may experience some unwanted attention from people who have never encountered. As a white Westerner you could be asked to pose for a picture quite often. If this occurs regularly, explain that you charge some money to have your picture taken, and the interest will die down.
- When people invade your personal space, tell them directly in a loud voice so everyone can hear. This will fend the invader off.
- Staring and being asked many questions can also feel like an invasion of your privacy. In that situation, put on your (dark) sunglasses or start reading the book you brought along to ignore the person or answer politely that you want some peace and quiet. By the way, you are married. Even if you are not, tell everyone that you are for your own good.
- Traveling well-prepared helps to move around safely. Adjust your clothing (conservatively), never go out at night on your own (except in recognized tourist areas), and always keep your phone nearby and unlocked.
- Book and stay in renowned accommodations only and also use reputable airlines and other travel companies as well as tour operators for your excursions.
- Check in with a family member or friend every day and report your changed travel plans if there are any.
Travel preparation and safety measures
We advise you to at least follow up on the pointers mentioned above and also read about solo travel online. There are Facebook groups and blogs where you can find plenty of information. A personal risk assessment for your trip or a made-to-measure travel safety training will surely provide outstanding preparation and will set your mind (and those of your loved ones) at ease. Contact us for more information.
HIGH-NET-WORTH INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL IN INDIA
The solo traveler for business purposes belongs to a different category altogether. Especially men of standing, with a well-respected job and/or fortune, will not encounter the struggles a solo female will.
The risks an (U)HNWI, for example, may run is more likely to be in the direction of terrorism, kidnap and assault; for instance by the growing animosity of splinter terrorist groups who are hostile to any Westerner, especially if you come from a country that has (had) military interference in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Another risk is the enormous gap between poverty and wealth. People who have nothing to lose could try to assault and rob you when you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Travel preparation and safety measures
Infinite Risks International provides professional assistance in the form of travel safety training, travel assistance and personal protection by experts who have experience in India. We also use our extensive local network to help you achieve your goals. Let someone else worry about your safety, so that you can concentrate on your business or leisure plans. Please feel free to contact us and discover what we can do to assist you.