As a career woman, I’ve had the luxury of being able to attend work conferences at the expense of my employer. The opportunity to explore a city on my own without the pressures of a group is liberating. The business trips I have attended have been enjoyable, but what my employer could not provide was: my overall safety.

As a country girl from Alabama, I always felt I stuck out like a sore thumb whenever I traveled. I was sure that robbers would know I was a tourist, and snatch my purse and run.

While vacationing in New York, I was too afraid to ride the subway for fear I’d get thrown on the tracks (I eventually rode and enjoyed it immensely). I held my valuables close in Vegas, and watched everyone intently on the train in Chicago. I’d like to think I’ve grown as a traveler, and am not as fearful as I once was.

Traveling, in my opinion, is one of the coolest things a girl can do on her own. She just has to ensure that she’s safe.

Female travelers now account for half of all business travel in the U.S. Women have unique needs when traveling that the average male business traveler may not. Solo women travelers must take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their valuables safe from harm during their trip.

Although travel has become much safer in recent years, businesswomen who travel alone often need reminders of the many dangers that lurk around the corner.

Here are 7 tips for the solo female business traveler to ensure her trips are not only fun, but also safe.

#1. Keep your smartphone charged

We love to take pictures and record videos, but keep in mind that you always need a charged phone in case of emergency. Invest in a portable charger to ensure that if your phone is nearing death, you can bring it back to life.

#2. Back up important documents

Keep copies of all important documents, including credit cards, saved to Dropbox or Google Docs. Always keep cash hidden in case your purse or luggage is lost or stolen. Remember, prepare for the worst expecting the best.

#3. Leave a social media trail or share your itinerary with a friend

With the emergence of check-in on Facebook, it’s easy to let family and friends know your whereabouts and keep up with you on your solo travels. If you are leery of social media, just ensure that someone knows where you will be at all times.

#4. Practice good hotel safety

Request two room keys upon check-in so you don’t appear alone. Once in your room, check your locks and don’t open your door to strangers. Utilize the valet when available.

#5. Explore the city safely

Sightsee but be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. A great rule of thumb is not to drink too much and be careful of strangers. Also utilize concierge service to determine which areas to avoid during your exploration. Again, Trust your gut.

#6. Choose Accommodations carefully

Spend extra money to stay safe. When requesting a room, make sure that it is located above the ground floor and has an interior entrance.

#7. Be confident

Look, feel, and act confident. Nothing says “tourist” like a person who looks lost and unsure. Know where you are going and always plan ahead.

Solo travel can be exhilarating and fun, but utilizing these tips will ensure it’s also safe!

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