Today’s women are constantly travelling, all over the world. Most of them manage to balance their professional and personal lives. Statistics show that almost 50% of business travellers are women, and this number continues to increase every day. Travelling on short notice means being organized and ready. Be smart and plan well ahead.
1. Keep a list of babysitters who would be willing to fill in overnight if needed. Keep a small book handy, noting things like what the children eat, their schedules, important phone numbers, likes and dislikes, as well as doctors’ phone numbers and a list of medications, including known allergies.
2. Always keep a travel bag packed and ready to go. Pack a combination of clothing items that will serve you well regardless of the weather at your destination. Wear low-maintenance and dark colours when travelling. They won’t show stains, are wrinkle-resistant and drape well.
3. Always eat light and cooked foods, avoid raw salads and water and ice. It is advisable to eat a snack before the flight and try to sleep during the flight. This way you will arrive at your destination refreshed. Be sure to drink plenty of bottled water during the trip.
4. Set up a schedule to call home in time zones that are convenient for you and your loved ones. Get reminders for your family members as well as for the babysitter and others who will be taking over while you are away. This shows them that you care.
5. Always put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel door and, if you are nervous, place a chair under the doorknob like they do in movies. Keep your cell phone on and fully charged at all times and carry protection in the form of pepper spray, an alarm system or, if you have the training and a gun license, a small, secured weapon. In most cities, the police organize training courses for women on how to protect themselves and what to do in an emergency. Try to take the time to attend these classes.
6. Avoid dark alleys and deserted streets. Never talk to strangers or accept food or drinks from strangers. Never leave food or drink unattended when travelling. Be alert at all times.
7. Choose a hotel wisely. Choose established hotels or small inns and guesthouses whose owners are usually family members. Always send an email or fax home and office with details of your stay and travel plans.
8. always carry important documents, money, traveller’s checks and passport in a money belt worn around the waist.
9. always appear confident and move in groups, because there is safety only in a group.
10. if you are sick, go to a government hospital. Never go to a private hospital.
11. never take valuables such as jewellery and always carry a small flashlight and first aid kit.
12. for safety reasons, arrange appropriate measures with your family in case you do not report to them as planned.
Avoid room service and eat in the hotel dining room. Also, do not reveal details about your background or travel plans to anyone.
Be alert and wise and you will be able to travel often and safely.