Women now constitute a good percentage of business travellers. With women playing a leading role in many corporates, it is quite a common sight to see brisk business-like women with their executive bags striding confidently in airports. Though this is a growth in the right direction, one must remember that women travellers are often targets of unscrupulous elements, and, being vulnerable, they should take some basic precautions that will go a long way to keep them safe. We present here a collection of safety tips gleaned from women business travellers who have come up with some unique safety ideas.
"I always choose to stay in either well-known hotel chains. Sometimes, I choose to stay in smaller inns or B&Bs with friendly proprietors who generally keep track of their clients` activities and tend to get worried if I am not back at a specific time."
~ Ms. B - Seasoned business traveller ~
"I make it a point to check the window and door locks of hotel rooms before I check in. I never open the door of my room without first checking with the front desk. I also ask for a different room if the desk clerk announces my room number aloud in front of other guests. I always keep the room curtains drawn. I never use the room service breakfast door hangers because you are expected to specify the number of guests. I always leave a `Do not disturb` sign outside my door while I`m away."
~ Ms.Nina - Secy. to the M.D. of a company ~
"If I arrive late in the night I ask the hotel or car agency to arrange for someone to accompany me to and from parking lots. I generally asked the security to accompany me to my room if it is late in the night. When I`m checking out, I ask the front office to help me."
~ Ms.Panjabi - CEO of an Export firm ~
"I love taking off on my own. I almost always travel alone. I carry my passport, tickets, cash and traveller`s checks in a belt around my waist. If I am out sight-seeing in the night I always walk with the crowd and behave as if I`m part of a group. I never act lost and unsure. I prepare with proper directions ahead of time and always stop only at well-lit petrol stations or cafes for help."
~ Mrs. Shenoy - entrepreneur and frequent traveller ~
"I never travel without my small, powerful torchlight in my briefcase and it is always within reach on my bedside table. I use laminated business cards as luggage tags to keep my home address and telephone number private. You can`t be too careful! And I never, ever, travel with my good jewellery. Fakes look so authentic these days that I have no qualms about wearing them even for important business meetings!"
~ Ms.Lata Mishra - young marketing executive ~
"I never volunteer information that I am travelling alone. I pretend there are others with me and this helps me to ward off curious questions. In foreign countries, especially the male-dominated ones, I wear a wedding or engagement ring that puts off male advances. And it pays to be proactive and not reactive. I always have a contingency plan worked out in my mind in case I`m traveling in some troubled country with chances of getting into uncomfortable situations."
~Ms. A. Shetty - journalist and frequent traveller ~
So, pack your bags ladies, and plan your trips, but don`t forget to take note of these tried and tested safety precautions. They might come in handy at some point!