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Practical Safety tips when travelling Abroad - Part 4
If you are travelling alone and don't want any company there are certain things you can do to dissuade unwanted attention.

If on a coach or train, sit on the outside seat, placing your handbag, coat and jacket on the window seat. If in a bar restaurant, place your coat on the back of the seat opposite to make it look as if you have company. It may seem anti-social, but sometimes it's the only way.

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If you like to wear dresses, especially the longer lengths, try wearing a pair of cotton bike shorts to which you have sewed pockets on the outer leg. They need to be large enough to hold your passport and extra documents or money. Secure the pocket with some Velcro and you should have a safe place to keep your personal things. The same can be done with a camisole or regular slip.

Ladies, when travelling to Buddhist countries such as Laos and Thailand, please pack with you an awareness of monks. After an experience in Laos I would like to make fellow female travellers aware of the potential dangers of association with monks. As we understand it, monks are reputable people with a highly commendable goal. Being a monk in these countries carries much virtue and respect. However, a minimum service as a monk is part and parcel of being born a son in many of these countries. In order to give thanks to his parents for being born a boy, a boy must serve a minimum of two months in a monastery before the debt is repaid (this figure varies cross-culturally). Let it be said then, that a monk could be anyone. In fact, many monks are ex-convicts. So ladies, give credit where it is due, but remember that monks should NOT associate with women, regard it wearily if they do, and travel smart. After all they are only human.

A small roll of electrical tape has a myriad of uses for the female traveller. A skirt hem come down? Tape it up in a pinch. Leaving your luggage at the hostel for a few days? Tape everything closed so nothing can be slipped in or out.

Shipping a box home, want to put souvenirs into your journal, need to take fluff off a black sweater? Hurrah for electrical tape! Because airports can be an easy place for others to prey on unsuspecting travelers who are unfamiliar with their surroundings, money/credit cards that will not be immediately needed should be secured until you leave your destination airport. Cut off a leg of an old pair of panty hose, put the money/credit cards in the leg, and tie the leg around your waist underneath loose-fitting clothes.

Keep a small amount of money in your pants/skirt pocket for necessary expenses or in the hopefully unlikely event that a stranger demands money.

And now be safe and travel.

Verity @ PARADISE