Safety is one of the biggest concerns for solo females in the Caribbean. For a start, the islands can be dangerous with regular reports of robberies and rape. This can make it a daunting place to visit, especially if you’re on your own and don’t have anyone to turn to for help. But, you shouldn’t let this stop you for from having a budget or luxurious Caribbean vacation. After all, there are so many different activities to enjoy on the various islands that skipping it could be missing an opportunity of a lifetime. This article describes how you can make sure you stay safe when visiting the Caribbean as a solo traveler.
The Safest Places to Visit in the Caribbean:
Aruba is a popular destination for solo travelers who want to take part in water sports. This tiny Dutch island is one of the safest in the entire Caribbean and you should have no problems at all. Female travelers say that it’s safe to walk alone during both the day and night. You’ll also have the chance to meet and make friends with other people in the same situation as you.
The Virgin Islands and St Lucia are other islands that are popular with solo travelers and have a decent safety reputation. You can also visit Belize or Costa Rica without having to worry too much about finding yourself in a difficult situation.
How to Make Sure You Stay Safe:
The most important way to increase your chances of staying safe is to use common sense. People see a single, foreign lady as an easy target and may try to take advantage. This can happen when you’re relaxing on the beach or sitting at a bar enjoying the reggae or soca music. From experience, the most important things to do are to leave anything valuable in the hotel. Don’t flash jewelery or your expensive phone. The next thing is to avoid large amounts of alcohol. It may be fine to drink a lot back at home, but in the Caribbean, drunkenness may attract unwanted attention. And always stay away from drugs and people who are offering or taking them.
It’s also essential that you tell at least someone where you plan to go in case you don’t come back, especially during the night. You can speak to the receptionist at your accommodation or find a friend that you trust. Another important thing is to avoid walking home alone after dark. This is a recipe for disaster in some of the rougher parts of town. A foreign female is a too much of a temptation for some people. And if you do find yourself out after dark with no other option, ask a reputable person to call you a taxi.
Dealing With Vendors:
There seems to be an endless line of vendors trying to sell you things that you don’t want. You may see them approach you and start grabbing your arm when you’re sunbathing or walking around the markets. The simple way out is to smile a lot and politely turn them down or imply that you’ll buy something later. It’s not worth getting frustrated with them as it can lead to an argument and more trouble for you.
Dealing With Unwanted Attention:
If you’re sat in a bar on your own, more likely than not someone will come over and start talking to you. Sometimes they’ll be interested and curious about who you are, other ones are trying to hit on you. The general rule of thumb in this situation is to never admit that you’re here alone.
If someone asks, tell them you’re waiting for friends or that your boyfriend or husband has just gone back to the hotel. Some people suggest that you should say that you’re married and even go as far as buying a cheap ring to reinforce the idea. This not only gets rid of pushy people in the bar, but it also reduces the chance of exposing yourself to risks later on. From the local’s perspective, it’s more difficult to take advantage of a married woman whose husband is coming down to meet her soon than a single lady on her own.
The way that you dress and present yourself can also influence the amount of unwanted attention you get. If you’re parading around the beach and streets in a bikini or skimpy clothes, you’re probably going to get more stares. Compare this to dressing modestly and covering yourself up, fewer people will be interested.
Finding the right Friends:
It may or may not be a good idea to stay in some of the hostels as a solo female. You’ll probably meet a few like-minded people, however, it also increases your risk especially in the more dangerous destinations. A better way is to try to find a resort that caters to singles. Some of the better ones have a range of activities for solos to participate in. You may not meet the typical crowd of backpackers, but you can sleep knowing that you’re not going to be kidnapped.
Important Things to Remember:
The Caribbean is a great destination for solo female travelers if you choose the island carefully and use your common sense. Visit the safer islands and always make sure that you dress modestly and don’t flash expensive jewelry as this attracts unwanted eyes. Never admit that you’re travelling alone and try to tell someone reputable where you’re going. Don’t let any safety concerns put you off from taking this trip of a lifetime.