Know your destination
Many governments issue travel advisories for other countries for their citizens. The U.S. State Department, for example, publishes a list of safety levels by country. Its website, Travel.State.Gov, has information on every country and contact information for the closest American Embassy or consulate.
The State Department also has advice specifically for female travelers and other groups.
Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a.k.a. STEP, or its equivalent in your country.
Unicef has data on violence indicators that may be telling for travelers, including domestic violence, female genital mutilation and female homicide. The World Bank has a gender data portal that provides statistics that can signal to women whether it’s a safe location overall.
Stay only where you can lock the door
“Try to stay in places where other travelers are staying, i.e. try not to stay in a place where you are the only guest. Try to be sure you can lock your door when you go to sleep. As useless as this may seem, I have even locked the zippers of my tent together and slept with the key in my hand.
“Use your voice: scream and yell when you feel threatened. I have even run from an isolated street where I was being surrounded and threatened by a group of men straight into the arms of a random man and woman walking together on a more populated street, screaming how happy I was to see them again.”
— Elena Steigman, 41, Valencia, Spain. Has traveled to Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, an army base in Lebanon at the Lebanon-Israel border, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark, Italy, France, Poland and Portugal.
‘Don’t Succumb to the Fear’: Women Share Travel Safety Tips – The New York Times