As avid travelers, it's hard for either of us to say which countries are "good" or "bad" for women to visit. We don't want to give any one place an advantage over the next, since so much of traveling is what you put into it. For every horror story, there's one of jubilation and acceptance, and for every cab ride from hell, there's a tale of someone being welcomed home for an authentic local meal.
As a starting place for your trip planning, we've complied two lists of destinations worldwide. In the first, Jessica Labrencis outlines five places that have a reputation for being women-friendly, while in the second, RaeJean Stokes looks at five regions where women should use extra caution. This is by no means a finite list, as terrible things can happen in safe places all over the world, and vice versa.
You can also ensure a good experience wherever you travel by arming yourself with knowledge. Learn essential phrases in the local language, read about the country's culture and religion, and watch how local women behave. And, most importantly, exercise common sense whether you're in a city or in the countryside, and even when you're in a so-called "safe" destination. For more safety tips, read Contributing Editor Christine Sarkis' feature Ten tips for women traveling alone.
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