Training/Practice Exercises

When traveling anywhere, alone or with a group, you should attempt to speak the language and respect local customs and traditions. This may require a little bit of research before you leave. Get a phrasebook to learn some words and basic greetings before you go; then take it with you - it might get you out of a jam.

Travel websites or guidebooks often contain details about local customs. For example they will explain why someone will grab your hand in Mongolia if they’ve accidentally kicked your foot or why Tibetans might poke their tongue out at you.

If women are particularly worried about traveling alone they may like to undertake a self-defense course before they leave.

Always make an itinerary and leave a copy of it at home with family and friends so they can check on your progress and insure you are safe.

Gear Requirements/Packing lists

Whatever you pack make sure it is appropriate to the destination and the activities you are undertaking. Fashionable clothing that you wear at home may be considered provocative in another culture. Or in some places you may be refused entry to churches and mosques if you aren’t wearing sleeves and clothes that come beneath your knees.

If you are undertaking any kind of physical activity pack your hiking boots, gaiters, bike gloves and water bottles for the journey. Tour operators will outline packing lists for their organized options. Otherwise set your own. Always try to take as little with you as possible; it’s certainly no fun lugging around a lot of gear. Try to be practical too. Hairdryers probably aren’t necessary and you can get away with one lipstick and the smaller toiletry bag while you’re traveling.

You won’t need every accessory you own. Color coordinate your wardrobe so items can be used for multi purposes and then you’ll only need 1-2 accessories that fit everything.

Always consider the weather at the location when you are packing your bag. Cute summer dresses and strappy tops might be okay for Tuscany during the summer but in autumn or spring it will be too cold for them. Layers are a good way of dealing with varying climates.