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Question of the Week

March 4, 2000


This Week: Women Travelers

March 8 has been designated International Women's Day. So, in celebration, I asked all the women in our audience to call in with their tales of traveling alone. And I got to say, I was shocked by the response. Out of all the calls I received, there were very few about negative travel experiences. Maybe it's just my paranoia -- you know, I do have a daughter to worry about -- but I thought I'd get a lot of stories about women being harassed, accosted, or even outright attacked while traveling solo. Hmmm. Maybe the world is a lot safer than I thought.

  • I put my doubts to the test with Susan, from Indianapolis. Susan's been traveling alone, from the Arctic to India, all the way to the Amazon -- over 20 years of solo trips. I had to her ask if anything bad has ever happened.

  • Next up is Marge, a woman who came to travel late in life. She waited and waited for friends who always backed out of travel plans at the last minute. Finally, she had enough and planned her own trip to Greece. On her own. And that's when the real fun began.

  • Next up is Pamela, an intrepid adventurer if I ever knew one. After college some time ago, Pamela volunteered to teach English in Senegal. On a break she caught a ride by herself up to Mali -- a two-day plane trip that took her deep into the Sahara. But when she got there, she made a startling discovery.

  • Of course not everyone is that adventurous. So, I thought it a good idea to get some tips so you can start planning your own adventures. I spoke with Marybeth Bond. She's edited a whole host of books about women travelers for the Travelers' Tales series of books. I asked Marybeth what she tells women who want to hit the road alone.

Maybe the world is a safer place these days. But just indulge my paranoia for a second and let me tell you what I tell my daughter when she travels alone. Of course, there's one obvious way to stop unwanted advances on the road: wear a wedding ring. Also, don't let hotel receptionists or bellhops say your room number out loud. You never know who might be listening. And just in case, take a little rubber door stop with you when you travel. They're light weight, and, when you shove one under your hotel room door, it does a really good job at keeping unwanted visitors out of your room.

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Next Week: Spring Break

I never got a spring break; it's one of those rites of passage that I missed out on. I was always working at least one job in college, so while my buddies were having fun in Florida or Mexico, I was stuck at home, breaking my back. So that's why I want to hear your spring break stories. Was there a trip you took that was so crazy, you still can't believe it happened? Did a run-in with the Federales turn your party into a parole hearing? How did your three-day road trip turn into a life's adventure?

Send us an email or call 888-SAV-TRAV (888-728-8728) and tell me your best spring break story.


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