The travel industry, which has long catered to the male "road warrior," has begun to tailor its products and services to the unique needs of the female traveller. Women who are frequent fliers face, in addition to the universal problems of lost reservations and missed connections, stresses such as where to buy pantyhose at 6 a.m., and how to keep the friendly drunk in the elevator from following her to her room.
So for any business woman who feels that she's more worrier than warrior when it comes time to hit the road, we offer this roundup of travel advice from some globe-trotting peers. Tuck it into your suitcase and make your time out of town more productive, safe and -- dare we say it -- fun.
Wherever you stay:
• Don't open your door to any unexpected person. Meet business colleagues in the lobby.
• Don't advertise your room number.
• Check the closet and bathroom for unexpected guests when you enter your room.
• Stow your valuables in the hotel's safety deposit boxes.
• Orient yourself to the emergency exits as soon as you arrive.
• Don't use ice machines located in stairwells between floors. Call room service instead.
• If you're going out at night, ask someone at the front desk to arrange a security escort to your car.
• Enquire at the desk about which neighbourhoods are unsafe to wander or drive in.
• If someone in an elevator makes you uncomfortable, get off at the next floor and return to the lobby. Don't give him the opportunity to follow you to your room.
• Use the luggage-wrapping services now available at international airports; the tamper-evident cover they offer will safeguard your valuables and ensure that no one slips anything illegal into your bags.
• Make your laptop computer less conspicuous by carrying it in an old backpack. Keep your eye on your hand baggage as it goes through the security X-ray.
• Don't hang your purse on the hook in a washroom stall where someone can reach over and grab it.
• Don't use your cellphone in an airport. Crowded areas are popular spots for cellphone thieves. Thieves may copy your phone number and have their calls billed to you. Minimize the risk of theft by keeping your cellphone off when you're not expecting a call.
For more great travel tips, check out:
• Travel tips: Where to go, how to stay safe
• Travel health: 10 ways to stay healthy during flights
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