Traveling is great for so many reasons… getting to see incredible landmarks and natural wonders, learning about different cultures, trying weird and wonderful foods, and the chance to meet lots of new people along the way. Nowadays it’s easier to get abroad than ever before, and more and more people are catching the travel bug… it only takes that one life-changing trip and you’re instantly hooked!
In a perfect world, we’d all feel completely safe when exploring new places, but of course, the reality is much different. Even today, there are countries where women – even white women – feel uncomfortable, and even unsafe. Though it may seem surprising, there are actually specific countries where white women are more likely to be targeted as victims.
While there will always be good and bad points about every country on the planet, it’s always important to have a good understanding of the potential risks that each one can hold. Though white women definitely have it easier when travelling to the majority of places in the world, here are fifteen countries they should be more cautious about visiting.
Of course, that’s not to say these places should be avoided altogether, but if you are thinking of planning a trip to any of them, it’s probably best to keep your wits about you and be a savvy traveler to avoid any potentially nasty incidents.
15. Saudi Arabia
This one probably isn’t so surprising given their history with women’s rights in general – the country has only just given women the opportunity to obtain drivers’ licenses. Women traveling here will need a male sponsor or guardian for their trip, and in many areas will be put under pressure to wear a full-length black covering, as well as covering their heads.
There are also groups of religious police (aka the Mutawwa) who keep watch for anyone seen to be doing anything offensive; this could be public displays of affection, not adhering to the dress code, or if a woman was traveling with a man who isn’t her husband – the latter is actually an arrestable offence.
The US Department of State has issued a warning on their travel site urging people to carefully consider the risks of traveling to the country, and also notes that there “continue to be reports of threats against U.S. citizens and other Westerners, as well as locations frequented by them.”
There’s no doubt about it; Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The sight of plenty of armed police patrolling the streets is pretty common, and not exactly an image you’d want to send back to your friends and family while you’re on holiday. While the majority of deaths here are gang-related, there are still frequent muggings, and attacks on foreigners, including armed robbery, also occur.
Women travelers often feel apprehensive coming here; as Lonely Planet states: “Honduras is still a male-dominated society. Personal safety is the biggest concern for female travelers.” Unfortunately, assaults are not uncommon, and women are likely to be more at risk from thieves. Muggings can take place at any time of day. The UK government’s travel site even suggests carrying a small amount of money with you at all times in case you are targeted in a robbery.