Safety’s a big travel concern for women, especially solo women travelers. While most people you meet will be fine, there are always those with questionable intentions. But you want to have a relaxing, stress-free vacation without having to worry about pickpockets or worse. Luckily, there are plenty of cool gadgets on the market to help us with that. Ingenious inventions to keep you and your stuff safe while jetting around the world.
As a solo female traveler, I’m always on the lookout for cool inventions that will help me on my next trip. Not only for myself, but also as gifts for others. And these days, with innovative travel safety gear, you don’t always have to sacrifice style for security. These items are useful and even pretty cute and stylish:
- Anti-theft bags: backpacks, crossbody bags, etc.
- Bra wallets
- Travel scarves
- Portable safes
- Personal alarms
- Blingy pepper spray
- Reusable water bottles with built-in filters
Backpacks, purses, messenger bags, camera bags… we travelers need bags to carry stuff. Thieves of the world know this, so, they target bags. They sneak hands in them, take unattended ones, rip them from you, and slash them. Some cities, such as Barcelona, Paris, and Rome, are known for petty theft. And Manila is so notorious for bag slashing that even locals carry their backpacks in front of them.
Anti-theft bags are designed to prevent all these scenarios.
They use heavy-duty/cut-proof fabrics, strong locks, and clever designs. They’re not cheap and sometimes a bit ugly, but they work great! Here are a few examples.
Luckily, people much smarter than me have developed special anti-theft backpacks. These bags are hard to open and have hidden compartments so that no one can get to your stuff. An anti-theft backpack is an excellent investment for any traveler.
The best thing about this particular anti-theft bag by Yidarton is that it’s not only safe, but also stylish. The triple closure, drawstring, zipper, and magnet make it harder to open. There is a zipped compartment in the back for your phone and wallet that no one can get to while you’re carrying it. The bag is vegan, made from artificial leather and nylon, but looks like real leather. It’s hip, comfortable and big enough to work as a day pack. And it comes in four cute colors!
Bobby bags also make a reliable unisex choice
If you don’t want to wear a backpack, a crossbody bag is a great alternative. A crossbody bag is much harder to snatch from your arm than a regular handbag.
This Travelon crossbody bag is slash-resistant, has special locking straps and RIFD blocking. It’s pretty much theft-proof. And it’s still a really nice bag. It’s big enough for a wallet, phone, small water bottle, a map and a couple of toiletries. Everything you need for a day of sightseeing. The bag comes in three different colors and goes with everything. So it won’t ruin those Insta pics in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Waist bags (fanny packs)
Along with other ’90s staples such as crop tops and platform sneakers, the waist bag (or fanny pack) is making a comeback! And I for one, am a big fan. Backpacks and cross shoulder bags can be bulky and uncomfortable, especially if you’re traveling light. A waist bag is a perfect way to bring a few essentials and still have your hands free and pockets empty. Because you wear them in front of you, it’s much harder for anyone to get into without you noticing. And they are a much better looking than those ugly money belts.
I see more and more female backpackers embracing the waist bag. From sporty to sparkly, there’s a style for everyone and every occasion. You can go for an anti-theft bag with a sleek black design such as this one from Daymakers, that will keep your valuables safely stored during the day. But this type of bag is also great for a night out, when you want to bring a few essentials but still wear a dress. Embrace the 90s theme with a holographic waist bag or go for an elegant black quilted number.
As a teenager, I used to stash my money in my bra when I went out partying to avoid carrying a purse. But it was not exactly a classy look to go digging around your bra for loose change. Luckily, some genius with a similar problem came up with the bra wallet. A bra wallet stashes your money and credit card at the safest possible spot. You can attach it to the middle or side of your bra, and the silk material won’t chafe or irritate your skin.
Few clothing items are as useful and versatile for travelers as the good old scarf:
- Cold air conditioning in the bus/train/airplane? Scarf.
- Too sunny and want to block some rays? Scarf.
- Need to cover your shoulders before entering a church or temple? Scarf.
- Forgot your pillow? Scarf.
But if, like me, you want to pack light and need items to do double duty, a special travel scarf is what you need. A travel scarf not only keeps you warm, it also doubles as storage. It allows you to carry your stuff where you can easily reach it, but no one else will get to it.
This travel scarf from Waypoints is an infinity scarf made from soft and durable fabric. It comes in 37(!) different designs and colors so you might as well get one for every outfit. What makes this scarf unique is the hidden compartment. It’s big enough for your phone, keys, passport and some cash. But even with everything inside, it still drapes beautifully and doesn’t weigh you down. You can go sightseeing and shopping without worrying about your things or having to carry a bag.
But you don’t just want keep your things safe while walking around; you also want to be able to store them safely. That’s where a portable safe comes in handy. A portable safe is a bag for your valuables that’s pretty much impossible to get into, but is light and small enough to take with you anywhere. The PacSafe portable safe is slash-proof and has a 360 lock with a letter and number combination, a big upgrade from a regular padlock . You can either carry it in your bag or leave it locked in your hotel room. It even has a steel cable you can use to secure it to a piece of furniture or a radiator while you are out. And the simple black design is actually pretty elegant.
Self-defense is important for solo female travelers. Unfortunately, as a woman alone, you are much more vulnerable to attacks. While I won’t suggest you arm yourself, there are forms of protection you can use.
A personal alarm is an easy way to repel any creeps and will make you feel more secure, especially walking around at night. This cute rose pink one kind fits on your bag or keychain but packs a real punch. It has a super bright light and a loud alarm to scare off assailants and call for help. Another option is this update on the good old “rape whistle.” The sleek design works as a trendy necklace or as a keychain.
If those personal alarms don’t scare them off, a blast of pepper spray sure will. This one is a great blingy addition to your keychain and is about the size of a lipstick. It has a safety lock, so you won’t accidentally spray yourself. Keep in mind that it’s not legal everywhere for civilians to carry pepper spray, so check before you take it to your next destination!
Reusable filter bottles
Travel safety doesn’t just mean safeguarding your belongings. It also extends to the food and water you consume. Depending on where you are traveling, tap water might not always be potable. And sure, you could buy bottles of filtered water. But that is expensive, annoying and add ups to a lot of plastic waste. And what if you’re thirsty and there isn’t a shop in sight? I’ve woken up plenty of times in Southeast Asia, unable to quench my thirst until I went to the store. Or forgotten to bring water before a 4-hour bus ride…
With a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter, like the LifeStraw, you can drink from any water source (except saltwater). They filter out 99.999% of harmful materials, bacteria, and viruses. LifeStraw is so good that they have even been used by NGO’s in areas where people have no access to clean drinking water. I used my LifeStraw Go for several months while traveling in Southeast Asia, Morocco and on hikes in the US and Canada. I drank from random taps and even rivers and didn’t get sick once! They come in several colors and designs, so this bottle keeps you safe and healthy and looks cool doing it.
Conclusion: Safe (almost always) and stylish (more than ever)
With these travel gadgets you’ll be prepared for wherever your next trip takes you. Upgrade your travel wardrobe with these cute and convenient items, so you can focus on having a good time without having to worry about your safety. Time to go out and explore the world with confidence and show off your smart stylish purchases. Because safety never goes out of style!