Why it’s so dangerous: “India is a Trip.com favorite destination for solo female travelers and one of the most complex, with wide variations across regions,” says Pond.
But the country continues to experience terrorist activities that may impact U.S. citizens, according to the State Department.
“Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques and restaurants in large urban areas,” advises the State Department.
“Attacks have taken place during the busy evening hours in markets and other crowded places, but could occur at any time.”
Trip.com’s advice for how to stay safe:
- If you go, go with eyes wide open. Even with a companion, sexual assault remains a serious and ongoing problem.
- Wear long, loose clothing that covers your shoulders. Lots of female travelers we know even buy and wear Indian clothing upon arrival.
- Be prepared for staring; you’ll likely experience a lot of it.
- Start and end your days early to avoid being out at night.
- If taking the train, purchase the highest-class train tickets in advance and take women-only transportation options in cities like Delhi.
- Never walk alone on city streets at night. In smaller towns, try to have a male companion. Even then, this may not be enough of a precaution.
- Regions like Kerala and cities like Rishikesh (known for its regular influx of yoga students) are comparatively safe, as are Gujarat, Punjab and Calcutta. Family-run guesthouses can be lovely places to stay.
- Take a small doorstop with you in case you’re staying in accommodations that make you uneasy (Pond had an unexpected late overnight in Bangalore once and says she felt anything but relaxed). These can slow an intruder down for a few seconds, long enough to yell for help or find an escape route.