When traveling in Western Europe, American women will not need to make very many changes in their routine or dress, as Western Europe is very similar to the American experience.
American women can easily travel through most parts of Western Europe using the same care there than they would at home.
For added safety, here are a few tips for the American woman traveling in Western Europe alone.
Dress conservatively when you travel abroad.
Take your clues from the local women. If you think your outfit may be a bit too revealing, it probably is.
While sightseeing, carry a sweater or shawl or another wrap for a change in weather as well as a change in clothing.
Select your lodgings carefully.
In hotels, ask for a double room if you can afford to or try to get a room with a balcony so you can watch the evening travelers go by.
Stay in hotels in the main sections of town and stay away from hotels tucked in back alleys and dark corners.
For an instant family, consider staying in a hostel.
The guests usually watch out for each other and the operators of the hostel will learn your name and be able to anticipate your concerns much sooner than some of the larger hotels.
Check on-line for hostels located throughout Western Europe.
Handle harassment with flair.
The way you handle harassment and unwelcome attention from men at home work just as well in Western Europe.
If a man will not leave you alone and you feel uncomfortable, walk into a café or shop and either wait until he leaves or ask the shop owner to call a cab for you.
No need to confront anyone, just alter your destination for a little while.
Carry a daypack instead of a purse.
Make sure your valuables are kept out of sight or use the hotel safe, if available.
The best idea is to keep your valuables at home.
When you are sightseeing, never set down anything of value.
Either keep your camera in your hand or keep it zipped away.
When resting, loop the strap of your daypack around your arm or leg or the chair leg so a passer-by cannot walk away with it.
Eat in new restaurants at noon.
Restaurants feel cheerier during the light of day and you will not feel as awkward as if you were eating alone during the dinner hour.
Instead of being seated alone in a busy restaurant during the evening rush, have lunch as your main meal and save money too.
Alternatively, try a self-service café and eat your lunch in the open air of a park.
Be self-reliant. Be self-aware.
Always carry local currency, some food, water, a map, a guidebook, and a phrasebook in your daypack.
If you do need to ask for help, ask another woman or a shopkeeper, waiter, or market employee.
Asking a family of travelers for assistance is a much better idea than asking a man standing alone.
Asking single strangers in a strange town can lead you to trouble.
Remember your manners.
When traveling in any foreign country, be polite, courteous, and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Personal safety is your responsibility and knowledge of the lands and people you will be visiting can be a big factor in guaranteeing your safe return.