Dating on the Road: Safety Tips for Meeting Men While Traveling

Love on the Road — By on February 14, 2011 at 6:12 am

By Katherine Chloé Cahoon
Special to The Lost Girls

Valentine’s Day. A holiday that’s sometimes loved, but mostly loathed—and that’s if you’re attached!—the world over. If you’re single, well, that’s a whole different ballgame…

If you’re not scoring in your hometown dating scene, consider a cross-the-Atlantic heart break. After spending four semesters abroad, I’m convinced that February 14th can be the greatest of times to travel for girls, regardless of relationship status. Pack up your independence, and a genuine interest in getting to know new cultures and the natives. Appealing European men will be psyched to get to know you and show you a fabulous time!

But before you go, consider the following tips. It’s safety first when making romantic memories abroad.

1. Research Your Hotel!

It’s fun to be spontaneous. I know people who just head off to a city figuring they will find a place to stay when they arrive. In Europe, that can lead to problems. It is critical to double-check all accommodations before leaving.

I have a friend who’s a total sweetheart—let’s call her Miss Angelic. She made online reservations at what she thought was a London  hotel, but didn’t call before leaving to make sure that everything was in place. When she arrived at the establishment after midnight, she found it was not a hotel but a brothel!

Luckily, the kindhearted Madam caught on to this girl’s mistake even though Miss Angelic did not understand why this “hotel” seemed so strange. The Madam put her and her friend up for the night and kept all customers away from their room. Miss Angelic discovered her error the next morning when she found that the lock on her door didn’t work and there were several partially dressed men in the lobby, all offering to take the girls to breakfast! Definitely an extreme example, but oh, what a little research can do.

2. Don’t Drink Too Much!

Many girls go off to Europe thinking, “Whooo whoo! Time to drink and party hard!” But this attitude can be dangerous. When I analyze the stories of female travelers who were kidnapped, raped, and even killed, they often involve lots of alcohol and girls going off alone with men they just met.

So top off the drinking at tipsy: Do not even enter the drunk zone. Stay in control of yourself at all times. The women who stumble about drunk are usually a turn-off to all but the sleaziest European men. Unfortunately, a few bad examples of getting drunk and destroying property have given travelers a bad reputation in some countries. If you know when to put the glass down, Europeans will know you respect their culture and appreciate it.

3. Use the Buddy System

Do not go out alone with a man until you know him well and trust him. This may seem obvious, but women have gotten into trouble by getting into a car with a man who seems kind, handsome, and charming—only to have that not be so.

Before you meet him on your own, plan a double date, spend significant time with him, watch him in different situations, and meet his friends. Then if you decide to go out with him alone, you’re unlikely to get the bait-and-switch.

4. Forget about ridin’ solo

I know girls who only feel safe traveling with a friend; others who will travel alone but meet up with friends in different European cities; and two gutsy girlfriends who just take off by themselves whenever they want a break, regardless of whether they can rendezvous with someone.

Neither of them has been in an unsafe situation but they are extremely careful about where and when they go. They will not visit a country alone unless the trip is well-planned, they know the language, and they have been there before. You are most safe when you travel with a friend who you know has your back.

5. Carry a phone

Bring a cell phone to make local calls and have key numbers programmed into it, like your hotel, the local 911, the American embassy, and a reliable cab service.

6. Learn the Local Lingo

Don’t rely on everyone speaking your language—learn as much of the local language as you can. This will not only help you get to know the natives, it will keep you safe. Being able to converse in a foreign country helps you become aware of your surroundings, avoid getting lost, and know what those around you are saying.

Katherine Chloé Cahoon is the author of The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men, a must-have for any single woman looking to go abroad. For more information on her book or for more dating tips, visit www.MeetingEuropeanMen.com.

    1 Comment

  • Diana says:

    globogirls.com has a very long and varied list of places to go and members share their experience in these places. I found all the information I needed about the places I was intending to visit and traveling tips as well. One thing that I really liked was the tips on how to avoid scam and fraud.