According to a recent release from the American Society of Travel Agents, a woman traveling alone has "very different concerns than her male counterpart." I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has the same concerns, just varying in degrees, and only sometimes by gender. Still, I found the organization's list of safety tips for women useful—and applicable to both sexes.
Know Before You Go. Learn as much about the destination as possible, especially when traveling to a foreign country. An area's religious or cultural beliefs can directly impact you, compelling you to adapt your dress and demeanor to comply with local customs.
Welcome to Hotel Safety. Get to know the staff, who will be familiar with guests and are able to more effectively monitor who enters and exits the building. Ask for a room on a higher floor near the elevator but away from emergency exits, stairwells and any renovation work. And never accept a room if the clerk loudly calls out your name and room number.
Getting Around. While at the front desk, grab a card or matchbook with the hotel's name, address and phone number on it, and keep this card on you at all times. This is especially helpful in foreign countries where your taxi driver might not speak English, or in case there are several hotels with similar names in the area. Explore transportation options at your destination ahead of time, especially if you will be arriving late in the evening. If renting a car, carefully examine maps or rent a GPS to help you navigate unfamiliar roads.
Packing Smart. Pack light so you won't be weighed down and look weighed down, both of which could make you an ideal target for pickpockets. Avoid expensive looking baggage and clothing, lock all suitcases and only use covered luggage tags with your office address written on them rather than your home. Carry only one credit card, and don't keep all your money in one place.
Know Your Surroundings. Study a map of the area you will be visiting. If available, consider downloading area maps to your phone. Learn as much as possible about getting around on the streets to avoid looking like a lost tourist. Ask the concierge about where and, more importantly, where not to go.