If you are using public transport, make sure you have done your research and know the basics: where to buy tickets, the quality of the transport network and timetable information. When waiting for public transport, try to be near to a group of people and stand in well-lit areas.
If travelling on the underground, ensure that you have checked which line to take and if necessary, where to change. It is always best to know when the last train back to your location is as being stuck in an unfamiliar surrounding can be stressful and dangerous. As the tube can be particularly crowded and busy at peak times, it is important to remain attentive to your surroundings. Be conscious of people standing too close and move/get off at the next stop, if possible. Crowded buses and trains can be hot spots for anti-social behaviour.
If you find yourself in the situation when someone is either touching you or standing abnormally close when there is clearly space – if you feel that this is for the wrong reasons, such as trying to steal from you or for their own gratification, don’t be afraid to point out what they are doing and ask them to move and ensure it is reported to staff or the police at the next stop. However, if this cannot be avoided due to it being crowded, make sure any bags or pockets are properly closed and secure and try not to keep anything valuable in open jacket/coat pockets or in the back pocket of trousers as this will make them easily visible and accessible to thieves.
If travelling late at night, try to avoid empty train carriages and look for those with groups or several people in them; being a lone female late at night may unfortunately make you stand out to criminals.
Always use a taxi or licensed minicab and never hail a taxi on the street. Make sure you always use reputable taxi companies. Ask your hotel (or your company) for the name of reputable taxi companies or ask them to make your booking.
Always confirm the driver’s details when they arrive. Ask the driver who they are waiting for, do not give your name beforehand. Be mindful when sharing personal or sensitive information with the driver. If you are travelling on your own and are feeling uneasy, make a phone call (even if it is pretend) to a friend/colleague/family and say that you will meet them shortly – this is to give indication that someone is aware of your journey.
Try to sit at the back seat, behind the driver. This will eliminate any unwanted physical contact. If you are travelling in a country you have not visited before, try to map the journey before the start, this way you will have some knowledge if you are being driven to a completely different direction.
Uber has become an easy and more affordable taxi option, the app will tell you who is picking you up, with a picture of driver and the licence plate number. Through the app it is also possible to track your journey by sending it to friends who have the Uber app. If there is a problem, it is easy to file a complaint for investigation.
Make sure you always review your driver’s ratings and if you are using Uber in other countries, read the reviews about the service beforehand to see if it is recommended to use Uber. If you are on deployment, make sure you have checked with your company about the policy of using Uber.
Arranging a pickup
When arranging airport pickups, make sure you have chosen a reputable company with fully licensed drivers and that you have all the information about the driver and the vehicle beforehand. Make sure you have agreed to identify the driver by a smartly arranged collection board. If you are travelling to higher risk countries, think twice before adding your company name to the sign. You could also ask for the collection board colour to be something other than white (it won’t be as easy for someone to fake the sign). Ask for the driver to also have a copy of the booking and ask them to show it to you.
Make sure you have checked that the vehicle is safe and road worthy and it has sufficient fuel for your journey. Keep the doors locked and windows down when you are driving in higher risk countries. When parking your car, keep to well lit areas and see if there is any security or CCTV in the parking lot.