I am a 30 y/o female planning a 4 month trip to Southeast Asia for the latter half of the year. I have never traveled internationally alone before and I need advice on how to stay safe while I am abroad. One of my concerns is (valid or not) is Human trafficking, as I am a blond haired, blue eyed attractive woman. What are the things I must and must not do in order to stay safe? Ideally, I would prefer a mix of both touristy and non-touristy things, getting away from crowds, and staying in hostels or with locals.
Human trafficking is the least of your worries. Although it is a hideous thing, because it preys on the most vulnerable, the victims are generally extremely poor and do not have access to resources such as adequate health care, and legal representation. These are not problems likely to befall a western traveller (unless you fall on really hard times and don't have a friend back home who could help).
From our insurance stat's you could generalise and say the most likely thing to happen to you is a vehicle accident, especially if you rent a motor scooter. Food poisoning/gastro is next on the medical list. Non-medically you're most likely to get a bag stolen or something valuable like a music player stolen from your bags.
The lesson being that you need to take sensible precautions.... but there's no need to feel unduly alarmed for your safety.
Here are a few articles from our safety hub to get you started, but remember millions of people visit Southeast Asia every year and more than 90% have an enjoyable, trouble-free trip.
Baggage security: http://safety.worldnomads.com/Worldwide/87659/Bag-and-Luggage-Theft-Security-Tips
Staying healthy: http://safety.worldnomads.com/Worldwide/61374/Travel-Health-and-Hygiene
Understand how to avoid Dengue Fever: http://safety.worldnomads.com/Worldwide/29083/What-you-need-to-know-about-Dengue-Fever
Motorcycle licensing and safety: http://safety.worldnomads.com/Malaysia/62697/Do-I-Need-A-License-To-Ride-A-Motorbike-In
While you're at the safety hub read other tips on staying safe for your destinations, and don't forget to get travel insurance.
Phil at the safety hub. almost 4 years ago