USA Today is featuring a travel special for women this week (with content provided by travel site SmarterTravel.com) and the focus is on safety. The piece highlights five famously women-friendly destinations: Amsterdam, Ireland, Costa Rica, India and Vietnam. Next, it lists five places women should exercise caution when visiting: the Middle East and Northern Africa, the Mediterranean coast, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the states of the former USSR. Woman-friendliness is determined by decreased likelihood that female travelers will get groped or hassled during their visits; caution is recommended in regions where unwanted attention, as well as kidnappings and assaults, are common complaints.
Of course, experiences vary; it's very possible to have a negative or scary experience in a reputedly safe city and a perfectly lovely experience in a place that many would deem dangerous. But does it strike anyone else that USA Today's women-friendly destinations are four countries and a city, and the places women should perhaps reconsider visiting account for approximately half the total landmass on Earth? It's enough to make a girl resolve to stay home -- unless a girl lives in the U.S. and thus is in peril already. Note to selves: Do not leave house.