Look Like You Belong
I always do research on Instagram or on Pinterest to see what people are wearing in the specific country or region I’m headed to. This also includes a very important point: at no point should you be staring at your phone looking lost, and God forbid you use an actual physical map. Do not make yourself a target. This is all about blending in, look and act like a local.
Know Where You Are Going
Make sure you know how the public transit works where you are going, and that you have a list of things you want to see in each of the major neighborhoods. Always take screenshots or download free versions of maps (like City Maps 2Go) in case your internet is not working. Also take screenshots or even print out step by step instructions for public transit and itineraries.
I spent six months in Europe with no international telephone plan, and relied solely on WiFi. This is how I learned how to plan routes in advance, always stay two steps ahead, and screenshot everything.
Have a Plan
What will you say if someone is creepy and asks you if you are traveling alone? I always state that I am traveling with friends and we are having a personal day, and that I am meeting up with them later. Use specifics in your answer to make it believable i.e. the name of your best friend. If you feel uncomfortable with lying, walking away is always an acceptable answer.
Tell family and friends where you are traveling to, where you are staying, and the activities you will be doing. Most importantly tell them when you should be back. This can all be accomplished by simply sharing the Google doc of your itinerary and letting them know you will call them when you get back. Alarm bells will ring for them if they do not get a call, and they will have references of where you have been if need be. I include hostel names, train numbers, flight numbers, and daily itineraries in each of my Google docs; it definitely puts my father at ease.
Have a Backup Plan
It is always smart to have an extra copy of your passport in your luggage hidden between your clothes in case yours gets stolen. I also highly recommend that every woman, not just travelers, learns how to defend herself in any situation. I have been boxing for almost three years, and the confidence it has given me in my traveling has been immeasurable. There are also widespread self defense classes at local gyms and even YMCAs on a variable basis. Another situation that might cause panic is walking alone at night and getting lost. Hopefully you have a downloaded or screenshotted map, but if not, always follow the light. Stay in lighted areas and look out for 24 hour establishments. Fast food chains or late night coffee shops typically have free WiFi to help get your a** home.