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If you're a woman traveling alone, taking safety precautions just makes sense. Here are some basics:


* Keep your car doors locked at all times. If you have a breakdown, put out your "Call police" sign (supplied by your motor club or AAA) and wait for the police to arrive. If someone else offers help, don't open your car door or window. Crack the window just enough to talk.


* Use common sense. Park in well-lit areas-particularly in airport parking lots, where crime is on the increase. Don't keep anything in your car that invites theft. Lock your belongings in your trunk or cover them up and take valuables into your hotel or motel room with you.


* Get an up-to-date map when you arrive in a city or rent a car. If you need to ask for directions, ask a family or a woman with children. Say "Where is X? I'm meeting my husband there."