How to stay safe when traveling solo.
It’s always fun to travel in a group but a solo journey can be an exciting experience too. However, things can quickly go wrong if you fail to prioritize your personal safety.
Here you have a few safety tips to keep in mind when traveling alone:
- Stay connected via cell phone at all times
A mobile phone with roaming capabilities will help you get in touch with your folks back home or the authorities at all times. You can rent a phone if roaming is not enabled.
- Keep others updated of your every move
Remember to regularly update your people back home about your whereabouts and what you’re doing. Communicate regularly with friends and family. Talk to the front office or security desk at the hotel you’re staying. Let them know when to expect you back and the route you plan to take, and then stick to the plan.
- Keep your passport, money and credit cards in safe and separate places
Keep some of your money or credit cards in your purse or wallet and some extra cash in a different pouch. Always move around with a copy of your passport’s data page and keep your passport safe and locked in your hotel just in case you lose it.
- Study your destination thoroughly before you leave home
Planning a trip is almost as fun as the actual traveling. Get time to dig up relevant information about your destination. Use available maps to know all the safe places to visit. Ask for local emergency numbers that you can call during emergencies. Google ‘where not to go in [city]’ and avoid the places mentioned. You can also download Google Maps for offline use or use a dedicated international mapping app.
- Blend in with the locals
Try to fit in as much as possible with local people. Learn their customs and etiquette. When in doubt about the dress code, go for a conservative style.
- Find safe accommodation
Find a safe hotel closer to the action to avoid traveling long distances after a night out. Get a room closer to the concierge desk or near elevators and always keep the door locked. Try to avoid ground floors where window entry is possible and NEVER answer the door if you’re not expecting anyone. Study more safety tips while traveling abroad.
- Eat healthy
Clean water is one of the major concerns for travelers. Avoid tap water and meals served in unhygienic places. Carry with you an extra supply of prescription medications and don’t forget a hand sanitizer.
- Don’t compromise your safety for cheaper options
Don’t be afraid to pay extra for a safer travel experience. It’s safer to stay at a pricier hotel than at cheaper but riskier environments. If you’re suddenly cash-strapped, you can always apply for a loan online and sort out any emergency you could be having. Never let lack of money come between you and your personal safety.
- Be prepared for any eventuality
Always keep emergency contacts and secret cash at hand. Preparation is the first step to staying safe. Your cell phone should be your constant companion. It can save you from most of the difficult situations abroad.
- Trust your gut
Trust your instincts. If you feel a particular place or section of the city is not safe, follow your instincts and walk away. It’s better to stick on the side of caution and remove yourself from situations that don’t feel right.
- Keep your wits about you
It’s understandably possible to let down our guard when distracted by the thrills, sounds, and sights of new places. Remember that these are not your familiar haunts back at home so don’t be too trusting and avoid getting carried away by events. You can always record every exciting moment of your travel on camera and save the excitement for later.
- Watch your alcohol intake
Alcohol impairs our judgment so if you must take a few in the evening, do it in moderation. Know the type of drinks you take. You can always try new drinks to explore the local cuisine but don’t get carried away by experimentation. Get your drinks directly from the bartender. That’s how smart people avoid laced servings. Keep in mind that too much alcohol will dull your senses and slow you down, which makes you even more vulnerable and easily exploited.
- Get travel insurance
Travel insurance shouldn’t be taken for granted. It can save your life. Travel insurance covers you against robbery, political chaos, natural disasters and much more.
- Register with Your Embassy
The US State Department handles international travel safety for U.S. citizens. Register with your embassy when traveling to countries known for high levels of crime and political instability.
- Join groups of sightseers
Finally, don’t be a complete loner even when traveling alone. Join temporary groups of fellow travelers when sightseeing in public places. Remember, there’s safety in numbers.
Traveling alone can be a fulfilling experience. It’s a journey of self-discovery. However, it shouldn’t be a reason to risk your life.
Do you have more solo traveling safety tips? Please share them with us or post your comments in the section below.
About the Author: Other Voices
Other Voices has written 823 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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