Everyone should attempt solo travel at least once in their lives. Spending time with oneself away from the hustle of life is the best approach to get to discover who you really are as a person. Travelers should always prioritize their safety, especially if they are traveling alone. And, unfortunately, traveling alone as a girl demands extra caution.
The good news is that you can protect yourself by taking specific, actionable steps. Put any anxieties to rest and follow the must-know safety traveling alone.
1. Prepare for your arrival by doing your homework. Know how long it takes to go from the airport to your hotel or the city center, and how much it costs. Because solo travelers are more likely to be “taken for a ride,” get an estimate from the taxi driver before you leave. Take a different cab if it differs significantly from what you know to be true (or opt for a rideshare instead).
2. Make informed decisions about your safety. Learn about the safest neighborhoods in your location and any spots you should avoid. Discover the safest routes and the most efficient modes of public transportation. Knowing more about the place you’ll be going might assist you in selecting safe hotels. If at all possible, book a room above ground level yet close to the lobby and hotel amenities. When you’ve checked in, keep your door locked with the security chain fixed and don’t answer the door unless hotel employees or visitors are expected.
3. Safeguard your possessions. When you go out, simply bring what you need, such as your phone, a credit card, some cash, an ID, and a copy of your passport. Put them in a secure bag that you should see most of the time. Do not place bags containing these items on the ground or out of sight. A photocopy of your passport should also be kept in case the original is lost or destroyed in an accident. Keep the copy somewhere safe and different from where you keep your original passport. Also, send a copy home with a family member or a friend. It’s also important to stay alert and keep your belongings close when traveling by train, bus, or other forms of transportation. In the hotel safe, keep extra cash, jewelry, your actual passport, and other critical documents.
4. Tell someone at home about your plans. Give a friend or family member a copy of your schedule and flight information before you leave. Don’t worry if you don’t have a well-planned itinerary. It’s better to have a rudimentary understanding of your movements than none at all. Also, stay in touch while you’re gone. Many people use social media to share their adventures with family and friends while on the road.
5. Exude self-assurance. Walking confidently and with direction, whether on your own street or 7,000 miles away, is a good approach for averting unwanted attention, because appearing lost or bewildered might make you vulnerable. If you become lost, go to a store or a restaurant and ask for directions.
6. Before you travel, try to acquire a little of the local language. The ability to converse with locals not only enriches your travel experience, but it can also keep you safe. This is especially crucial if you are not visiting a popular tourist destination.
7. Use Common Sense and Avoid Risky Behaviors. Many of the following recommendations are applicable anywhere you go solo, including your hometown.
- Keep your drinks in your line of sight and don’t drink too much. Avoid traveling alone with a stranger.
- When strolling, hiking, or driving, pay attention to others around you.
- If you’re feeling uneasy, go to a public venue, such as a restaurant, or join a large group of people.
- If someone asks if you’re going alone, explain that you’re meeting a spouse, relative, or acquaintance.
8. Never, ever reveal that you are traveling alone to strangers. Don’t make yourself a target by sharing too much information with strangers. Strangers may ask questions if you are traveling alone. The standard response is that you’ll see a friend/partner later and that they’ve returned to their hotel room to relax. Probably that the majority of these inquiries are legitimate, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hotel employees can be really helpful if they are aware that you are traveling alone. They may keep an eye on you, especially in smaller hotels, and advise you on which locations to avoid.
9. Remember that private is safer than public. Prefer to stay in crowded, public areas. It’s difficult to assess events and people well when you’re not your normal routine and in a different culture. Never leave a public venue with new people, regardless of how comfortable you are with them. Avoid this so that your prudence does not offend them. Note that a cab shared with a stranger is not considered public.
10. Never make a hasty decision. Being pushed into a choice, whether at home or on the road, is one of the most common ways to be duped or ripped off. It’s a typical tactic used by those who want to take you for more money than you deserve. It usually begins with the introduction of new, believable, but incorrect information that forces you to make a rapid decision. Reject their offer if they won’t allow you enough time to think about it. Get yourself to a safe location where you can think about what you want to do.
11. Make an effort to blend in. Blend in as much as possible. Dress appropriately to respect the local culture. Shorts and vest tops, for example, are never a smart choice in many Islamic nations for any gender and will draw unwelcome attention to women. Try not to look at maps while walking along the street. Instead, feel free to stroll about or use your map or phone to direct you.
So there you have it; enjoy your solo travels!