Top Tips For Staying Safe When Travelling Solo
Traveling in a group is often a fun experience, one in which you rarely need to worry about your safety when abroad in a foreign land. Things differ, however, when you are traveling solo. With no one familiar by your side, you are more vulnerable to the uncertainties of the world. In order to avoid becoming a victim of theft or other more serious occurrences, here are our Top Tips For Staying Safe When Traveling Solo.
- Keep Your Valuables Safe
A key point is to always avoid bringing too much cash around with you. Avoid carrying a lot of cash and always remember to keep your daily spending cash easily accessible. You don’t want to pull a whole chunk of bills out of your sock to buy a doughnut from a street vendor. Bring along with you only your personal debit or credit cards, and leave everything else that is important at home. Remember to stash these cards in places that are difficult for anyone else to get to, like a passport pouch that hangs around your neck. Avoid storing these valuables in your purse or bag in case of any pickpockets or muggers.
- Improve Your Situational Awareness
There is nothing more important than improving your situational awareness, especially in a land that is foreign and unfamiliar to you. Pay close attention to your surroundings and observe and absorb as much of it as possible. This way, should anything go amiss, you will not be taken by surprise. Training yourself in self-defense skills such as krav maga techniques can help you defend yourself in any sour or dangerous situations.
- Know Where You Are Going
Always plan your trip before leaving the comforts of your own home and always review your travel route before you leave your hotel at your travel destination. Avoid pulling out maps in public, even in your rental car, as this is a dead giveaway that you are an unfamiliar tourist. Never leave maps that are marked with your route sitting around in your hotel room or your rental car either. The best option is to use a GPS application on your phone as it is with you at all times.
- Make A Local Friend
You will be surprised at the number of websites available these days that allow you to connect with and befriend people all around the world. There are many great networks now available to connect travelers all around the world. You clear all your doubts and queries about customs and things to do in their area or even make plans to meet up for a friendly meal.
- Blend In
When traveling solo, the last thing you want to do is stick out like a sore thumb. This is one of those situations where blending into the crowd is a good thing. You don’t want to look like you have a ton of money, so don’t carry around your newest branded handbag or adorn your flashy Rolex watch. Dressing modestly and not provocatively is also a good way to avoid unwanted attention. Keep local traditions, customs and weather in mind when deciding on how to dress.
- Have Back Ups Ready
Before traveling, take photographs of all your important documents and store them in a secure locked site like DropBox that you can access from any computer around the world. Passport, IDs, credit cards, ticket numbers, boarding passes, reservations and such should be backed up. That way, if you lose them AND your computer or smartphone, you won’t be totally left in the dark.
- Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
If your budget allows, choose to stay in a hotel chain that has a good reputation and safety records. If you are a woman, source hotels that offer women-only levels for added safety. Ask for a room above ground floor, near the lifts and away from emergency exits and stairwells. If you are not willing to splash out on accommodation, consider staying at a small inn or bed and breakfast rather than a cheap motel. Many bed and breakfasts are run by families and are a very safe option. Always make reservations before you travel.
Always remember that when traveling solo, you come first. It is crucial that you are organized, well planned and in tune with your instincts when in the middle of a foreign city. Most people are generally nice and do not intend to harm you, but with a little preparation and common sense, you can protect yourself from the other sorts of people when you are traveling alone.