Travelling alone is the moment when you want to visit places, do soul search and discover yourself or find your true love. There is no doubt that traveling can change your perspective about life. Whether no one wants to accompany you or you just want to have a break, just relax and continue your adventure! Traveling and visiting new places and meeting new friends are the best things in life.
In this article, I have put together a list of safety tips that you can take note when traveling alone for the first time.
Safety Tips For Traveling Solo
1. Share your detailed itinerary to your loved ones
Don’t be selfish. Share your adventure plans with them so they will be able to know about your flight status. It’s better to let them know where you are than having them guess your whereabouts. Once you have reached your destination. Give them your contact details and the address of the hotel or lodge where you are staying.
Tip: Little you may not know that you may use Google Flight Search for finding flights and popular destinations.
2. Use a body bag or money belt
Aside from having an anti-theft backpack (like Pacsafe) or an ordinary bag with lock and cover, consider using a body bag or belt to keep your valuables. Just place this in front of you so you can check this on sight and the thief will have a hard time stealing from you.
While travelling, you can also put money in different places such as placing money in the money belt, inside your shoe and tissue packs in your backpack.
Use a hotel safe to leave some money and travel documents so if anyone have managed to enter your room, they cannot open and bring the safe with them.
3. Don’t’ be a show-off
Look around and observe if almost everyone is free showing and using gadgets. If they are not, just keep your gadgets inside your bag. If possible, bring necessary things to your travel and leave your expensive things at home. Dress appropriately and don’t wear flashy accessories.
4. Pay attention
While walking outside, don’t wear a headset because you will not be able to pay attention to your surroundings. You cannot act on your instinct if there is danger coming.
Having a map or GPS device on your journey is fine. Whenever you are lost and asking directions, do not ask passersby. Just go to guards, stores, hotel’s front desk and police stations so you will be sure that they will not trick you to go to unsafe places.
If in case you are in rural areas, trust your instinct and go ask decent looking locals for directions.
5. Learn basic fighting skills
If someone declares a hold-up with a knife or gun, just give your valuables, know the incident details and tell this to the police. Remember you only live once. If you encounter kidnappers and killers, this is where you can use your fighting skills. Learn not only the basic fighting skills but also learn how to shout help in your destination’s language. To be safer, bring pepper spray and whistle with you.
For women and kids, you can join the Krav Maga or other self-defense seminars.
If you are not looking for romantic encounters, wear a fake wedding ring or carry a photo of a strong and influential looking man or woman in your wallet and pretend that you will be meeting him or her on your way.
6. Connect with the locals
Learn the basics words such as knowing how to call help and how to ask for a bargain price. Know their culture like in the Philippines, you can choose to give a tip or not after dining in a restaurant while in Japan, the locals don’t want to be given a tip.
Read a travel guide so you will be aware on what’s consider rude and what are prohibited things to do. Learn transportation spot and prices before you arrive at the airport. Ask a hotel staff and give additional tip so you will know the real prices of commodities and you will not be fooled when you are buying souvenirs and other items.
7. Do not travel alone on quiet areas
This is the ultimate advice. Whether it is day or night, you must not travel alone in quiet and dark places. The thrill of travelling alone is visiting unknown places but don’t let your guard down even when answering your phone or arranging things.
8. Do not give too much details
Making friends is a very warming experience but do not give them your hotel room details. Just meet in public places or if by phone, just give them the hotel phone number and have the operator connect them to your room.
Provide them your contact details and home address when you are still together on the last day before your departure.
9. Know where to get help
Have a small local hotline list and bring it always. Know the place of your embassy, nearest hospitals and police stations in the area. In case of emergency you can easily call for help using your mobile phone. If you have problems about your documents or if a severe crime has happened to you, contact your embassy.
You don’t have to stay in a single place just to be safe. The purpose of travelling is to explore and experience a different culture. Meet people and develop your communication skills. Come back safe to your home and be proud telling stories of your own adventure.