6 Safety Tips for Solo Travelers
If traveling solo is still in your bucketlist, this article is for you.
Traveling solo is fun because you are not tied to anyone and can move at your own pace. You can do the things you love without any restrictions and enjoy your travel to the fullest. However, solo travel is not easy and a common challenge many face is having security. You need to take your safety very seriously if you are to enjoy your trip. The last thing you want is to lose all your belongings in a foreign country. How can you ensure that you are safe during your solo trip? Here are some smart ideas you should try.
Sleep in a Safe Place
You may want to be as comfortable as you would on the queen mattresses by Purple, but comfort is not the number one consideration when choosing a hotel room. You need a safe place to sleep during your trip. Avoid hotels and motels that are in dark alleys and opt for hotels that have security features in place. Booking in advance can help you get a secure room in a safe hotel. When you get there, keep the room locked and your valuable belongings away from the open area. A hostel is also a good choice for solo travelers because here you can meet new friends and, as always, there is safety in numbers.
Start Planning for Safety Early
As you choose where you would like to travel, consider how safe the area is. You can find out by doing research online. Talk to fellow travelers in groups you share and ask about the safety of your destination. Confirm what the customs of the people are and what areas are considered insecure. With this knowledge, you can plan a fun and safe trip. Don’t know where to start? Here are some good solo travel destinations.
Blend in With the Locals
Acting like a local will help you blend in and avoid attracting unnecessary attention. As it is said, when you go to Rome do as the Romans do. Respect the culture of the place you are visiting and strive to adhere to it. Dressing right is the easiest way to blend in. For instance, visiting a Muslim country will require you to dress conservatively while some temples in Thailand require people to be covered all the way to the ankle. Improper dressing can lead to you being roughed up and even chased from some places. Plus, you may lose some of your belongings in the fracas. If people speak a different language, it would be wise to learn a few important words in the local language like asking for directions or water.
Keep in Touch With Family and Friends
It is good to stay in touch even when traveling solo. Avoid turning off your mobile phone and keep it with you at all times. Share your itinerary with someone close to you and make a point of checking in with them often. You may use roaming if your SIM card allows or get a new SIM card in every new country you enter and make sure a friend has the number. In case of any problem, contact someone who can get you help.
Conceal Your Valuables
A thief may not know what valuable thing you possess unless you show it to them. To avoid being robbed, especially by pick-pocketers, do not flash your valuables. Use a bag to carry that expensive camera as you walk around and keep your phone out of sight as much as you can. Passports, IDs, and credit/debit cards should be guarded at all times. These items should be stored near you preferably in a waist bag and never in your backpack.
Whether you are going to be using various means to make money while traveling or have a fixed budget you should stick to, keeping your money safe is important. Stash the money in different places, not just your purse. You may keep some in your backpack, a waist bag, or even your pockets. If you lose one stash, you will still have the other one!
Trust Your Gut
Your instinct is almost always right. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or with someone, get away from there. Do it as fast as possible and you will be safe as you enjoy the thrills of solo travel. Avoid long thoughts on whether you should leave or stay. If your gut tells you to leave that is exactly what you should do. This may be a hotel, a city, or even a country; be ready to follow your instincts. Remember it is better to be safe than sorry. If you find yourself in a situation where your instincts require you to detach from people you just met, do not be afraid to make excuses to do so.