Staying Safe as a Solo Traveler
There’s an old saying that travel is the only thing money can buy that makes you richer. It’s a true statement. Travel allows you to experience something unlike the purchase of anything else. The immersion of yourself into another culture, into another world, the history, and the excitement that comes with traveling is unexplainable to anyone who has never traveled.
It’s always fun to travel with people you love, but sometimes you make the decision to take on travel as a soloist. Before you embark on a solo travel journey anywhere in the world, you want to learn how to stay safe and in control. The world is your oyster, but you must know how to remain safe when you’re on your own.
Never Assume You’re Safe in A Specific City
If you’re traveling to Mexico as a single woman by yourself, you might assume you’re a larger target. If you’re traveling to Boston as a single woman on her own, you might assume you’re perfectly safe. While there are places in the world that are more dangerous for travelers than others, you’re at risk anywhere you go when you’re on your own.
The best way to handle solo travel is to understand you’re at risk anywhere you go. You are never fully safe simply because you assume one area or another is safer or more secure. You must employ safety precautions everywhere you go.
Don’t Travel Alone at Night
If you’re going to land late at night or early in the morning somewhere by yourself, be sure you book a reputable car service. Don’t go looking for a ride on your own at night. While most drivers are perfectly reliable and safe, there are always those who are simply on the prowl looking for an overly tired single person late at night or early in the morning for no reason other than to take advantage.
Leave the Good Stuff at Home
You don’t need to wear your expensive jewels when you travel, and you really don’t need to wear them when you travel alone. You become an instant target the moment someone notices you’re wearing costly designer items, and you’re a bigger target when they realize you’re on your own. You might be strong and self-sufficient, but you’re more likely to be mugged or attacked on your own.
Don’t Carry All Your Personal Belongings in One Place
Leave a credit card and some cash and one of your forms of ID in your hotel safe. Carry another form of ID, a card, and some cash with you, but separate it across your body. Put some in your coat pocket, some in your handbag, and some in your pants pocket. If someone grabs your bag or coat, you’ve got money and backup identification to keep you safe. Another way to improve the odds is to use an anti-theft back pack. OutdoorCrunch has tested several.
Unless you’re a superhero and you can fight off any ill-meaning people on your own, it’s better to stay safe. You owe it to yourself to keep your documents and belongings in a safe place.
Stay Mum About Where You’re Staying
Never tell a stranger where you’re staying or that you’re alone. Always elude to the fact that you have a friend, spouse or family member back at the hotel or out doing a little shopping while you relax at the bar or a restaurant or museum. While you’re at it, never let someone know what floor you’re on, what room you’re in, and keep an open mind about riding the elevator a little longer than necessary if there is anyone you worry about on it with you.
Your job as a solo traveler is to stay safe and aware. Make conscious and informed decisions about what you’re doing and where you are going. Don’t forget to use your common sense, such as walking alone anywhere at night in a strange city or walking around with headphones in your ears not paying attention to what’s going on around you.
The best way to stay safe is to stay quiet, vigilant, and to prepare prior to departure. Learn as much as you can about where you’re going, and use your common sense when you travel alone.
Please share your ideas and practices for staying safe on trips in the comments below or via email, on Twitter, Facebook , Instagram or Google+.