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You probably know the comments. The don’t-travel-alone-because-it’s-not-safe comments.
While handling well-meaning family and friends is a blog post in itself, how to stay safe when traveling alone is something that many female travelers think about when on the road.
As someone who recently started traveling by themselves AND is a self-proclaimed scardy-cat (one too many episodes of CSI will do that to you), I truly believe traveling solo is something everyone can do, regardless of their travel experience.
This being said, it’s important to be prepared when you’re traveling alone. Especially, since you won’t have family or friends to rely on should things go wrong.
(which hopefully they won’t)
In light of this, I’ve put together five ways you can stay safe when you travel solo:
1. Be prepared for all situations
Not to sound morbid, but knowing what to do, should the sh*t hit the fan is super important. You need to think about this before you set out on your travels.
What are you going to do if you lose your wallet?
Do you go to the police?
Which credit card companies do you need to call?
What do you do if you lose your passport?
How will you access emergency funds?
What if you need to leave the country quickly? How will you get funds for this?
I don’t make these points to stress you out… But, rather make the point that it’s important to have a high-level plan on what to do if something goes wrong.
And if nothing goes wrong?
Well, you have a plan still – it’ll make you feel better and it’ll make your family and friends feel better about you traveling solo!
2. Stash your valuables
Do not, I repeat do not leave your only source of cash in your backpack or handbag.
Always have a back-up, because you never know when you might have your wallet stolen.
You don’t want to end a holiday early or suffer through days without money because you didn’t plan ahead
There’s nothing worse than spending money and time to get to your vacation destination and then have to cancel or spend days struggling because you didn’t plan ahead.
So, make sure you leave an extra credit card or cash stash on your personal body, either in a money pouch or in your bra (we’ve all done it before, surely??)
3. Make friends!
I still remember the first time traveling myself and checking into a hostel.
The lady working check-in was telling me how one of their guests didn’t come back and by the next morning how none of the other staff or roommates had seen him at all.
She was so worried, that she called the police.
Thankfully, he was safe! It turned out that he had partied a bit too hard the night before and didn’t make it back to the hostel til the next afternoon. I tell this story because you shouldn’t underestimate the power of making connections with your fellow travelers or the hostel/hotel staff.
The moral of the story?
Making friends with your roommates and hostel staff that not only makes your holiday more enjoyable but safer too.
4. Be street smart
This goes without saying, and I would hope that we all did this regardless of where we are in the world. But…
Don’t go down unlit streets at night.
Don’t drink heavily by yourself.
Don’t go into unsafe areas by yourself.
If you’re in a city you’re not familiar with, don’t be afraid to ask your hotel or hostel if there are any areas you should avoid.
Ask when you check-in, and get them to circle it on a map or point it out on google maps for you.
And if you get lost?
Pick your “target” carefully. Ask for directions from women, families, shop-keepers or restaurants.
5. Be firm, trust your gut
If something feels wrong, it probably is. If you’re in a situation where someone is making you feel uncomfortable or where something feels wrong, walk away.
Don’t be afraid to say no, if someone makes you an offer that you’re uncomfortable with.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The worst that could happen is that you say ‘no’ to someone. It’s not rude, most of the time people understand.
And if they don’t understand?
Well, they can go and shove it! You are the master of your destiny, your experiences and your safety.
Have you traveled solo before? What are some of the tips you’d share?
Leave me a comment below!