Now more than ever, are more courageous women who embark on their first solo travel. Women are usually the target of scams, mugging and other related crimes. Unfortunately, chances of being a victim to these negative elements is higher for women who travel solo.
Here are 10 essential safety tips you need to remember when planning for your upcoming adventure and avoid being a part of the statistics while travelling.
Research. And More Research.
Research about your destination. Read about the places that you plan to go to. Keep yourself informed of the current political situation or any political unrest going on. Avoid choosing a travel destination where there’s a log of women being kidnapped and raped on the news.
You can ask on solo travel groups or forums too about your travel plans and destination. The internet is a great source of information. Nothing beats being informed. Nothing.
Weigh your transportation options carefully
Part of your research about your travel destination should also include transportation options. Is it safer to take public commute? Is it safe to take a taxi? Is it safe to walk part of the route? Rome2rio.com website is great starting place for searching on how to get to point A to point B.
Also there’s a hundred of forums on the internet where you can ask questions about your travel destination. You cannot be more obsessive with your research when it comes to your safety.
Don’t Skimp for A Bit More
Compare your accommodations before hitting that “BOOK NOW” button. Compare locations, accessibility and the host. If one location is pricier because it’s nearer to a bus station or metro, then book for that one instead of a cheaper accommodation that may make you walk thru a dark alley when going home.
Take note of security within the place too. If you need to compare between having your own room instead of sharing with other groups, book the one where you can have security and peace of mind. It might be pricier by a few dollars but at least you have peace of mind especially when asleep or when you go out for the day.
Same thing goes for shopping for travel insurance before you go. Make sure to verify your coverage if you plan to take helicopter rides or trekking in the Himalayas.
Join Day Tours
Aside from being fun and gaining new friends, joining day tours keep you safe while touring those out of the way places or exotic places that takes much effort to reach. Do not opt to go island hopping around Thailand on your own or go on a walking tour alone in India.
Best to tackle these types of destinations with another travel group. Plus you can get your photo taken by your new friends!
Wear Less Blings
Leave those sparkling shiny diamonds at home. I know they’re your best friend, but when travelling solo, it might be the one that will cause you harm. No need to show off those jewelries because no one knows you here. Wear less of it because you do not want to look like a walking christmas tree full or ornaments.
You do not want to attract those robbers and scammers to approach you, right?
Never Announce That You Travel Solo
Never. Take care also that you do not post this information on social media. You do not want to attract scammers looking for solo travellers to prey on. And those selfies, yes you can still post them, but post also photos taken from your day tour or taken by other travellers in your group. Mix it up.
Let your photo be taken by other tourist too and post this. It’s perfectly fine to ask other tourist to take your photos but observe around first, which traveller to approach to take your photo. And no, you do not have to announce that you’re travelling solo to every person that you meet.
Drink Moderately and Responsively
Made new friends and they invite you out for a drink? Yes, why not. But be very careful about the amount of alcohol you drink. A glass of beer should be fine. Hold the hard liquor please. Trust your gut. Remember, if you feel that something is not right or a situation is getting out of hand for you, simply get out. Just go.
Also watch your drink, never let it out of your sight. Bring it with you even inside the toilet if you have to. Rape drugs are rampant especially in bars and clubs and the usual victims? Women who travel solo who got too much to drink.
This one’s a no brainer. Dress appropriately for any occasion or for the type of day activity you are joining. Dress down and blend in. No need to bring you strappy Jimmy Choo’s for a walking tour around Helsinki.
Avoid skimpy dresses and tank tops that almost show your cleavage and much of your chest area. Simply dress down and appropriately.
Trust Your Gut and Maybe Lie
If something is not right, maybe it is not right. Do not dismiss it outright. Trust your judgement. If something is not right or out-of-place, get out of the situation immediately. You do not have to make a big deal out of it. Just quietly walk away.
When dining alone, get a table near to the bar or in well lighted place of the restaurant. If someone approaches you while you are dining alone and cooly or arrogantly introduces himself to you, smile and nicely say that you are waiting for your boyfriend. This is one of those situations where it is legal to lie. Or you can finish your meal quickly and quietly leave the place.
Check in with your Family
Check in with your family and let them know you arrived safely. Even if you’re travelling long term, do not lose ties with your family. In fact this is the first thing I do when I check in to my accommodation. Connect to a wifi and email them or chat with them that I’m already in Paris and that the host I’m staying with is a lovely family of musicians. In this way they are also aware of your current situation and who you are staying with at your current location.
Of course before I left, I shared with them a copy of my itinerary and contact details of my hosts. This way they are at ease and worry less about your safety while you travel. Remember, family is the bestest (the best of the best in my dictionary) support system there is.
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