Seeing the world is a wonderful thing but it’s important that solo travelers stay safe. Solo travel can be the ultimate in self-indulgence, you can rest when you want or go full force when you’re feeling ambitious. While meeting new people is of course one of the best parts of travel, if you’re alone you have to keep in mind that without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable to criminals and scam artists, Scam artists can often be the most charming companions . That’s why safety should be the foremost concern of the solo or single traveler.
As a woman, unfortunately we do have our safety to worry about. I know some travelers out there may say I’m being paranoid but better safe than sorry. I’m not saying you need to forgo trips, you just need to take some extra precautions that allow you to enjoy it in new and different ways than when you travel with other people.
As a solo woman traveler, your number one concern always needs to be safety. Even though the feminist in me doesn’t want to admit it, as a woman in this world, there are simply certain things that we have to worry about that men do not.
Fortunately, growing up with extremely paranoid parents has left me a little mistrustful—and with good reason. While some may categorize my tendency to be overly-cautious as a personality disorder, I think in today’s world it’s just good common sense to exercise some caution.
Prepare for the Worst
The first thing I do before any trip is Prepare for the Worst. Make sure you have copies of your passport or ID card, credit cards and any other important documents. Also send yourself electronic copies so even if your bags are lost, your life line is only an internet cafe away. Also keep a list of emergency contact numbers as well as banks and credit card numbers in case your credit card needs to be canceled or replaced. I keep this in my email as well. That way even if I lose everything, I’m just one internet connection away from having all the information I need.
Know Your Limits
While solo travel can be a wonderful and enriching experience, realize when you shouldn’t be alone. There is safety in numbers, and if you’re thinking of trekking to a remote place or a neighborhood known to be unsafe, it should be done with a companion or a group — that said, choose your posse wisely. Don’t become a statistic, mmm-kay? I’m all about making new friends and meeting new people when I travel. But I also remember to have limits, don’t get in cars alone or go to rooms alone with someone you barely know. Just use common sense.
Keep Your Wits About You
Don’t get distracted by everything going on around you. Don’t let your guard down when strangers approach you or you meet other travelers. Keep alcohol consumption to a reasonable level and don’t let everyone in the bar know that you’re alone. Sometimes it’s a good idea to let others know that there are people waiting for you back at the hotel. This way they don’t think that no one will notice if you go missing.
Enjoying a Stroll Around the Property
Find Out Where Not to Go
Finding out the neighborhoods and streets to avoid as well as when it’s safe to be outside alone. When I check into a hotel the first thing I ask is what neighborhoods I should avoid and what the area’s safety is like. I ask what time I shouldn’t be on the streets alone after. Cities vary widely on this, I have been in hotels where the desk staff told me to never really wander alone after dark. in neighborhoods that I would have never guessed.
Even though you may want to unplug and take a breather from those back home, keep your cell phone with you for emergencies and keep someone apprised of your itinerary. Also be sure to know the local emergency telephone number. It’s also a good idea to Learn a Few Local Phrases in case of an emergency.
Thieves often target tourists who appear vulnerable. Try not to wear anything outrageously out of the norm for the culture –especially anything too sexy that may gain you unwanted attention.
Trust your intuition
If someone or something seems not quite right, get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Common sense is always the most important thing to bring with you on any trip.