One of the first and foremost concerns that arise for a traveling woman when she thinks about venturing solo is how to travel safely alone. “I would love to travel alone, but I think it’s perilous….” “Don’t you feel insecure traveling alone?”: these are questions that I hear frequently and crossed my mind before my first solo trip.
To help, I created this article with 15 tips to make you feel more confident and can travel safely alone.
1. Try to respect as much as possible the dress code and etiquette of the country you visit.
The first tip I can give you to travel alone safely has to do with the clothes you wear. No matter how hot it is or how to fit you are, avoid wearing shorts that are too short or have high necklines. In addition to not wanting to draw unwanted attention, it is always important to respect the country’s customs.
2. Drink in moderation
Being vulnerable in a strange country is not at all advisable, so drink your beer but always in moderation and never lose sight of your drink when in a bar or nightclub.
3. Leave your itinerary at home.
It is always important that someone at home has an idea of where you are or where you will be. If you change plans midway through the trip, let your family or friends know.
4. Scan all your documents.
I hope it never happens to you, but the truth is that the probability of losing your documents while traveling is a real thing, and believe me, you won’t want to feel that loss. So be careful to scan your most important documents before departure, saving their copies in a dropbox or your email.
5. Take out travel insurance.
This is another essential tip for anyone who wants to travel safely alone. It may seem like an unnecessary expense to you but believe that when you travel, and especially when you travel alone, it is essential to prevent it so that later you don’t have to make amends in the worst possible way. Accidents, health problems, theft or loss of equipment, flight delays, lost luggage, and good travel insurance are likely to be covered.
6. Wear discreet clothing and accessories.
Try to remain as unnoticed as possible so that it is not so evident that you are a tourist. If you like to wear accessories (watches, necklaces, rings, etc.), use the most discreet you have and avoid carrying your cell phone or your top-of-the-range camera in your hand, in plain sight.
7. Try not to keep all your money in one place.
Don’t carry all your money with you or keep it all in one place for your safety. Try to spread it over several areas. someone advise me one day to put some money in the bottom of a tampon box: believe that no one will remember looking there…!
8. A fake ring on your finger can help!
If you’re not looking for your prince charming on the go, then a ring on your finger (even if a fake one) can be pretty helpful in particular, more “complicated” situations. In addition to this issue, there are countries where the idea of a single woman traveling alone is regarded with suspicion and a lot of surprises. The ring on the finger (although debatable) may manage to maintain some level of respect from the locals towards you.
9. Request transfer from the airport to the hotel.
It is normal for you to feel less secure when arriving in a new and unfamiliar city, so it might be a good idea to ask the hotel you booked to send transport to pick you up at the airport. It is also a good way to avoid possible scams by taxi drivers or other local transport before you have time to get used to the prices and customs of the country/city. Most of the hotels nowadays provide such facilities with minimum cost so book your stay with such facilities.
10. If you get lost, try to look at the maps as discreetly as possible.
If you get lost in the middle of a city (and it’s likely to happen sometimes), avoid pulling the map or GPS on your cell phone in the middle. Else, you can become an easy bait for opportunists. If you get lost, go into a cafe, restaurant, or hotel, consult your map or ask for directions to places (preferably women), and then follow your path with a confident and determined air towards your destination.
11. Never leave your luggage.
If there’s one thing you have to do, never is to lose sight of your luggage. It can be stolen, or they can put fewer legal substances inside you… Your backpack (or suitcase) while traveling is your home, so you make sure to keep it always safe and under your eyes.
12. I don’t have a problem saying “No.”
You’re nice: great! Who doesn’t like a friendly and polite person? But so that you can travel safely alone, you cannot be afraid to say “No” firmly and assertively if the situation or offer that is being made to you is not to your liking. Before good manners and sympathy is your security.
13. If the hotel has a safe, leave your passport and valuables there.
As I usually stay in hostels or guesthouses without a safe, it is customary to always carry your passport with me, but if your hotel has a safe, leave your passport and other valuables there.
14. Research your destiny as much as possible.
Yes, impromptu trips are fantastic. Not planning and going with the wind or the taste of the tides is awesome, no doubt about it. It’s one of the significant advantages of traveling alone, but once you’ve decided where you’re going, and considering that you’re alone, try to search for as much information as possible about that location. Safety tips, more (or less) advisable areas, more (or less) touristic places are information that may be useful to you and will help you make the most of your time in each destination.
15. Don’t walk alone at night or in doubtful areas.
The last tip I give you (but not the least important) to travel alone safely is to avoid traveling alone at night or through more doubtful areas. Even if you think the distance doesn’t justify it, choose to take a transport back to your hotel.
ALWAYS trust your instinct. It’s something that never fails you. If something doesn’t feel very secure or comfortable to you at first, it’s almost certainly not. I’ve had a few experiences of this kind, and my instincts and sixth sense (something that luckily all women are naturally gifted with) have never failed me.
And now I can only wish you a good trip!