6 Tips to Stay Safe While SOLO Traveling
Every time I tell someone I’m a solo traveler, I get the question “ you’re not scared”? The answer is NO!!! I’m not scared because I take precautions as I would if I was at home. I’ve been a single woman for years so I know the Do’s and Don’ts of being alone. I kinda prefer it. As long as you take precautions you should have no trouble enjoying exciting adventures alone. Fear is something that keeps us from accomplishing a lot of goals. I know for me I do not allow fear to dictate my life choices. It’s hard sometimes but women are powerful beings and as long as you embrace that then you’ll be fine.
Scope The Scene
It’s important to do some research about your surroundings before you leave home. A simple google search to see what major landmarks or businesses are in the area of where you are staying may make all the difference. The best thing to do when you touch down in a new country or city is to scope out the surroundings once you get there. Walk around a little bit and try to get a feel for your area. You are more likely to remember how to get back once you’ve gotten to know the area. At least try to memorize the address of where you’re staying so during your trip you will always be able to tell your taxi driver. Don’t rely on having this information on your phone because of course phones die and you don’t want to be stranded and have to guess. I suggest writing it down as well and keeping the phone number to your hotel written down if you’re staying in a hotel. Even if you’re in an Airbnb keep your host phone number written down if you have it. I’m sure in a worst-case scenario they’d be happy to help you out.
Yes She Turns Up
As a female solo traveler people often wonder If I go out at night alone while I’m away and the answer is YES! Nightlife is very different in other countries and cities and I want to experience that. Now I do A LOT of prep for trips and that includes nightlife. Before I get to my destination I search online (Google, Instagram, Facebook) for clubs that I might like to go to. Then I see how far they are away from my hotel so I can have that all mapped out before I even get there. Doing this eases some of the anxiety of being out at night in a foreign place. I also map out how I’m getting back to the hotel and have a backup plan just in case. If you guys haven’t noticed by now PREPARATION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I cannot stress that enough. Also, you can even leave a note at the hotel front desk of where you’re going and when you plan to be back so they can look after you.
Not So Strange, STRANGERS
A huge part of solo traveling is meeting people and experiencing different cultures while you travel so you will in fact talk to strangers, but it’s important to be careful with this especially being a woman. Creeps prey on women that are alone so you want to make sure to use serious caution when meeting new people. I always say listen to your woman’s intuition because most of the time we can pick up on bad vibes that way. If you meet someone and you feel uneasy talking to them that is usually your intuition screaming “run” LISTEN to it! Of course everyone isn’t a psycho killer out to get you, so you can speak to people and end up meeting a new lifelong friend which is amazing! My advice on this is if you meet someone NEVER go off with them. I don’t care how nice they seem, you never know what their intentions are and you want to get back home in one piece! If you want to hang out with your new friend while you are there I’d say to meet in public places ONLY, and make sure you are able to get back to your hotel on your own. Do not rely on this new friend to help and do not accept if they offer to take you AGAIN I don’t care how nice they are. ( I mean this even if the new friend is a woman, do not think women are less of a threat because that is not true). If you meet someone I suggest getting their phone number and social media accounts that way you’ll at least be able to find out basic information about the person. You’d be surprised at how much people post about themselves online. I would also share their page with a close friend back home, that way if anything happens someone back home knows who you have encountered on your trip.
Guys, it is VERY important if you’re traveling to keep your identification on you at all times. If you’re traveling to another country you should make a copy of your passport and have it on you during the entire duration of the trip. A picture of your passport on your phone is a good idea also but not sufficient to actually having a physical copy because clearly phones die. I wouldn’t suggest you walk around with your actual passport because you don’t want to lose it! You also want to keep a list of emergency contacts written down as well ( your parents, the U.S. Embassy and address of the Embassy, Hotel phone number, travel Agency or tour group) These are all numbers you want to be written down AND stored in your phone in case something happens. Of course, have this all written down PRIOR to arriving at your destination.
There are some serious dangers that come with our beloved social media like the ability to tag your locations. That is one thing that can bring unwanted danger directly to us without even realizing it. I know when you are traveling you want your followers to see where you are and all the cool stuff you’re experiencing but you have to be safe about it especially for a solo traveler. I suggest waiting to post the photos you want to tag the location in until you are no longer at that location or even until you have gone back home. You also should never post what hotel you are staying in either. The best practice is while you are traveling if you must tag your location tag the general place like the city or country. Then when you get back home you can tag all the nice restaurants and places you visited. You never want to give a live play by play of your location even when you’re at home because you never know who is watching.
Now Ladies this is a BIG one. There are so many horror stories with Lyfts and Ubers that you must take precautions when jumping into one in a foreign place. I always ride with the window down when I’m in a Lyft or Uber or taxi, just in case they wanna try some crazy shit I can open the door from the outside. Your Uber driver shouldn’t have a problem with it either and if he does he’s suspect. Also, pay attention to the route you’re taking! Make sure you check how far your destination is before you get in so that you’ll know if the ride is taking too long you know something is up! This will help you be vigilant because of course when you’re out of town you don’t know where you are, but knowing the time frame it takes to get somewhere can be your indicator. Also, rate your drivers if they are good, give them a good rating so the rideshare companies know that’s a keeper. And for sure if they make you feel uneasy or they are rude at all and not accommodating, rate them AND file a complaint with the company we must do our part to get the unsafe drivers out. Remember when you are utilizing these rideshare companies and even taxis you are paying for the ride so you make the decisions whether it’s sticking to the route or riding with the windows down. Take control over your ride.