However, there is no doubt that travelling alone requires some special considerations. So in this blog, we are going to look at 10 ways you can stay safe when travelling solo.
1. Research where you’re going
A safe trip begins before you set off, so always carry out research on your chosen destination. At a minimum, you should check the latest travel advice for your chosen destination, establish where the undesirable neighbourhoods are and ensure you have the required vaccines. If you are travelling in Asia, you should also check what religious and cultural customs need to be respected.
2. Choose destinations carefully
Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that some destinations are safer than others. But we all have different thresholds when it comes to safety. For example, some people find the street sellers in India to be part of the experience and enjoy bartering with them, while others may find them to be intimidating and threatening. So make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into and take care to only choose destinations which meet your particular safety threshold.
3. Schedule your arrival during daylight
Arriving in a new country can be intimidating at the best of times. So it’s good practice to schedule your flight to arrive during daylight hours. This will make it much easier to find your accommodation and it will help you to establish the good neighbourhoods from the bad ones. Straying into bad neighbourhoods is one of the most dangerous things you can do in a strange city, so do yourself a favour and reduce the risk by arriving in daylight.
4. Know where your hotel is and how to get there
Before you arrive at any destination, you should check where your hotel is and know how to get there from the airport. Airport taxi drivers are notorious for taking scenic routes in some cities. Knowing where your hotel is will reduce the risk of being ripped off. The train is often the safest and quickest method of transport, so knowing how to get to your hotel from the station is also something you should know before you arrive. If the train is not available, take a registered taxi from the airport forecourt. Buses are usually the least safe so only use these as a last resort.
5. Study a map before you set off
Take the time to study a map of your destination before you set off. With Google Maps, this is easier today than ever before. Find out where the places you want to visit are and establish the shortest route there from your hotel. This will give you a good idea of the layout of the city and reduce the risk of you getting lost. If nothing else, it will also help plan your holiday.
6. Dress appropriately
You should always establish what religious and cultural customs apply in your chosen destination before setting off. In Myanmar for example, while it is not expected that tourists follow the strict religious dress code of the locals, it is considered respectful to keep yourself covered up. Countries such as India and Thailand also prefer tourists to wear more respectful clothes than what would be acceptable in Australia.
7. Stay alert
When travelling in exotic destinations, it is easy to get overawed by the beauty and culture of it all, but you should also try to remain alert to the dangers. You can limit the risk by sticking to well-trodden tourist paths, but no matter where you are, you should always be alert to the risk of pickpockets and muggers, especially in crowded market areas.
8. Stay sober
When travelling alone, you should try and stay sober at all times. It’s OK to have a drink now and then, but don’t get paralytically drunk. Being sober and quick-witted is your best defence should something bad happen. So if you must have a drink, make sure you are in the safety of your hotel and limit yourself to one.
9. Don’t flash wealth around
When travelling alone, it’s best to blend in and not draw attention to yourself. So leave the expensive jewellery and clothes at home. Only take with you what is strictly necessary for the journey and don’t carry around large amounts of cash. Also, try to keep your smartphone separate from your other belongings.
10. Keep emergency cash separate
When out and about, always keep a small amount of cash hidden on your person. This will ensure you have money to get back to your hotel in the unlikely event that something bad happens. This money should be safely hidden and not kept in pockets, wallets or bags.
So there you have it, ten tips to help keep you safe while travelling alone. Travelling solo may seem intimidating at first but by doing your homework you can reduce the risk of something bad happening. Most cities are perfectly safe, so long as you use common sense and remain alert to the dangers. With plenty of cheap flights to Asia and Latin America available at all times of the year, don’t let the fear of travelling alone put you off exploring this beautiful planet.