Traveling solo can be a life-changing and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its share of fear and anxiety. That doesn’t have to stop you from exploring the world on your own though! As a solo woman traveler, all you need to do is know how to stay safe on the road. And we’ve got 5 useful tips for you here! Read on and you’ll know it’s going to be perfectly okay.
Planning and researching your trip can be as fun as traveling itself, but don’t limit it to just checking out which beaches are the best or where you’ll get cheap eats!
- Start with learning about the culture of the destination you’re headed to. Note cultural differences and local customs as hand gestures and facial expressions can carry different meanings than those in your home country.
- Research current religious and political situations and any related events that might take place during your stay.
- Check ratings before booking accommodation and always opt for lodging with higher positive reviews. Watch out for any patterns in reviews though; you want to make sure reviews are legit.
- Some websites carry reviews of neighborhoods too, so book accommodation in areas that are safer.
- Note down addresses of medical facilities, your country’s embassy or consulate, and local authorities.
- Learn about public transportation facilities and plan in detail how you’ll be getting around once you reach your destination.
Splurge When It Comes to Safety
It can be tempting to save money for shopping and fun activities, but don’t end up compromising your safety for a few bucks.
- If your flight is scheduled to land late at night, don’t set off on foot to find accommodation. Book a room at a hotel or guesthouse that will pick you up from the airport.
- Avoid shady accommodation and opt to stay in a central, lively neighborhood instead of someplace deserted.
- Taking a cab is a better option than touring on foot, especially at night.
First things first, what is considered modest in your country, might not be considered so in other countries. Dressing modestly in conservative countries generally means wearing clothes that cover your shoulders, cleavage and knees. In some countries, full sleeved clothing and garments reaching up to the ankles are considered ‘modest’!
So if you’re traveling to a country where women dress conservatively, respect local customs and dress accordingly. Note that even if you’re traveling to a destination where it’s okay to dress as you usually do back home, you might not be permitted to enter places of worship if you aren’t covered up.
Why is this important for your safety? You won’t attract too much unwanted attention when you’re not showing skin. And if you can get away with looking like a local, you won’t be targeted by pickpockets either!
Don’t Put Your Wealth on Display
Always be discreet with your money when you’re traveling so as to not draw the attention of thieves and pickpockets.
- Pack light. If you carry more than 2 bags, you not only send out the message (to thieves) that you’ve got a lot of stuff that might be expensive, but you also make yourself less mobile. If anyone attempts to snatch something off you, having just a carry-on won’t restrict your movements.
- Carry a dummy wallet that has a minimal amount of cash to get you through the day and some rewards points cards that are of no use to you. Keep the bulk of your cash and credit/debit cards in another wallet that remains hidden in public. If you get mugged or pickpocketed, you won’t end up losing much.
- Keep your wallet organized so that you don’t fumble while paying for purchases, inadvertently putting your cash on display.
- Ideally, don’t wear jewelry that is or looks expensive on your trip. If you must wear your favorite rings and bracelets, be sure to keep them on you at all times. This applies to other expensive items like cameras, mobile phones, laptops, etc. as well.
Being alert and aware of your surroundings at all times can help you avoid all sorts of problems.
- Always keep your bag on your lap or between your legs when sitting down to eat or rest.
- When resting in a public place, secure your bag to yourself or something sturdy, like a pole, with a cable or chain lock.
- When listening to music or watching movies, don’t wear both earphones. This way, you’ll remain aware of what’s going on around you!
- Don’t stare into a map in the middle of the street- you’ll look lost and could end up being targeted by thieves. Duck into a nearby shop and take your time. You could even ask someone inside the shop for directions!
- Unless you’re using Uber or a similar service, always snap a picture of or note down the cab’s number before getting into it.
- Drink in moderation, and always keep an eye on your drinks.
- Don’t give out too many personal details to people you’ve just met. It’s okay to lie at times to avoid trouble.
- Always trust your gut instinct- if something feels off, walk away.
Now that you’ve read the information provided here, you don’t have to be intimidated by the thought of traveling on your own. Armed with these safety tips, we’re sure your solo adventures are going to be memorable ones!
Swara Segal is a dynamic writer & blogger by profession. She ardently follows the travel as well as fashion industry and enjoys doling out tips on the latest trends. She loves collecting accessories like sunglasses, statement earrings & rings, bags, etc., and believes every woman should flaunt such accessories, particularly on long trips. In her free time, she loves to cook for her family and enjoys photographing nature with her cam.