There’s nothing more liberating than traveling alone especially for women.
According to Booking.com, 59% of women who already traveled alone would plan a solo trip again in the next 12 months. Yes, more than the majority of experienced female travelers enjoyed traveling solo that they’d want to do it again.
But as awesome as traveling alone can be, you can’t be too sure of the places you go. The fear of getting in trouble should always be on the back of everyone’s minds.
Therefore, you ease you of that burden, below are ten safety tips to help you travel with peace of mind.
1. Only pack the essentials
Travel light and take what you really need such as clothing and funds. Doing so makes you more mobile and therefore making it more convenient and faster for you to enjoy everything your destination can offer.
2. Mark your luggage
It’s common to have the same luggage with different people in the same flight or airport. However, it makes it more difficult for you to find your bag after you land. More important, your luggage may end up being in the hands of another person who has the same bag like yours!
Therefore, instead of just a name and an address tag, leave marks on your luggage that you will easily recognize. It’s an effective way of preventing baggage theft because it will make your bags stand out.
3. Prepare for the weather
Learn about the weather conditions in your destination. And then tour the place accordingly.
So if you’re off to a sunny place, wear a hat and bring refreshments. And if you know of any incoming rains or storms there, consider postponing your trip.
Otherwise, you might get into an accident.
Take it from this woman who met a fatal accident during her time in Iceland. She only wanted to explore the place, but things went south for her. If she’d prepared for the fact that the river can run very high that day, things might have gone differently.
4. Go with debit cards
Use debit cards to pay for purchases, if you can. Because many merchants accept debit card payments, you can safely pay for travel necessities such as hotels and shuttle services this way.
Besides, you can take advantage of lower exchange rates when you use a debit card. Some debit card companies don’t even charge you of any fees for exchanging currencies, at all.
If you don’t have a debit card, then carry only small amounts of cash with you. If you insist on traveling with lots of paper money in your pocket and someone sees them, you’ll be a target of thieves and robbers.
5. Install emergency apps
You can start with apps that can illuminate dark areas for you and give you directions. A “Find My Phone” program can be handy, too. There are other apps you need to consider downloading in this list for your trip.
6. Prepare emergency details on your phone
Pre-program important numbers into your phone in case of emergencies. This way, if you need help, you can reach out to them easily.
Some numbers you’d want to program into your speed dial includes the police within the area, loved ones, and emergency hotlines.
For some, you have to visit a website.
For instance, if your homebound flight got delayed, then you can use a flight delay claim calculator to compute for the amount you can claim for the delayed flight.
The point is you need to know your rights and look after your safety in times of stress.
7. Always be aware of your surroundings
The purpose of travel is to get away from your worries and cares and just let go. However, as ideal as that sounds, your carefree attitude can make you susceptible to trouble.
If you’re not mindful, people may steal your possessions, give you false information, and more.
Also, stay away from drugs, alcohol, and substances that will debilitate your judgment. When making big decisions during your trip, you should be as objective as possible.
This is not to say that you can’t have fun. Obviously, you can make the most out your travel and vacation by putting your guard down. But you need to practice discretion and avoid yourself getting in situations you can’t handle.
8. Feel at home
Behave like a local as you explore your destination. Walk confidently and blend in as if you’ve lived in a place your whole life.
You need to tread the delicate balance between being a stranger in a strange land and acting like a local. Simply put, don’t make it evident to people that you’re new to the place.
If actual locals can see you know what you’re doing, they’ll leave you alone rather than take advantage of you.
9. Stay in public
If you just met people during your trip, it is best practice to decline invitations to go to their homes and other private territories.
Instead, ask them to hang out with you at shopping malls, restaurants, and other locations in the presence of more than a handful of random people.
Remember that all the people you have just met are strangers — even if you just had a fun time with them.
The thought of other people fooling tourists sounds awful, but you need to accept something like that happens.
It happened to this tourist. After luring her into a secluded area, her assailants drugged, sexually abused, and beheaded her.
10. Research, research, research!
Finally, pick your destination well and do some digging about it beforehand. You can go online to research for facts or ask a reliable source.
For example, a quick Google search would show you the best US destinations to visit, for instance. Also, UGC sites like TripAdvisor lets you read reviews from users who went to the place.
This post is not meant to discourage you from traveling alone. In fact, the information provided above should help you get the most out of your vacation.
By being aware of the dangers of traveling in different countries, you know how to prevent yourself from getting into these situations. Ultimately, you can get back home from your vacation filled with amazing stories to tell your friends and memories to keep.