6 Travel Safety Tips for Solo Trips
Solo travel is the ultimate self-indulgence, allowing you to explore your surroundings at your own pace, making your personal triumphs even more exciting. Unfortunately, traveling solo isn’t without risks like safety concerns. But with a little common sense and some preparation, you’ll be able to safely enjoy your adventure. If you are planning a solo adventure in the near future, here are six helpful travel tips to ensure your trip is enjoyable and safe.
1. Research Your Destination
Research the city or country you’ll be staying in, beyond all the great sites and fun activities. Consult traveler reviews about different parts of the city and learn which areas to avoid, at night or in general. If you can, talk with locals or others who have already visited the destination.
You can also consult the State Department website for updates about the country you plan to visit. The State Department also has a traveler safety program, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows you to register your travel plans with the government. This makes it easier to contact the U.S. Embassy and receive help in emergencies, such as a family emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest.
2. Keep Others Informed
Once you know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and when you’re doing it, make sure to let those close to you know. Create an itinerary you can share with them, including your contact details, and check in occasionally while on your travels. This helps them keep track of you, puts their minds at ease, and alerts them to take action if you are suddenly unavailable.
3. Remain Mindful of Your Surroundings
While traveling is all about taking in the natural beauty and incredible attractions in a new country, always pay attention to the people around you. Thieves and pickpockets find opportune moments, such as taking selfies or perusing market stalls, to rob you when you are distracted.
Popular tourist attractions are a hotspot for thieves, as are restaurants and public transport hubs. Always keep an eye on your belongings and consider wearing cash, cards, and personal documents close to your body on a money belt or in a front pocket.
Criminals tend to target people who look like they don’t belong. Researching your destination’s local culture, traditions, and dress can help you to blend in.
4. Have the Right Gear
Besides packing the right type of clothing for your destination’s climate or cultural environment, you should also pack several small and affordable personal safety devices, such as a tactical pen or a self-defense keychain.
You can go further and learn some basic self-defense moves, which have the benefit of being both fun to learn and useful for a lifetime no matter where you are.
5. Duplicate Your Travel Documents
Make several copies of important documents, like your passport or driver’s license, and save copies online. This way, if you lose something, you’ll be able to access a copy easily to identify yourself until it can be replaced.
You should also stash your passport, cash, and credit cards in different places. When traveling, use a copy of your passport and leave the real thing in your hotel safe.
6. Don’t Assume Your Hotel Room Is Safe
Whether you are staying in a 5-star hotel or room-sharing at a hostel, never assume your belongings are secure while you aren’t in the room. Ask the staff at your accommodations if they have lockers or safes available for your valuables.
Criminals may also try to force entry into your room, and standard door locks may not be strong enough to withstand repeated impact. You can reinforce your hotel room doors with a portable door stop with an alarm.
Protection Goes a Long Way!
Although there will always be danger of some kind, no matter where you travel, there are simple things you can do to boost your safety. Tell people close to you when and where you are traveling, and enhance your safety with inexpensive personal safety devices, such as a self-defense keychain. Stay safe, and enjoy your travels!
Is it safe traveling solo?
Research your destination and consider whether you would travel there in a group. Comfort levels differ, but you shouldn’t travel there alone if you wouldn’t travel there in a group.
Do I need trip insurance?
Generally, it’s a good idea. Your travel agency may require it for medical evacuation coverage if you’re going to a remote area.
Is traveling alone more dangerous for a woman?
Circumstances are always different for women than for men, but traveling alone is no more dangerous for a woman than for a man. You simply need to be as vigilant as you would be anywhere else.