Photo by eliot./Flickr CC
I usually travel alone, and I love it. I meet more people by traveling alone. I get time to myself which allows for my writing voice to emerge. I can decide where I want to go, when I want to eat, and I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission. I am, however, much more cautious when I travel alone. For more advice on traveling alone, I recommend Solo Traveler, which is filled advice on traveling by yourself.
Here are my 6 safety tips for traveling alone:
1. Let others know of your travel plans
I email friends and family more often than I do when I’m at home to let them know where I am planning to go that day. Or I post it on Facebook. If I haven’t told anyone where I’m going, then I leave a note in my hotel room. It’s always wise to let others know where you plan to be when you are traveling alone.
2. Try to schedule for arrivals and departures during the day
I feel much safer when I arrive at train stations and airports during the day, especially in countries where taxi scams and robberies are common. To me, there is nothing worse than arriving on the last train or plane of the evening when there are very few people arround. If I do arrive late at night somewhere, I try to make friends with someone on my flight and share a taxi to my destination. Otherwise, Blacklane offers a reliable airport transfer service in 50+ countries worldwide, which can be booked in advance online. It may cost more than a local taxi, however it ensures that a professionally licensed driver will be waiting for you at your gate, with a personalized sign.
3. Get a cheap cell phone
Most places now have cheap cell phones that you can buy for less than $30 US. It feels much safer to have a phone with me in case of an emergency. Also, I always find out what the local number is for emergencies and program it into my phone.
4. Hotel safety
I don’t let strangers know where I’m staying. If they ask, I just tell them I forgot. Also, don’t hang the breakfast cards on your hotel room door. This will let others know that you are alone. Give it to the front desk in person. I also like to travel with a door alarm which alerts me to any intruders.
5. Don’t put all of your money in one place
I divide my money, only taking what I will need for the day with me. I also only take one credit card out with me and keep the other one in the hotel safe. Also, never carry your passport with you when out sightseeing. Make a copy and carry this with you when out and about.
6. Show confidence
I walk confidently down the street even if I occasionally get lost and don’t know where I’m going. Don’t look at a map on the sidewalk. When I’ve gotten lost when traveling alone, I’ve gone into a café to ask directions or to look at my map. Also, you don’t have to be friendly to everyone. If someone is giving you a bad feeling, look at them harshly and tell them to leave you alone. The more confidence you show, the less likely you will be bothered by people looking for a victim.