Safety is one of the biggest concerns people have when traveling solo. Questions like, “Will I be safe?” “What if I get kidnapped?” “What if something wrong happens?” often spring forth. Those are legitimate concerns but if my solo travels to fourteen countries are anything to go by, the good news is, you will be okay and staying safe while traveling solo is a lot easier than you think.
You will be okay. Especially if you use the following safety tips that I have learned to adopt over time.
Safety is a concern regardless of where you are in the world. Dangerous things can happen at home and abroad. Be cautious regardless of your geographical location. – Ufuoma.
Here are some of my best safety tips that I know would help you if you decide to travel solo soon.
Always stay connected
This truly is my number one tip for staying safe. Make sure to always have a working phone and data service while traveling. You want to not only be in touch with family and friends, you also want to be able to call or check key information like maps, translation apps, etc. I know there are offline maps, but I will much rather be able to check in real time. Sometimes knowing exactly where you are is a powerful thing.
Stay in city centre or close to a working train/bus station
This is not the time to stay at the outskirts of the city especially when you are traveling solo for the first time. Stay close to the city centre as most people would know directions there in case you get lost. Also, it helps you save time as you can do your day’s activities and get back home in good time before the sun goes down.
Update someone back home on your whereabouts
Be sure to update a loved one, friend or family member about your whereabouts at every given time. It helps to also send your itinerary to them as well as your hotel location or tour contacts. There are apps that make this easier as well, for example, the Find My Friends feature on iPhone is great for achieving this purpose.
Never disclose to locals you are traveling solo
It is not a very good idea to disclose to the locals (taxi drivers, tour guides, etc.) that you are traveling alone. Always give the impression that you are meeting someone or a friend will be joining you later. Disclosing this information, especially as a female, can draw unnecessary attention to you and put you at risk.
Try to avoid overly flashy outfits
It is probably not the best time to wear your shiniest clothes and that expensive new watch you just got. Try to keep a relatively low profile by wearing muted colored clothing, being decently and appropriately dressed, and avoiding clothes or hairdos that may make you easily noticed.
Don’t go overboard with your adventures
I know one of the thrilling parts of traveling is the chance to do things that are out of our comfort zone. When you travel solo though, always strive to strike a balance between adventure and safety. Don’t go ham on the street food to avoid getting sick should they be contaminated, don’t dive into a pool when you know you’re not a great swimmer. There isn’t anyone else looking out for you so the responsibility to stay safe and healthy is all on you.
Do your research before visiting the new destination
When you are traveling solo, information is power. You want to know exactly what you can expect from the new city, the things to do and where they are located, the customs and norms of the city, and so on. Make sure you do your research prior to the trip as this will not only give you more confidence but help you stay safe.
Avoid late nights
I always try to steer clear of doing activities at night but sometimes experiencing the night life in a new city is such a thrilling experience. If you must go out late at night, try to keep it to areas that are well lit and public. Be sure to limit your alcohol intake to avoid being in compromising situations and use your discretion at all times.
Use your intuition
We all have intuition and some kind of internal compass, use it to your advantage. If something doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t right. Do not ignore warning signs, stay alert and be in the moment.
It is a lot easier than you think to stay safe while traveling solo. In all my travels solo, never have I felt like I was in danger. I was confident in my abilities to stay safe as long as I knew exactly what I was doing, what I was getting up to, and kept a relatively low profile. If you are trying to travel solo and have been held back due to fear of staying safe, I hope you have found these tips helpful.
Thank you for reading and following on my solo travel friday tips. Next week, we round up the series with a post on having a great time and meeting new people while traveling solo. To read past articles on this series, click here. If you will like to see more of my blog articles, subscribe here.
Until next time,