If you’re a woman and planning on traveling alone any time in the future, you need to do some planning before embarking on your trip. There are many ways to travel alone safely and still have the thrill of going it on your own. But, there are dangers out there and, at the very least, inconveniences if property is lost or stolen, or if you end up in a threatening situation. Better to think ahead, be aware and be prepared for the problems that can arise when traveling solo.
Study your destination before ever setting foot on an airplane or boarding a bus or train. Know the local customs, the etiquette and especially for women, the dress code. Take conservative clothing along for any sightseeing tours that may include churches, temples or mosques. Be aware that the clothing you wear in your home area may not seem at all revealing, but in another culture may offend or draw unwelcome advances. Be aware of the polite way to ask for help, to order food, to ask for directions, etc. Know the areas you’ll want to avoid, especially after dark.
Plan an Itinerary and Follow It
When traveling alone, it’s important for others to be able to track with you and connect with you. Be sure to have a phone with roaming capabilities. You may need to buy or rent a phone at your destination. It’s advisable to have a gps or online maps available to help you with your routes. Post your itinerary or leave copies with friends and relatives. Plan in advance to check in with them at regular intervals. If you change your itinerary significantly, be sure to update others.
Common Sense Safety
If at all possible, pack only a carry-on so you can avoid the stress and danger of waiting for luggage or risking losing it. Pack carefully with your money, credit cards and passport in different locations. Keep copies of your passport data page in several places. Use lockers or safes for any valuables when in lodgings and keep your key to your room on your person. Be careful of giving out information to strangers—your home country, your travel plans, your excursions. Avoid taking rooms that are in out of the way places, always choosing those nearest the main desk or lobby. Keep your medicines in safe places, keep copies of prescriptions and pay attention to safe eating and drinking rules. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. Your greatest risk of pickpocketing will occur in crowds or while waiting in lines. Beware of anyone, including children, who bump into you in a crowd.
Traveling solo is exciting and fun. It is also a time to be extremely careful of personal safety rules and habits. Have fun and stay safe.