A vacation is a wonderful way to relieve stress, and going solo on a trip even more so. Traveling by yourself allows you to unwind without worrying about anybody else in tow. It also awakens your thirst for adventure, invigorating you before you head back to the daily grind.
There is, however, added pressure for women to exercise more caution when traveling solo. While there’s no such thing as a “weaker sex,” the reality of the world would have it that there are simply more risks present for women who travel alone. Fortunately, a few tips and tricks can make your extended “me” time as safe as possible:
Bring Only the Essentials
Pricey items and thick wallets act like signal fires to criminals—the richer someone appears, the more likely that muggers and the like will get a big payoff. As such, you should pack only what you really need, opting for comfort over luxury when it comes to clothes and accessories.
Bring only a few simple pieces of jewelry for special affairs you expect to attend. If you can avoid tugging along any expensive items altogether, do it. Leave behind valuables like gadgets you wouldn’t really use. Likewise, if one credit card is enough for your stay, leave the rest behind. As much as possible, don’t bring wads of cash, withdrawing additional cash only when you need it.
It’s important to know as much information as you can get about where you’re going, so do your research. Many sites provide valuable insights on which places to visit, as well as helpful tips about places, people, and behaviors to avoid. Before leaving, plan your itinerary to avoid going someplace you didn’t intend to.
Confirm what you’ve researched by asking the hotel staff as soon as you’re settled in the hotel. Bring along a map and be aware of the general location of your hotel, as well as important establishments like the nearest police station, hospital, and phone booth. In the same vein, try to learn a little about the culture you’re visiting so can you avoid any possible faux pas.
Keep Someone Well-Informed
If you’re going to arm yourself with knowledge, you should prepare someone else to be your backup. Leave your daily itinerary and travel details like flight number, hotel room and number, and your expected date of return with friends and family. Keep these persons generally informed of your daily activities. For added security, you can leave details of where you’re going with your hotel’s front desk clerk.
Choose a Secure Hotel
Thriftiness is usually a good thing, unless you’re travelling alone. Instead of scrimping on your accommodations, prioritize safety over value when choosing a hotel. Try to stay at one that’s near public transportation and is located in close proximity to a busy area. Check if all door and window locks in the room are functioning. As soon as you arrive at your hotel, find out where the emergency exits are and note down the local emergency numbers.
When in a foreign place, common sense is just as important as ingenuity. Always be alert, especially crowded places where pickpockets often strike. Keep your bag in front of you and hold onto it securely when walking in crowded areas, riding on escalators, or when walking on the street. Stash some cash in your bra or sock so that in case something happens, you aren’t left penniless. Make sure you avoid dark and suspicious areas, and aren’t out too late. If you have to go somewhere at night, always bring a flashlight and go with a companion.
Traveling can be fun and extremely rewarding. Make sure you do it the right way and practice safety first by following these tips.
About the Author:
Pasha Lubeck is a single mom to two beautiful boys and a part-time designer for Kichler Lighting. She loves to travel and dreams of backpacking through Europe someday.
This post was submitted by Pasha Lubeck.