There’s no doubt about it: traveling alone is a worthwhile adventure. From setting your own agenda to getting to know yourself better, solo travel is an experience that everyone should have at least once. However, there are a number of potential safety risks that arise without a travel buddy by your side. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself so you can focus on having the time of your life.
1. Leave copies of your travel itinerary with your friends or family.
Even if it’s as simple as a list of the names of the cities you plan to visit, providing your friend or family member with copies of your schedule acts as a safety net. In addition to bringing peace of mind, both you and your chosen contact will know exactly how to get in touch with the other if needed. If you’re traveling overseas, it’s recommended that you also provide them with copies of your passport, insurance papers, and travelers check numbers for safekeeping.
2. Schedule regular check-ins with them, too.
Whether it’s by FaceTime or Skype, it’s important to set up daily or nightly check-ins with a trusted friend or relative. If an emergency causes you to miss the meeting, they’ll know to take action without any effort on your part. Plus, it’s always nice to see a familiar face!
3. Try not to make it too obvious that you’re a tourist.
No matter where you’re staying, blending in with the locals is a good way to avoid unwanted attention. Keep your map and camera out of sight and walk with confidence. You can also shed the tourist stereotype by carrying your belongings in a local shop bag instead of a backpack.
4. Ensure that wherever you stay is highly reviewed.
It’s important to do your research before booking your stay, whether you chose a hotel, a hostel, or an Airbnb. While it’s tempting to pick the cheapest option when traveling alone on a budget, sometimes splurging is necessary to secure your safety.
5. Don’t stash all your money in one place.
Keep some in your wallet, some in a locked safe in your room, and the rest in your bank account. This will minimize losses in the case of theft. Look into purchasing a money belt to protect your wallet from pickpockets while on the go.
6. Keep your emergency contact information on you at all times.
Nobody likes to think about the worst case scenario, but it’s good to be prepared in case of an emergency. We recommend that make a contact card with your name, state, and country of citizenship along with the name and phone number of at least one trustworthy friend or relative. Be sure to make multiple copies to distribute throughout your belongings and laminate them before you leave!
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