Safety Tips for Traveling Alone

May 23, 2019


Safety Tips for Traveling Alone

Are you interested in solo travel but are concerned about safety? Here are crucial safety tips to consider when you're traveling abroad alone.

Safety Tips for Solo Travelers.
One of the number one reasons people don't solo travel is due to safety concerns. Traveling solo can be scary and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Those limiting beliefs we have in our heads whether its the media coverage, your family/friends/significant other telling you you shouldn't travel alone, or yourself thinking it's not possible for you to do it. Get that out of your mind and stop making up excuses and postponing a experience you're interested in. If you want reasons to convince you to solo travel (click here) to read more.

Media coverage and news outlets are also a huge component to why people either postpone travel in general or write off solo traveling. I personally don't even listen to the news anymore just because they don't portray the whole picture of what a country is all about. Every country in the world has pros and cons. Before you judge and form opinions on a country you never step foot in, look at your own country and point out  all the bad that's going on. 

For instance, I was born and raised in New York and there's crazy things that happen here on a daily basis. The United States as a whole in 2019, is a scary place. There's shootings in schools, malls, movie theaters, festivals, etc going on left and right which is so terrifying to even think it's becoming a normal occurrence. I can bet you that many countries around the world are scared to visit here just based on media coverage. With that being said, don't judge a country based on what you hear from the media but from your own eyes and experiences while visiting.

Traveling is usually safe, but it’s always important to be alert and aware of your surroundings. You want to be able to have a great time on your trip and enjoy every minute while avoiding any pitfalls. Here are some travel safety tips to take note on for your upcoming trip.

Research.
Research, research, research! No matter where you’re going do the research on the destination and it’s culture and customs. Knowledge protects you from the danger of misinformation, naively wandering into an unsafe area. Imagine how you can be taken advantage of if you don’t understand the currency. Or the health problems you could face if you don’t know the necessary vaccinations for your destination. Or the potential loss of money, documents and more if you don’t know the unsafe areas at your destination. Also think about how you plan on getting around the area (renting a car, bus, train, etc).

There is much to know before you go just get off to a destination. Especially if you’re going to a more conservative country you don’t want to disrespectful in any way. Ladies if you’re solo traveling to a conservative country, dress appropriately! I think people who don’t take proper steps and due diligence to do research always find themselves not having the best time. So don’t be that person and just do your research!

Keeping in Touch.
I recommend either making a word document or send an email to close friends, family, or your significant other letting them know your itinerary of your trip. Leave your accommodation details of the all the places you will be staying in so your loved ones can have peace of mind. I find this to be super helpful because if something were to happen for whatever reason, someone has all that information.

Also download the app WhatsApp to keep in touch with loved ones and check in time to time letting them know you're alive, thriving, and safe! When traveling I often rely on WiFi but when solo traveling I recommend getting a SIM card when you arrive to your destination. Having access to apps and communication is very important especially if you plan to  travel to more rural, off the beaten path locations.

Know Your Limits.
Don’t do things abroad that you wouldn’t do at home! We all want to push the limits and step outside of our comfort zone but just be smart about it.
  • Don’t go walking in in sketchy neighborhood or a dark alley late at night. Dangerous activity is more likely to happen at night when there are fewer crowds out.
  • If you want go out for a drink or go party. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you can’t find your way back home. I also wouldn’t accept drinks from strangers and just watch your drink at all times.
  • Going into deep bodies of water if you aren’t a great swimmer.
  • Continuing with a hike even though you feel signs of altitude sickness. Take a break and turn around if you need to.
  • Forgetting to take certain medications.
  • Doing so much that you forget to properly nourish your body with food and water.
  • Don't over exert yourself with packing too much physical activity if your body isn't use to it because you can end up stressing your body into sheer exhaustion.

Valuables + Equipment + Scams.
When your traveling solo, you are solely responsible for your belongings. Packing light is an option to consider since you do have to carry everything yourself. To avoid any theft or robbery from happening, a rule of thumb is never carry more money than you need at a time. Don't step out of your accommodation and walk around with two weeks worth of cash on you. Make sure to split your money in different places so if something did occur, you have other stashes to rely on. A good option to secure your money is with with a money belt, it's discrete enough to wear under your clothing. Also before traveling abroad it's always a good idea to make copies of your passport just in case. Keep in mind in busy markets or streets, always have your bag in front of you to avoid any pick-pocketers!

Don't flash your valuables, it can attract that wrong kind of attention. Avoid displaying expensive looking jewelry, handbags, sunglasses, or camera equipment in sketchy neighborhoods. If your accommodation supplies locked storage, use it! It's better be safe than sorry when it comes to your valuables. Having travel insurance is also important if traveling abroad with expensive equipment, so definitely look into that if you want extra security for your valuables.

Every country has some sort of tourist scam that it's known for. Do some research before visiting that destination so you're fully aware of what that is. If you're lucky, they'll be kind of obvious but there are plenty of craftier, professional con-artists out there too. Don't think you're too smart to be scammed but it happens.

Transportation.
Not all transportation is legit, sometimes people might want to scam you. Make sure you find registered and metered transportation when abroad. Once you’re in the taxi, bus, or other vehicle, don’t fall asleep on the ride. As tempting as it is to close your eyes after an exhausting day, you could very well wake up with nothing left or end up in a sketchy place. Always be aware of your surroundings especially if you plan on doing more public transportation options.

Posting on Social Media.
We all get excited when traveling and want to share our photos and video on social media. But before doing that right away you should really consider your safety. You're probably like what do you even mean? Well if you geotag all your posts while your at a certain destination in real time, you just never know whose looking at your posts. Whether it's someone back home who knows where you live, they can easily break into your home knowing you're abroad and very far away. Or sketchy people looking through geotags finding their next target. You honestly never know so I would just post on social media and geotag your posts either when you're no longer in that specific location or when you get back home from your trip.

Language Barrier.
If you’re going to a country that doesn’t speak the same language, download a translation app. This just helps the communication process be a bit more easier for both parties involved. I think it's super important to try to learn a few basic words or phrases in that language to get by! Locals appreciate  it more that you're trying to connect to and learn their language.

Pack a First Aid Kit.
Injuries can happen when you're abroad, no matter how careful you are. If you're clumsy like me, it's totally inevitable that something will happen at some point during the trip. You don't need to bring a full blown first aid kit but bring the basics to treat cuts, sprains, stomach issues, or burns. I'm prone to getting sunburns no matter how much sunscreen I apply so aloe vera is always in my bag to help relieve my skin if it happens. Also I sometimes get car sickness, so having pills to relieve that is also important for me so I'm not miserable. Just know what issues you tend have at home so you can treat them when you're abroad!

Trust Your Intuition.
If something doesn’t feel right whether it’s a person talking to you or a situation that your in, always trust your gut and find your way out of there! Your personal safety is more important than saving face. Have a go-to excuse ready to fend off any weirdos who simply don't get the hint. Saying you’re married, or that your partner/friend is about to pick you up, is often enough to end the conversation. You’re never going to see these people again. Don’t feel bad about lying to get out of a sketchy situation. Also don't give out information about your plans and accommodation, just be very vague.

Just a Reminder.
The more I travel, you just find more good people than bad. The people you encounter while traveling especially locals want you to have a good impression of their country. People are so welcoming and willing to help you if you find yourself lost, confused, or in need of help. The world is full of amazing people so don't let fear keep you from experiencing the world.

Youtube Video.


Comment Below,
Whats a safety tip you would like to share for solo travelers?

28 comments

  1. I don't travel that often, but even at home I wait until I'm back in my own apartment before sharing videos on Instagram and geotagging them. Just to be safe! These are all great tips and I'm really glad you shared them!

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    1. Many people geotag without thinking, but you just never know whose watching!

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  2. These are awesome tips for solo traveling! So important to be aware of your surroundings, I think it's great that you mentioned the geotagging- you have a very solid point!!

    Kileen
    cute & little

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    1. That part gets overlooked at a lot but it's better to be safe than sorry!

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  3. Great tips here! I have traveled alone only a couple of times, but these will come in handy for my next trip. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. This is a comprehensive list of great safety tips that everyone should be reading when they travel!

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  5. Wow what an informative and knowledgeable article on traveling alone. All of your points make a lot of sense and any of them I wouldn't have thought about - like posting your whereabouts on social media. This was a great read thanks for sharing!

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  6. Excellent tips for traveling alone! My favorite was about posting on social media once you left the place or when you are back home.

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  7. Travelling on your own as a female can be a bit scary but these are great tips. Planning ahead and keeping others posted about your location is important.

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    1. It's scary in the beginning but not so much the more you do it :)

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  8. This is a very good and much needed post. And it's very thorough. I used to travel alone when I was younger but things were safer than they are now. Still, I had my share of things happen.

    I was reading about your tips about stashing money in different places. I wonder where else you could stash it? I was thinking different places in your hotel room but if someone wants to go through everything then they could still get it all.

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    1. You can split your money in a money belt, wallet, passport holder, safe in your hotel, socks in your suitcase, different spots in your backpack. The point is if you were to get robbed in the street you still have money options in the other places I mentioned above or vice versa!

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  9. These are awesome tips! Traveling alone is definitely outside most people’s comfort zone, and much like you said, the media and friends/family make it out to be super scary. A little research can go a very long way.

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  10. The idea of travelling alone overseas is quite overwhelming but these suggestions make it a lot easier to contemplate.

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  11. These are some really great tips. I love to go for solo trips and so why should a girl or a woman be deprived of such an opportunity. Definitely a moral booster post for all women.

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  12. This should be called the constitution of solo travel that must be followed. There's nothing farther than these truths put together right here. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. These are great tips! I used to be an avid solo traveler and while it can seem daunting, it's a lot of fun!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  14. I wish I took advantage of traveling solo right after college, but I’ve always travelled with friends and family. Maybe one day I’ll be able to apply these tips on my own solo journey

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  15. That's such a good point about social media and staying safe! I also prefer to not talk about vacations I'm going on in advance (especially not specific dates). And then I share photos after I get home. I'd just hate to have someone rob my house since they saw I was away!

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  16. Traveling alone could be so overwhelming too especially if you are a woman but with these tips and if you follow them, you would be fine.

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  17. I have never solo traveled before, but these tips definitely seem very important. I especially love the social media one - it's important to not share where you are at the exact moment you're there. Amazing tips for all travelers.

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  18. These are really great tips! I travel constantly and these tips are perfect whether you're solo traveling or with a friend!

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