Traveling alone doesn’t have to be a scary thing. If you are prepared and use your best judgement, chances are you’ll be alright. Don’t let the fear of being alone scare you from having a great adventure on your own! You are a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.
1. Scheduling flights and trains
Schedule your transportation for morning/daytime and try to avoid late night arrivals/departures. This allows you to get familiar with the area and safely find where you’ll be staying. Do you really want to arrive at 2 AM in a foreign country just to save a few extra bucks? I don’t think so.
2. Asking for directions
Whenever you ask for directions, avoid asking random strangers in the street. You can try asking a local worker since they’ll probably know the area. Pop into the nearest Starbucks and ask the barista. Asking a family is also another option that is most likely going to be safe. I said “most likely.” Trust your gut.
3. Traveling in packs
“Girls, I’m going to the bathroom, c’mon.” Sound familiar? This is something that has been hardwired into your brains and should be used when traveling alone. Even though you know you are alone, strangers don’t know that. Stay near larger groups of people, especially in sketchy areas or at night.
4. Choosing what accessories to wear
At home it might be all about what clothes you wear, what car you drive and how big your house is. Not here. While traveling, you don’t want to appear as if you are wealthy. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or accessories. Keep your electronics safely packed up and use them sparingly in public. Carelessly exposing all of these items can make you a target for thieves.
5. Taking photos
Traveling alone can make it difficult to get those great candid shots. For this I will usually ask a woman with children to take my photo. Chances are, she’s not going to run off with my phone/camera and leave her kids behind. While I have never heard of this being a big issue, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t trust others with your electronics, remember it’s socially acceptable now to use that selfie-stick you got as a gag gift at your holiday office party. Go on, take that selfie. Your Instagram followers are waiting…
6. Avoiding the pick-pockets
I’ve heard numerous horror stories about people being pick-pocketed while traveling. On travel days, keep your money and passport in a money belt underneath your clothing. On a normal day touring the city, you can lock up your important items in your hotel and then keep smaller bills in your purse or bra. Wear a cross-body purse (not a shoulder bag) so as to avoid having it ripped from you. Always wear your purse in front of you with at least one hand over it.
7. Drinking while abroad
On your travels it’s likely that you’re going out to a bar at least once…okay probably a lot more for most of you. While you’re out, it’s easy to be caught up in the excitement and let your guard down. This might be fine in your home town, but it’s unwise if you’re alone in another country. Monitor how much you drink, don’t take free drinks from strangers, and for the love of God, do not blackout. Use your best judgement and always tell at least a couple of trustworthy people at your hostel where you are going.
Have you traveled alone before? What were some extra safety precautions you took?