Travelling alone can be a lot of fun and it is something that everyone should do at least once in their life. When you travel alone you are forced to rely on your own wits and resources. Solo travellers are also presented with more opportunities to meet new people and be spontaneous. However, solo travellers are faced with certain risks and if they are not careful they can pose a target for scams and crimes. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when travelling solo.
Always Let People Know Where You are Going
Try to check in with friends and family regularly and give them a rough idea of your itinerary. That way, if something happens and you are out of contact with the people closest to you for an extended period of time, your loved ones will have at least a rough idea where to look for you. If you are planning on going hiking or trekking alone in a remote area, let the staff at your hotel or guest house know where you are going and give them a rough idea of the time you expect to return do they can alert the authorities if you do not come back.
Make Copies of Important Documents
Make sure you scan the important pages of documents such as passports, plane tickets and prescriptions for any medication that you regularly take. Keep these backup documents on a thumb drive and email them to a friend or family member. It will be much easier to obtain new documents if you need to if you have the information ready.
Always Look Like You Know Where You’re Going
People who look lost and confused are a target for pick pockets and con artists. Try to consult a local map before leaving your hotel or guesthouse and walk through the streets with confidence, even if you are visiting a town or city for the first time. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Medellin or in Tokyo, you can run into problems anywhere you go. Just use your head and plan where you’re going at all times. Don’t dawdle, pull out your iPhone and act like you don’t know where you are as that will make you a target for crime.
Advice for Female Travellers
Unfortunately, women are at more risk than men when travelling alone. To avoid attracting to much attention, it is best to avoid wearing skimpy clothing, especially when visiting countries where the women typically dress conservatively. If you find that you are still attracting too much attention, invest in a cheap ring that can serve as a wedding ring and tell anyone who may approach that you are waiting for your husband to come back from the bathroom. It is generally best to avoid exploring a new place alone after dark and stay vigilant at all times.
Take Out Travel Insurance
No matter how carefully you plan your trip and how much care you take, things can go wrong unexpectedly. Taking out travel insurance cover means that you will be covered for any eventuality, such as your belongings being stolen or damaged or if you have an accident. Hospital bills can be very costly when you are on the road, so at least you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your bills will be covered of the worst happens.