Traveling the world can offer incredibly fulfilling life experiences. As a woman, exploring new horizons can be a source of empowerment and liberation. However, it is important to acknowledge the unfortunate reality that single travelers often face additional safety concerns. We have prepared proven ways to keep you safe while traveling.
#1 Don’t neglect your exploration of the area
Knowing empowers you. When you have a general understanding of your upcoming trip, navigating it as a solo traveler becomes easier. You don’t need to know every tiny detail – a bit of spontaneity can be enjoyable! However, being familiar with essential information is crucial when traveling alone. Take some time to learn about the customs at your destination. Are there any dress codes to follow? Also, get a feel for the neighborhoods where your hotels are located. Is there a vibrant atmosphere with lots happening, or is it more residential? Preparing yourself with these key details will alleviate any potential nerves you may have about traveling solo.
#2 Protect your devices
One of the logical solo traveler tips is protecting personal devices: smartphones, laptops, and other mobile gadgets. The easiest way is to use a VPN. It will also help you unlock content that would otherwise be unavailable. For example, you can use a VPN for BBC iPlayer. To unlock BBC iPlayer worldwide, you need a good VPN with a wide network of servers. One of these is VeePN, which has 2500+ servers in 89 locations.
#3 Pack light
Avoid excessive packing! Carrying numerous heavy bags hampers quick escapes from uncomfortable situations. Additionally, refrain from donning valuable or attention-grabbing jewelry, which may attract unwanted focus and increase the risk of pickpocketing or robbery. Strive to blend in with the locals by all means.
#4 Carry protection
If you decide to check a bag, you have the option to bring a small bottle of mace for added personal protection. However, it’s important to note that attempting to bring mace in your carry-on bag would result in it being confiscated at security. For those who are only traveling with a carry-on, it’s advisable to carry a loud whistle as an alternative means of protection. On a slightly different topic, it is wise to bring contraception irrespective of your intentions, as it’s better to prioritize safety. Remember, being proactive is always better than being regretful!
#5 Back up important documents
Having multiple copies of your essential personal and travel documents is more than just a safety tip for traveling solo. Ensure you have copies of crucial documents such as your passport, visas (if necessary), hotel and flight confirmations, entry and exit forms, and health documents. Keep them tucked away in pockets or folders where they are discreetly stored but easily accessible when needed. It might also be beneficial to have a copy in both your carry-on and checked luggage. You can also use a free browser extension and upload important data to the cloud. In this case, even the loss of the device may not be so painful.
#6 Study a map before you leave
Even if you’re not a fan of maps, it’s worth taking a look at one to familiarize yourself with the area. For instance, in Toronto, you can easily find your way as the lake is always south and the CN Tower stands tall nearby. If you ever feel disoriented, keep an eye out for the tower. If it’s out of sight, don’t hesitate to ask someone for directions towards the lake. Not everyone knows north and south, but locals are aware of the lake’s location. The same logic applies in New York City and many other cities, where you can rely on prominent landmarks for guidance.
#7 Note local emergency numbers
During my travels abroad, I’ve often neglected to check the local emergency contact numbers, which, in retrospect, posed significant risks. To ensure safety, it’s crucial to jot down the specific emergency contact information and police helpline on a piece of paper. It’s important to note that these vary in numbers between countries, so conducting prior research is highly recommended. Memorizing these digits, whenever feasible, can prove invaluable in unfortunate incidents of phone or bag theft. Additionally, acquiring comprehensive travel insurance is always a prudent measure in case of any sustained injuries while abroad.
Travel is about going beyond the standard routine. This may be beneficial for the individual, but dangerous in terms of the risks that are associated with it. Traveling alone is even more dangerous, so the responsibility falls on you. But there are also more opportunities: new acquaintances, flexibility in building a route, and the ability to do only what you want. However, with smart and thorough preparation, you can minimize the risks and preserve your opportunities.