Solo travel is an exciting way to see new parts of the world at your own pace and schedule. Not only do you get to choose your activities and for how long you visit each attraction, but you don’t have to worry about entertaining others in a group.
While there is a lot of freedom found in solo travel, there are certain risks when traveling alone. It’s important to stay connected. Being away from the safety net of family and friends can make you extra vulnerable to crime and injuries. By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can stay safe while you’re embarking on your next adventure.
Research Your Destination
The first step to take before traveling to another place is to research your destination well. Specifically, pay attention to the potential risks of the location. You don’t want to stand out too much or appear unaware of your surroundings. Learn which neighborhoods are safe or if there are certain areas you should avoid. By starting there, you can figure out where to book your accommodations and feel secure about them. Try to avoid booking a room on ground level whenever possible.
Tell Others About Your Plans
Before you take off, make sure to alert your friends and family about your travel plans. Find a way to stay connected with them as you travel. If you are traveling abroad, there are several methods to keep in touch, such as apps like Whatsapp, getting a SIM card for the country, or finding a cafe or hotel with reliable internet.
Share your travel itinerary with them. That way, if they don’t hear from you and get worried, they can alert the local embassy. It’s important to be able to contact them in case of an emergency.
Also, keeping in touch doesn’t always have to mean with people back home. Joining a group for other solo travelers and making connections with them is helpful. You can learn more about travel groups for solo travelers here.
Let them know where you’re going and exchange contact information. Also, reaching out to a group ahead of time can be a good starting point when you don’t know anyone at the location you’re traveling to.
Protect Your Valuables
Always be mindful of how much money you carry on you. It’s recommended to store cash in multiple places. That way, you have more security.
Bring important travel documents with you, but only what’s necessary, which applies to cash too. Only bring with you what you need for the day or until you can return back to your room.
Pack lightly. Typically, people tend to overpack for large trips rather than under-pack. It’s helpful to refer to a list of travel items for the destination you’re heading to. If you’re able to, only bring a backpack with you. That way, you can keep your belongings close to you.
Always be aware of your surroundings when you’re in a new place. You don’t want to leave your belongings behind, and you don’t want to have them stolen either.
Know where you’re going. Make sure to have your phone fully charged, so you can use your GPS if you get lost.
It’s recommended to avoid getting too drunk. You won’t have anyone to look after you, so you want to keep your wits about you.
If you are traveling to a new state or country with your car, make sure to drive defensively and pay extra attention. According to Cannon Law, distracted driving is one of the deadliest driving behaviors. Be mindful of any new traffic laws in the area.
Listen to Your Intuition
If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation when you’re by yourself, especially in an unknown area, make sure to pay attention to that feeling. You are always free to leave.
Traveling by yourself can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but it does have its challenges. Having a well-researched safety plan in place can help keep you safer and have more peace of mind.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.