Last Updated: 10/10/20 | October 10th, 2020
Kristin Addis from Be My travel Muse is our go to solo female travel expert and writes a guest column featuring ideas and advice. It’s an crucial topic I can’t adequately cover, so I brought in an expert to share her advice. This month her column is on safety ideas considering that it’s been a common question among women travelers.
One of the chief worries for a lot of would-be solo travelers is safety.
Can I stay safe on my own? how can I convince my friends and family that I’ll be okay?
The good news is: yes, you will be safe on the road. It’s much easier than you think because you already have the skills you need — the same methods you use to stay safe at home are relevant abroad as well.
Most people are afraid before taking off on their first solo adventure. It’s easy to be nervous before heading somewhere new. There are a lot of unknown aspects (will you make friends? will you be safe?) that you’ll turn over and over in your brain.
But it’s all in your head. Your brain is creating worst-case scenarios that aren’t likely to happen. I’ve found that following a few basic policies is enough to keep me (and you) safe on the road.
Safety idea #1: depend on your gut instincts
There’s much to be said about the power of intuition. If something or someone gives you an uneasy vibe, there’s no shame in walking away or saying no. If your gut is telling you that something doesn’t feel right, listen to it. This sense naturally becomes a lot more heightened over time as a solo traveler.
Some people thought I was crazy and even silly to hitchhike through China, but after years on the road, I trusted my intuition enough to sound the alarm bells if something didn’t feel right.
There were times, such as late at night in Rome when I’ve been used a ride and immediately said no because I knew something was off. It’s unusual how much listening to that little voice in the back of your mind can steer you in the ideal direction.
Safety idea #2: Don’t be terrified to say no
Don’t be terrified that you will disappoint people by only saying yes when it feels right. Your solo journey is about you and nobody else.
Sometimes in bars and hostels, the group mentality to keep drinking and the pressure to partake in yet another round of shots is present on a daily basis.
Getting too intoxicated can cause severe problems. keep it to a few drinks at a lot of if you’re alone without any individual to look out for you. I can’t tell you how long my list is of friends who have been robbed in alleyways in Spain or mugged in an otherwise safe Berlin because they became too intoxicated.
It can happen easily, especially when in party areas or with party people. For this and other personal reasons, I have quit drinking alcohol completely, at home and on the road, and that not only has kept me safer but also led me to meeting people on my travels who are interested in things other than partying, and that’s led to a lot more enriching experiences overall.
Safety idea #3: keep a dummy budget and whistle
In buy to keep your a lot of crucial valuables safe, some travelers suggest using a dummy wallet, which is a fake budget that contains some canceled credit scores cards and a little bit of cash. It’s enough to make a would-be thief think he’s getting something worthwhile while keeping your real valuables well hidden (like under the insole of your shoe).
Another crucial tool is something that makes noise. A whistle has come in helpful a lot more than once for me, especially when I remembered the tale of another solo female traveler who once used it to ward off rabid monkeys in Indonesia.
I did the very same several months later when, in a split second, I remembered to use my whistle as an angry monkey was lunging toward me. It goes to show that you never know how beneficial something so small can be.
Safety idea #4: get recommendations from locals
Make full use of the platforms available online to understand what to look out for in the area you are traveling to, especially if it’s your very first time traveling solo in the area. Facebook, Couchsurfing, Meetup.com, The Nomadic Network — there are tons of online communities you can join to get insider info.
I find asking safety questions on these platforms is often a lot more reliable than some travel information web sites as they are much a lot more current, though it wouldn’t hurt to research common scams and dangers in your destination on them.
For Americans, that would be the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
Ask employees at your hotel or guesthouse which scams to look out for. find out not only what you must see during your visit but also which areas to avoid. nobody knows this better than the people who live there year-round.
Finally, a reliable walking excursion at the beginning of your trip in a new city is not only a great way to have a proper introduction to the area,but also an opportunity to ask questions get a lot more safety ideas from your local guide.
Safety idea #5: dress appropriately
Dress like a local in buy to blend in. By standing out, you risk a lot more than just annoying catcalls. It’s a sad reality, but in some countries, women can’t dress as they please and need to cover up.
In generally Muslim countries, for example, wearing shorts and tank tops is not advisable and can be perceived as offensive. It’s best to at least cover the shoulders and the knees. Do some research on what’s proper to wear before packing.
That seems obvious, but it’s still all too common to see topless girls on the beaches in Thailand, or incredibly short shorts and crop tops in Malaysia and Indonesia.
In buy to be respected, it’s crucial to respect the locals’ customs and modesty levels.
Safety idea #6: Don’t walk alone at night
In some countries, it’s perfectly safe to walk alone at night. In others, it could be dangerous. Going out at night in groups or asking to be accompanied by someone else at your guesthouse or hotel is always smart.
Unfortunately I learned this the hard way after someone grabbed me in the dark as I walked along a dirt path in Nepal. The local police and my guesthouse owner were both bewildered, saying that kind of thing never happens there.
Well, it turns out that it does, and I made sure never to be alone at night thereafter in Nepal, and now I make sure to not walk alone late at night.
Safety idea #7: Make copies of your crucial documents
Although we always hope nothing will happen, it’s crucial to be prepared for a worst case scenario. Make copies of your crucial documents, including your passport, identity card, and insurance cards, and keep them in all of the bags you carry.
Keep electronic copies as well, must the worst occur and you lose the paper copy along with the physical document. Take photos of all of your crucial papers and store them on your phone and laptop, in addition to publishing them to a safe cloud server.
I also recommend taking photos of electronics you are traveling with and publishing them to a cloud server. This will help verify you owned the item in case you need to make a travel insurance claim.
Safety idea #8: know the local emergency numbers
Look up the local emergency number online before you depart or ask the staff at the front desk wherever you’re staying. There are also apps, like TripWhistle, that supply emergency numbers from all over the world.
Of course, the best-case scenario is that you never have to use it, but it’s always smart to be prepared in case you do need it.
Safety idea #9: let friends know where you are
Make sure someone (a friend, family member, or fellow traveler) knows your travel plan and where you must be at any given time. try not to go off the grid completely or for long periods of time, especially if you have anxious parents back home. If you do change your plans — because it’s bound to happen sometime — don’t forget to let someone know.
Many countries have inexpensive SIM cards ($20 USD or less) that will help you keep in touch if you have an unlocked phone. Besides, if you’re on the move, having Internet access for booking travel arrangements and finding directions is often a godsend.
In closing, traveling solo is marvelous. It allows you to make all of your own travel decisions, promotes personal growth and independence, and can even be a bit safer considering that you can take in a lot more of your surroundings than if a friend were around distracting you.
Solo traveling helps to sharpen intuition and, despite normal worries, is often no a lot more hazardous than your hometown.
The same common sense you use at home is relevant abroad. It’s not rocket science, and as long as you’re smart about it and follow these basic tips, you’re in for a positive adventure.
Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. קריסטין לשעבר בנקאי השקעות, קריסטין טייל בעולם במשך למעלה משמונה שנים. You can find a lot more of her musings at Be My travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.
Book Your Trip: Logistical ideas and Tricks
הזמן את הטיסה שלך
מצא טיסה זולה באמצעות SkyScanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches web sites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
הזמן את הלינה שלך
אתה יכול להזמין את ההוסטל שלך עם OstelWorld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels.
אל תשכח ביטוח נסיעות
Travel insurance will secure you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s detailed protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it lots of times in the past. החברות האהובות עלי שמציעות את השירות והערך הטוב ביותר הן:
SafetyWing (הכי טוב לכולם)
Insure Mטיול y (לאלה מעל גיל 70)
מדג’ט (לכיסוי פינוי נוסף)
מוכנים להזמין את הטיול שלך?
עיין בדף המשאבים שלי לקבלת החברות הטובות ביותר להשתמש בו כשאתה נוסע. אני מפרט את כל אלה שאני משתמש כשאני נוסע. הם הטובים ביותר בכיתה ואתה לא יכול להשתבש להשתמש בהם בטיול שלך.