Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Being a solo traveler has definitely taught me a few things about traveling alone. Like how to blend in with a city and keep the unwanted attention off of me. Staying low key, and always being aware of your surroundings are just a couple of ways to keep yourself protected and out of trouble. As a woman, however- the rules are a little different. Women are often seen as easier targets when we travel alone, and for that reason- we must be extra diligent in keeping ourselves safe. We may be women, but we won't be handicapped because of it. As long as you know how to protect yourself and stay alert- you'll be just fine. Here are some personal tips for women that are thinking of traveling alone...
1) While it's nice to meet people, and possibly make new friends when traveling alone, you have to be careful about who you let around you. As true in most cases, not everyone has your best interest at heart. Once people find out that you're not a local, you're a tourist, AND you're alone- they may try to use that to their advantage. They can lure you into places, in certain parts of town that aren't the most friendly environments. They can set you up to be robbed, or much worse. It's OK to meet people at coffee shops, or restaurants, over a little casual conversation- but you should really consider the possibilities if they ever ask you to follow, or meet them somewhere outside of your comfort zone. Which brings me to my next point....
2) If a person you just met does ask you to go with them, or meet them somewhere else, always arrange to meet in a public setting. Don't go to their hotel room, don't get into any cars with them, and don't meet them in secluded areas. Always ask them to meet you on your terms. Busy areas where there are likely to be lots of people are always the safest places to meet. For example, the main tourist part of town, train stations, restaurants, coffee shops, local festivals, etc. It lessens the chances of an assault. If a person means you no good- they likely won't act on it in a crowded or public place.
3) Always let someone know where you are and where you're going. It could be the difference between a life or death situation. Tell a friend back home, your parents, or even your hotel management. Someone should always know where you are at all times. With social media and other communication apps- staying in touch with people these days is the easiest thing to do. In the event of a crime or if an assault does occur, at least the police will have a starting point on where to look for you. This is always one of the most important things a solo traveler (male or female) can do to save their own lives. We never know what can happen, so it's always best to err on the side of caution.
4) Stay alert! I cannot stress enough about why staying alert and being aware of your surroundings is so critical to survival. Not just while traveling, but everywhere you go. It could save your life. Knowing where you are, where your hotel is, where the nearest train, police station or hospital is, is so important. Traveling to new places gives us this sense of freedom, and the urge to want to relax and lower our inhibitions a bit; and while that's great- don't get so comfortable that you lose your ability to make common sense decisions. If something doesn't feel or look right, it's best to just leave the scene, instead of hanging around to see what happens.
5) When going out, always keep your money, passport, phone, and debit cards separate from each other. Never keep them all in the same purse, wallet, backpack, or whatever else you may be carrying. The reason for this is if someone wanted to rob, or pick pocket you, they won't get everything you have. It's one thing to be robbed for your phone, money, or debit cards while traveling, but being robbed for your passport is an entirely different situation. While your phone and money can be replaced quickly, a stolen passport is a lot harder to obtain while in a foreign country. It's a serious inconvenience that you never want to go through. You never want to lose anything while traveling, but you definitely don't want to lose everything! It can be the difference between a great vacation, and the absolute worse vacation you'll ever take.
These are just a few of my personal tips that I use while traveling. From my own experiences, they've kept me safe, and out of trouble. I recommend these tips to all travelers: groups, solo, male or female. Safety should always be the top priority when it comes to traveling. Your life depends on it!
Thank you for reading my blog, and feel free to share it with your friends. Someone else could use the information to prepare themselves. Also, don't forget to subscribe to my blog for more information and advice about traveling. Until my next blog-- stay safe out there! The world can be a big and scary place, but as long as you're prepared for it all, you'll be just fine!
xoxo- Ashawna Lane
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