It is an amazing experience to travel solo. You have the freedom to follow your own schedule and there is a high probability that you will discover something new about yourself. At the same time, solo travel is not as safe as travelling in a group. When you are all by yourself and scouting through a foreign territory, you need to take certain precautions to ensure that your trip turns out a perfectly smooth and a safe one.
Following these tips will help you when travelling solo in a foreign country and keep you from becoming a soft target for the lesser elements.
Keep your valuables stashed away
When travelling solo, it is usually a good idea to travel light. Keep only the essentials with yourself- a personal debit and credit card, some cash- and leave everything else at home. Having a special item of jewelry or an expensive watch on yourself on your foreign tour is not a wise decision.
Never create the impression of travelling solo
Put a photo of a burly man in your wallet or wear a fake “wedding ring.” Pretend that you are on your way to meet your husband. This is usually a great way of deflecting attention from yourself.
Know your destination
Before you leave home, plan your trip; review your travel route before you leave the hotel. Try not to pull out a map in any public space, not even when inside your rental car. Don’t mark out your route on a map and leave it behind in your rental car or hotel room. You never know, it may end up in the wrong hands. If in need, use a GPS app and turn to your map only when all other options are closed.
While travelling to your destination avoid hanging around in interim spots such as rental car facility or airport. Rather than making a stop for checking your messages, a phone call, or quick bite, move to the next stop without any delay. These are the places where baser elements usually hang around but you are less susceptible to becoming a target if you keep moving.
Try to blend in with the rest
Try to do what the locals are doing. Study the attire of the local women and wear a similar dress. Are their shoulders covered? Do you see them taking a sunbath? Avoid doing anything that will draw unwelcome attention towards yourself.
Night-time travel is not recommended
Avoid travelling alone during late night hours or in quiet areas. If you think it is safer, hail a taxi and drive up to your front door. If you have concerns about staying out after dark, make an early start every day and schedule your main meal for lunchtime.
Avoid getting wasted
It is never a good idea to end up blitzed drunk while you on a solo trip. It leaves you vulnerable to a plethora of problems. Also, always attend to your drink so that no one can spike it in your absence.
Train yourself in reading situations
As a solo traveler, you will be well served if you are in a position to read situations. If you feel that there is something that is making you nervous and uncomfortable, expert advice would be to turn around and simply make a run for it. Forget about offending others or making you seem rude, self-preservation is above all others when personal safety is at stake.
Equip yourself with a whistle
No one can ever predict when you may find yourself needing a whistle, so it is always a good idea to keep one close by. You can also get a backpack that has a whistle built-in inside the straps. Keeping self-defense products with you is also a brave decision.
Above all, trust your instincts
As you gain more experience as a solo traveler, you will learn the art of developing good instincts that can really help you in the long run when you undertake more trips on your own.
When you are starting out, try visiting a place that shares a similar culture to your native land. As you grow in confidence, you can opt for the more challenging destinations for solo travel.
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