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How to stay safe when travelling alone

How to stay safe when travelling alone

Travelling alone can be incredibly liberating and is a sure confidence booster, but it is so important to make sure that you stay safe. You will not have the back up of someone else being there if something was to go wrong, and you need to know what to do in all eventualities should something happen. Many people prefer to travel on their own as they do not have anyone else to answer to and can explore all of the places that they want to, so if you are considering, definitely go for it, but just follow our tips on how to stay safe.

quoteSo just why do people travel alone? Well apart from the aforementioned reasons, it is just so self-indulgent. It is a massive confidence boost, making your triumphs all the more exciting. You truly can do exactly what you want, you can rest when you want, travel when you want, and what’s more, any mistakes that you will inevitably make will stay between you and no one else. Some may prefer to travel with a buddy, and if you have never travelled completely solo, it may seem like an intimidating thing to do, but it can just be the experience you are after. Many people describe their first solo travel experience as somewhat religious. Of course, just like any holiday it has it’s perils, and the concern for safety is perhaps greater than if you were travelling with a group, and there is the worry that you could get lonely, or run out of money; but, all you need is a little preparation and common sense to get you on your way, and through the times you may struggle with, and you will come out the other side a different person.

Travelling solo requires a lot, and perhaps more planning than other trips. When you have decided where you want to go, thoroughly research the area, and know what to expect when you get out there. If you are travelling by yourself, you may want to consider going somewhere that you allows you to stay put, whilst offering a variety of things to do and see, as opposed to an area where you have to travel around. This will allow you to not only save money, which is important if you are on your own, but will also allow you to get to know the locals, which will make you feel more secure and safer. Be aware of the Single Travel Supplement that will be charged in many hotels, which could land you paying more than double those travelling with someone. Consider staying in a hostel, or a Bed and Breakfast, as they usually offer better deals for those travelling alone. They tend to allow easier access to the locals as well, making you feel involved. Do not over pack! You will not be able to share the luggage with anyone and it is likely to hinder your trip if you are dragging around heavy cases and bags with you. Not only that, but it is safer to travel with the minimum, particularly when you are on your own. Decide roughly what you want to get out of your travels. Are there any particular excursions you want to be involved with, and research the price of travelling in that area. Make sure you have budgeted accordingly to ensure that you do not run out of money part way through your trip.

When you have arrived, it is so important to put your safety first. You are much more vulnerable and appealing to criminals and scam solo travellerartists. You should also have a plan in place should you fall ill. Try not to stand out as a tourist – this is why researching the area is so important, so you know where you are going when you arrive at the airport etc. Make sure you carry identification with you at all times but keep them in different places and do not draw attention to yourself by wearing flash clothes or jewellery. Instead, walk purposefully and exude confidence. Before you set off, give a family member copy of your itinerary, and try and inform them if you stray from this. Make sure you stay in open and public areas, especially at night, and do not walk around with your head in a map if you are lost, as this will not only draw attention to the fact that you are lost but that you are alone as well. If you do have to ask for directions, give the impression that you have to meet someone and that is why you need the directions. Travelling alone is an excellent way to meet new people, but this in itself will make you more vulnerable to potentially unsavoury people. Have your wits about you and hang out with your new friends, but don’t place all of your trust in them. By all means be open-minded on your travels, but do keep your guard up enough to ensure that you remain safe and do not put yourself in any unnecessary danger.

When you are travelling during the day, take your time to really get to know the area. If you are there for an extended period of time, establish a routine, and talk to the locals. This will allow people to get to know you and make you feel more settled. Carry only the essentials with you during the day. Ensure that you know where you are staying and have a copy of all of your contacts and documents on you at all times. When it comes to eating during your trip try and dine in same place regularly, again, so you can become known and friendly with the staff. Take a book to read with you should you not meet any other solo travellers, but also, do try and go to restaurants with communal tables. This way, you can ask to join others that are also alone. Failing this, eat at the bar. This is a popular place for other solo travellers, and you are more likely to meet others. Try and eat your main meal at noon, as you will find most evening diners to be more romantic couples than fellow solo travellers. Also, as a bonus, the prices tend to be cheaper around lunchtime.

solo backpackerWhen you are travelling alone at night, safety needs to be your priority. Take registered taxis where you can and try and inform your hotel reception when you are expecting to be back and where you have gone. They will then be able to raise the alarm if you do not return. Drink responsibly. Try and stay sober of you can, but if you do have a drink, keep your wits about you, and be aware for any danger than could be around you. Make sure you have researched the place that you want to go to prior to arriving, and only take the bare essentials with you at night. Do not carry your purse, or at least know where it is at all times. Interact with the bartender, who will then be more likely to notice should anything untoward happen and leave a place immediately if it does not feel right. If you do meet others, do not give them your full name or tell them where you are staying and make sure that you leave alone.

Travelling on your own does not have to be scary. It allows you to see parts of the world you may not have the option to otherwise, as well as giving you time to learn more about yourself. Just be vigilant and stay safe. 

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