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How to stay safe while travelling alone

Planning to go on a world spree solo? Travelling the world solo always opens up some of the most magical and memorable experiences. It motivates you to push outside your comfort zone and makes you do things that one would have never thought of doing if you were traveling with a group of close friends and even family for that matter. Traveling alone is self-expanding in the most powerful and confronting of ways. It may seem daunting at first, but life is same for everything you do for the first time and they seem daunting only. Let’s not get deterred by the fact, things are pretty challenging but we should look for ways that help us to overcome the fear in order to gain new and valuable experiences. If you tend to think more about it, most of the things we fear never actually happen. So never let the fear of safety stop you when you plan to travel solo.

Research on the chosen destination!

Research on the chosen destination!

By and large, you always need to research the destination and the areas around it in which you intend on staying in. YouTube and the Google will help you in providing valuable information relating to your stay & attractions such Vlogs, reading blogs on the destination written by prominent authors or people who’ve actually visited the destination. Even you can ask friends/family for advice if they have visited the same destination before. Always try making reservation for the accommodation that is close to local transport and check if the area is notorious for being sketchy, if it’s then avoid it. 

Make note of the accommodation’s check-in and check-out times so that you don’t have to spend time waiting around in an area you’d rather not. Collect useful information on how much you should be paying for things while you’re out enjoying the time in the destination, so you can’t get ripped off. 

Research and download good apps that are going to make your life and travel easier while you step out in the destination, for example a good weather app will help you to check your preparedness for any climate, any public transport maps, and a map app you can use even without data connection. 

Make copies of important documents.

Make copies of important documents.

It’s of vital importance that you keep both physical and online copies of important documents like your passport, insurance, itineraries and flight confirmations. If possible, leave one copy at home with a family member or friend, bring one copy with you and have one copy saved in an email folder. A paper copy can be particularly handy for when the technology fails you!

Never hand over your passport to anyone under any circumstances. Some places may require you to give your passport as a form of a “deposit” e.g. renting a car or scooter to travel to attractions in the destination. If that is the case, then search for a different rental service provider where you can leave a cash deposit instead of your passport. Remember: you need it to get home and any folly will spoil the trip!

Let people know where you are.

Let people know where you are.

Informing your parents, family and friends on your whereabouts will give them peace of mind and in emergency situations can step in on your behalf. Hand over the itinerary before you embark on the journey and even email them a copy with all the important contact numbers where you intend to stay. Update them immediately if things change, and call them regularly for assuring them everything is as per itinerary only.  Ask your friends or family to use the “find my friends” feature on your iPhone or if you’re having an Android, share your WhatsApp’s live location to keep them up to date on your travel movements as you’re progressing from one place to another.

Get travel insurance.

Get travel insurance.

If you’re going solo, a travel insurance is a must. The fact is irrelevant, you are backpacking for 6 months around Australia or taking a weekend trip with your friends, buying travel insurance before you travel is super important. 

Seek for a travel insurance that protects you and your belongings. In case of any unfortunate events, even hefty medical bills will be taken care of without getting any frown on the face. 

Procure a local sim card with data for staying connected

Procure a local sim card with data for staying connected

Buying a local sim card to make calls with data plans is the cheapest way to make sure you’re in contact with people who matter the most and lets you make any calls you need in times of emergency. It’s not applicable if you’re travelling within the EU, but you may need it if you’re moving ahead. 

Surf the internet to research shops, costs and best value data plans suited to your needs. Once you hop off the plane, head straight to the phone shop in the airport or in the market to buy the sim card and activate the data plan to resume connectivity. Most of the places have got Wi-Fi connectivity now, so consider that when you decide how much to spend on data plan from local sim card provider. 

Buy a good quality safety lock.

Buy a good quality safety lock.

Irrespective of the accommodation you chose to stay in, you are bound to leave the majority of your things there as you move out exploring the destination. Always remember to carry along a safety lock for your belongings. Most accommodation provide the facility of lockers for important stuff but just remember to carry along a lock. Even under circumstances you’ve forgotten to take one along, most hotels or hostels provide them at reception at no or minimal costs. Just keep the key safe at all times or remember the secret code to avoid any embarrassing situations. You can also ask for smaller locks for day bags – which are particularly good if you like to snooze on train and bus rides!

Blend in with the locals.

Blend in with the locals.

Do as the saying go: “When in Rome, do as Romans Do!” Always walk with confidence on streets of the destination so as to avoid attracting much attention.  Whenever doing transactions or paying for things, don’t get the wad of cash out that you just withdrew from the bank machine. Always plan your travel and try not to look lost on the streets. Don’t carry your expensive camera equipment hanging over your shoulder loosely. Buy yourself a solid backpack that locks in which you can pack everything very easily. If possible, get small and lightweight camera equipment bags and can be easily stored in your belt bag.