Traveling solo? Discover our go-to safety tips to make your trips both adventurous and secure. From navigating unfamiliar destinations to staying connected, this informative guide will empower you to embark on solo adventures confidently!
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Embarking on a solo travel adventure can be exhilarating, empowering, and ultimately transformative. There’s something undeniably thrilling about wandering through unfamiliar streets, immersing yourself in new cultures, and discovering the world on your terms. However, as much as we celebrate the freedom and independence that comes with solo travel, the importance of safety should never be undermined.
Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time explorer, this blog post will equip you with 39 invaluable tips for staying safe while travelling solo. So, whether you’re planning a soul-searching expedition across the globe or a spontaneous weekend getaway, read on to find out how you can navigate your adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
39 Safety tips for solo travellers:
1. Research your destination
Before embarking on any trip, it’s essential to research your destination thoroughly. Read up on the local language, culture, customs and laws, as well as any concerns or warnings that have been issued by government agencies. It’s also a good idea to take note of important contact numbers, such as local embassies
2. Choose accommodation wisely
Make sure to check reviews of any lodging you plan to stay in and opt for a centrally located, well-lit and secure place. If staying in hostels, make sure you check the reviews and choose somewhere that is solo travel-friendly. To be honest, In the many times I’ve travelled solo, I have always felt safer staying in a hostel. They are great for meeting like-minded people and allow you to explore as a group rather than on your own.
3. Don’t assume your hotel room is safe
No matter how secure your hotel room might seem, it’s always wise to double-check the locks and use a door alarm if possible. Additionally, ensure you don’t leave any valuable items lying around as they may be stolen.
4. Let someone know your plans
It’s always wise to inform a friend or family member of your itinerary so they can check in on you regularly. Provide them with details such as where you will stay, how long you plan to stay and when you expect to return. If you’re travelling for an extended time and have not prepared ahead, always update as and when you have this information.
Having a tracker app on your phone or backpack is also helpful so you can share your locations with friends and family back home. I use Find My Phone with my iPhone, but there are many other apps for other devices, such as Life360 or Glympse.
5. Invest in good travel insurance
Travel insurance is always worth investing in, especially when travelling solo. It provides a financial cushion in the event of accidents or injuries and can cover medical expenses, loss of luggage or delays. Purchase insurance that doesn’t expect you to pay upfront and claim back later, as this can lead to extra stress, especially if you need hospital treatment.
6. Don’t tell everyone you are travelling alone!
When meeting new people, avoiding divulging too much personal information is best. Remember not to let anyone know that you are travelling alone as this could make you more vulnerable and put a target on your back. Don’t be afraid to tell some little white lies. I’ve often told taxi drivers, shopkeepers and even some locals that I’m travelling with my boyfriend or other family members.
7. Use public transportation safely
Whenever possible, opt for public transportation such as buses or trains instead of taxis. Be sure to check the safety ratings of your chosen service, and always keep your belongings close by. Avoid travelling alone late at night and carry money in different places so that you won’t be left without any if something happens.
8. Photocopy your documents
Before leaving, take copies of all your essential documents such as passport, visa and tickets. Store the photocopies in a secure place, such as an online storage system, with a trusted friend or, my preferred option, email to yourself. This will help ease stress should you lose any of these items while away.
9. Carry minimal cash
It’s best to carry minimal cash when travelling solo, as it limits your risk of being a target. Opt for using cards or electronic wallets instead. Use a dummy wallet with a small amount of cash and documents; if you’re mugged or pickpocketed, the thief will take that instead.
10. Stay connected
Be sure to update your family and friends about your whereabouts throughout the trip. You can do this using social media or messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Viber or FaceTime. Additionally, invest in a local SIM card so you can access data in case of an emergency.
11. Be aware of your surroundings
When travelling solo, it’s essential to always stay alert and be aware of your environment. Even if the area appears safe, it’s best to exercise caution and keep your valuables secured at all times. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to call for help or move away from the situation.
12. Trust your instincts
Trust your intuition and follow your gut feeling when travelling alone. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to trust your instincts and take necessary measures to stay safe.
13. Explore with caution
Solo travel can be a great way to explore new places and meet new people. But when doing so, always be cautious about where you’re going. Before venturing out to a new place, research the area and read reviews to ensure it is safe for solo travellers.
14. Don’t be scared to say no!
As a solo traveller, you might get invited to things or asked to partake in activities that make you feel uncomfortable. Feel free to respectfully decline such offers and trust your judgement regarding unfamiliar situations.
15. Dont be a target
When travelling solo, it’s important to remember that you are a prime target for criminals. To avoid this, try to blend in like a local as much as possible and always keep your valuables secure. Also, ensure not to show off expensive jewellery or other items that might draw attention. I recommend leaving the expensive jewellery at home!
16. Hide money and passports
When travelling, always keep your money and passport secure. It’s best to keep them hidden in different places so they won’t be lost or stolen. You can also invest in a pocket-sized safe or money belt for added security. This will help ensure easy access to your important documents without worrying about them being stolen.
17. Invest in pickpocket-proof clothing
Pickpockets can be a real issue when travelling solo, so taking precautions is essential. One way to do this is by investing in pickpocket-proof clothing. These are usually designed with hidden pockets and zippers that make it difficult for thieves to access your belongings. Also, if using a backpack, keep anything valuable at the bottom of the bag or wear your bag on your front.
18. Dont use headphones whilst walking
Using headphones while walking can make you an easy target for pickpockets and thieves. To avoid this, try to stay aware of your surroundings and keep your attention focused on the streets instead. If you need your headphones, opt for earphones and use one; that way, you can still be alert to your surroundings.
19. Walk like you know where you’re going!
When walking in a new city, it’s important to give off the impression that you know where you are going. This will help deter potential criminals who may be eyeing tourists as easy targets.
One trick I’ve learned when navigating unknown streets is to use Google Maps with voice commands and use one earphone. This way, I can get to where I’m going without making it obvious that I don’t know the area.
20. Get familiar with local scams
It’s important to be aware of local scams that may be present in the city you are travelling to. Researching online can help you know what to look out for and how to avoid them. It’s also a good idea to inform yourself about other cultural norms so that you don’t offend anyone while visiting.
21. Limit the booze
While it’s easy to let loose while on holiday, it’s essential to be mindful of your alcohol intake. Over-consumption can make you more vulnerable and open to potential criminal activity. Therefore, try to keep your drinking within manageable limits so that you can stay safe while travelling.
22. Stay away from illegal substances
Illegal substances should be avoided at all costs. Not only can they land you in a lot of trouble with local authorities, but they also put you in unsafe situations that can lead to crimes such as mugging and robbery.
23. Utilise digital tools for safety
Technology has made it easier than ever to stay safe while travelling. There are now several apps and services that can alert authorities in case of emergencies and keep track of your location on the go. Additionally, travel alerts can also help you stay informed about any potential dangers before they happen.
For those of you with iPhones, the new iPhone 14 now comes with satellite sos. If you get into trouble and have no signal, you can use the emergency sos to alert local emergency services as well as a designated contact. So, if you are planning an extended backpacking trip or something a little off-grid, it may be useful to upgrade.
24. Carry only what you need
Carrying too much money or valuable items while travelling can be a safety risk. It’s best to bring only what you need and leave the rest at home or in a secure hotel safe. This will reduce your chances of being mugged or robbed while on holiday.
25. Look out for each other
When travelling, it’s essential to look out for yourself and those around you. If you see someone in an unsafe situation, don’t hesitate to step in and help if it’s safe to do so. This can go a long way towards creating a safer travel experience for everyone.
26. Plan ahead
When travelling, it’s important to plan as much as possible. This means knowing what areas are safe and which ones are dangerous, what restaurants and attractions to visit, as well as making sure your accommodation is secure. Planning can help you avoid potentially dangerous situations while travelling.
27. Utilise the local knowledge of hotel staff
If you’re staying at a hotel or resort, take advantage of the local knowledge their staff has to offer. They should be able to point you in the right direction and let you know which areas to avoid. Additionally, they should also be able to tell you about any potential safety concerns that may arise during your stay.
28. Learn a bit of the local language
Learning even a few words of the local language will go a long way in helping you stay safe while travelling. It can help you understand signs and warnings and give others an idea that you are not entirely oblivious to your surroundings. This can also be helpful when you ask for directions or advice on which areas are safe to visit.
29. Try not to travel after dark
Try to plan your trips whenever possible so that you are not travelling during the night. This can help reduce the risk of potential danger as it’s more challenging to see what is happening around you in the dark. Also, if you arrive at your destination late at night, please make sure that your chosen accommodation is secure and well-lit and that check-in will be open on arrival.
30. Cheapest transport isn’t always the best option
When travelling, it’s tempting to take the cheapest route whenever possible. However, this is not always the best option regarding safety. Make sure to research and understand which transportation methods are safest for you.
31. Always keep other accommodation options on hand
Whenever you travel, keep a few accommodation options on hand in case of emergency. It’s always good to have alternative options, especially if your current lodging isn’t feeling safe or secure. This way, you won’t be stuck without a place to stay should something go wrong.
32. Listen to advice from locals
When travelling in unfamiliar places, it’s always a good idea to listen to advice from locals. They will have insider knowledge that can be invaluable when navigating the area and staying safe. This is especially important if you plan on venturing off the beaten path.
33. Pack essential items for emergencies
When packing for a trip, include essential items you might need in an emergency. This could be anything from simple first aid supplies and a flashlight to snacks and extra cash. Having these items on hand will help you to stay safe if you find yourself in a tricky situation. Other valuable items include a personal alarm, hotel door lock and a power bank for a phone.
34. Only use official taxis
If you ever need a taxi, please only use official taxis. This will help ensure you are not taken advantage of and can reach your destination safely. Check with your hotel or local embassy for information on which companies are reputable for taxi services in the area.
35. Know the basics of first aid
When travelling, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the basics of first aid. Knowing how to respond in an emergency can make all the difference in staying safe and healthy while on the road. Get certified in basic first-aid skills before your trip to prepare for any situation you may find yourself in.
36. Know when to take a tour
You don’t have to do it alone! Taking a tour can be the perfect way to see a new place without putting yourself at risk and an excellent opportunity to meet new friends. Sometimes, a tour can provide an extra layer of safety as you explore somewhere new or off the beaten track. Do your research before booking any tours, and only go with reputable companies with good reviews.
37. Stay informed about current events
When you’re travelling, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the current events in your destination. Knowing what is happening in a particular area can help you to make informed decisions about where to go and when so that you don’t find yourself in a dangerous situation.
38. Avoid wandering alone at night
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: Avoid wandering alone at night. Especially if you’re in a city or unfamiliar area, staying within well-lit areas and with people you trust can be best.
39. Have fun!
Finally, remember to enjoy your trip! You are embarking on an exciting journey, so embrace the experience and explore all your destination has to offer. Make sure you take pictures along the way, as these will be great reminders of your adventure for years to come.
Travelling alone can be a fantastic experience filled with stories and memories to last a lifetime. That being said, staying safe and taking precautions when travelling is essential. The 39 tips for solo travel mentioned in this blog post are great starting points and can help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Ultimately, no matter where you go or how long you’re away, remember that the most important thing is to have fun, stay safe, and make the best out of every situation. So take these safety tips with you on your next solo adventure, and get ready to explore! Who knows what new friends or experiences await you?
Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up!
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