Solo traveling is when someone travels alone without a friend or companion. It can be unnerving traveling alone due to many risks that can befall travelers, but there are some practical tips to stay safe and vigilant while traveling solo.
Traveling might be inevitable for everyone, especially females who love to explore. However, the fun, opportunities, and excitement seem to be worth it, but there is the possibility that females may fall prey to theft and harassment. This is a major concern that even independent and confident women fear. Keep reading to know the tips and ways you can assure yourself or someone who is a female solo traveler to feel safer while globetrotting.
1. Research your destination
Truthfully there is no perfect place in the world. Knowing this, you need to do your research to find out relevant information about your destination. You need to find out if the place is notorious for harassing women, whether locals or tourists. Find out if men tend to approach female travelers for negative reasons or if the area has laws and cultures for women. Try to find out if the people in the area are racist or discriminatory to you or your culture. To know is to be forearmed; you can cancel the trip or choose another destination before something regrettable gets a chance to occur.
If your travel plans are inevitable, make sure you learn about the popular scams and dangerous areas within the city/region.
2. Travel light
This will allow you to move faster and be aware of your surroundings – heavy or multiple bags are distractions. Asides from being scammed, your belongings can be stolen too. Tourists are easy targets for theft, whether street or organized theft. So, it’s best to travel light your belongings handy.
Don’t pack stuff you don’t need; just take the essentials. You are in a foreign land, not your home. In emergencies, this can help you escape swiftly.
3. Hide your money well
As a tourist in town, people will know that you have hard cash or some foreign currency. When traveling to another country, it’s a well-known fact that you must exchange your local currency and have it handy for your movements across town. That or except you are traveling around the EU and you have a bank card. Hide your cash well and wisely in a place no one suspects. Women are very creative, think, think.
Some hotels also provide safe locks to secure your prized possession. You should put this into consideration when planning your next trip.
4. Download a language translation app
If you aren’t traveling to the US or the UK, you are most likely going somewhere English is not spoken. You run the chance of meeting people who do not speak the same language as you, so bear in mind that there is a very high possibility that people will want to take advantage of you. Always be on your guard about what you hear; if your gut tells you someone is not to be trusted or something doesn’t feel right, trust it.
5. Use Google Maps
Google Maps is exact and accurate at giving directions. You might not need to pay tourist guides if you have your instincts, common sense, and Google Maps. With the offline maps functionality, you can download the maps of the city for offline use. You probably won’t have an internet connection when you are out and about except you buy a local SIM card.
For the most part, tourist guides may seem helpful but can expose the tourists they guide to danger. It is also essential to book your tours with a registered tour company. Some will drop your back at your hotel or meeting point and you can seek redress if anything goes wrong.
Ask for directions from strangers is dangerous; they may lead you to places where you can be mugged or, worse, raped or sold into human trafficking. It’s very possible because movies have been made about this.
6. Beware of emotional attachments
As a woman, finding love or a relationship when you travel might not be totally impossible. Women often fantasize about this; there are numerous romantic books and movies to back up this theory. While this seems like a dream come true for you, be vigilant. Don’t only guard your belonging and pocket, but also protect your heart. Scammers can get you through this method by getting close to you for the grand finale.
7. Buy protective devices
Now, I don’t mean you should carry your husband, father, sister, or brother’s gun/firearm. Gun laws become null and void when moving from country to country, but I don’t mean you should carry even if you have self-defense in mind. If you feel the place you are traveling to is not totally safe, then by all means, cancel the trip, don’t throw yourself into a problem that will be hard to dig through. Consider taking protective weapons like mace or pepper spray when you feel threatened.
For additional safety, you can also buy door locks to secure your hotel room door. Click on the link below:
8. Let people know your travel plans…for once!
Nigerians don’t like exposing their travel plans to outsiders and sometimes immediate family because they believe that if they do, it will jinx it their trip. If you are traveling solo and with a companion, you ought to tell people where you are headed. If you have problems or anything similar, people can always help you.
The worst thing is to be stranded in a foreign place without any help or anyone knowing your whereabout. Most people, especially females go missing when they travel alone because no one knows about their adventures. Therefore, ensure to update your family or your social media feed about where you are so to leave some sort of traces, just in case.
More tips to observe when in transit or exploring:
- Trust your instincts. Do not take chances! Read situations and if you feel in anyway uncomfortable or nervous, get out of there.
- Use taxi services like Uber where your movements can be somewhat tracked. You can also share your trip with trusted people in your life.
- Avoid telling others even if your guide that you are alone. Don’t mention where you are staying if you feel uncomfortable and don’t give out unnecessary information.
- Keep your bag towards the front of your body and zips done up at all time.
- If you must drink, drink for fun, don’t get wasted. Also be careful about your drinks to avoid getting drugged.
- If you are traveling for a relaxative getaway it’s best to pick a place with low record of thefts, crimes and other vices.
- Always be on your guard, there is a reason why you call a place home and another place foreign.
- Please blend in. If you don’t want unnecessary attention don’t dress in that certain way.
- Avoid listening to music with earbuds or headphones when outside. It distracts you and invites thieves and stalker to take an unwanted interest in you.