More women travel alone for both professional and/or personal reasons then ever before. I love solo travel. I do it often and always enjoy myself. But, there are lots of ways to stay safe when traveling alone that should be kept in mind at all times. Before taking off on your solo adventure, give yourself a reality check. Remember that things happen – everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there. You must be in control of yourself at all times since there is no way to control what others around you will do. As long as you keep that in mind, you will most likely have some really great solo trips!
Have a Designated Know It All (DKIA)!
Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, when you travel alone one relative or close friend should know your travel plans completely. This DKIA should have a copy of your itinerary. There should be a plan in place to let your DKIA be alerted that you have reached a destination safely (whether it be by text message or phone call). There should be a plan in place that if you do run into trouble, you can code quickly a message to your designated person. Something as simple as a “?” sent via text will alert your friend that you need help. Always stay connected in some way.
Be sure to make copies of all important documents that will be with you when you travel. E-mail them to yourself so you have access to copies if the originals are lost. A copy of each of these same document should be left with your DKIA.
- Ticket numbers
- Reservation information
- Credit card numbers and phone numbers to contact credit card company in case you lose your credit card
It is worth the extra expense, especially if you are traveling outside the country. Travel insurance will help pay for many unexpected expenses that may occur while traveling such as a medical emergency, lost luggage or car rental damage.
Tourists can usually be spotted from a mile away ~ Fancy camera, map, pointing at sites, sometimes a lost and confused look! Even if you find yourself confused by directions and where you are going, try not to get so wrapped up in reading a map that you lose sight of your surroundings. Slip into a shop or a restaurant to ask directions so you aren’t standing out in the street letting every passer-by know that you have no idea where you are going. A person that looks like they are lost is an easy target.
Be Careful with Your Money and Valuables
When carrying cash, don’t keep it all in one place. Your cash should be split up between two or three different spots. Traveling solo is also a good time to think about leaving some of your expensive jewelry at home – even your wedding ring. I always wear a cross-body bag that will stay in position in the front of my person so I always know where my important belongings are.
Go With Your Gut!
Always go with your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t. Even if a situation turns out to be right, you are better safe then sorry. If you don’t feel right about something, don’t do it. If you find yourself somewhere that isn’t quite what you expected it to be – leave.
Most importantly – be safe – have fun!