Photo by Atikh Bana and Khayriyyah MuhammadSmith on Unsplash
Safety is always a top concern when it comes to solo travel. This is especially true for women who like to travel alone. No matter where you are traveling to, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings and tuned in with your woman intuition. Generally, this helps avoid dangerous situations but there are a few more things you can do to be proactive with your safety while traveling as a solo woman.
Here are some more useful tips you can use to stay safe while solo traveling.
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Download travel apps for emergencies.
- In the U.S. we’re taught to dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, but in other places that number changes. Every country has its own unique local emergency phone number; some even have multiple numbers depending on whether the emergency requires police, medical, or fire rescue. Download the TripWhistle Global SOS app to have every emergency number in the world at your fingertips.
- The Smart Traveler app is a free service that allows US citizens to enroll with the local US Embassy or Consulate while they’re abroad. This gives you easy access to the latest U.S. news and information, travel advisories, and U.S. embassy locations.
- Noonlight is a safety platform that triggers emergency requests at the press of a “Safe” button. In the event of an emergency, it will immediately notify emergency responders and provide them with your exact location.
Share your travel plans and/or location with family and friends.
- Make sure at least a few people are aware of your general travel plans. Add your dates and destinations to a Google calendar that you can share or outline a brief itinerary of your day-to-day plans to let your close ones know where you’ll be and when. If ever there is an emergency and someone needs to reach you sooner rather than later, you'll be glad you took this extra step. It'll also help you with stay organized and keep better track of travel plans.
- It’s a good idea to keep close ones looped in on where you’ll be staying as well. If for any reason they need to get in touch with you and can’t (i.e. data problems, no cellphone service, etc.) they can get in touch with the staff at your accommodations to reach you.
Always keep a (charged) portable charger with you.
- Don’t end up stranded in a foreign place with a dead phone by yourself. Keep a portable charger on you at all times, even when you don’t necessarily plan to be out for long. You just never know when wanderlust will kick in and you end up on some random adventure that leads to you being lost on a subway (this may or may not be a true story 😜).
Protect yourself against emergencies.
Nobody likes to be a buzzkill, but it's smart to think about the worst-case scenarios before your solo trip so you can be ready for anything. Travel insurance is designed to protect you from unexpected events like trip disruptions, lost bags, or travel delays mess with your plans. If you want that extra peace of mind, not just for travel mishaps but also for any unexpected health issues, check out SafetyWing. They've got insurance plans that you can customize to fit your needs, and they won't break the bank. It's all about making sure your solo vacation is a stress-free, fun-filled adventure.
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Know the basics of the language.
- When traveling to places where the native language is not English, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, be cautious of how loudly you speak when you’re talking. Sometimes, speaking English too loudly can attract unwanted attention from thieves and other petty crime predators looking for tourists to prey on.
- Conjointly, it’s a good idea to know at least some basic words and phrases in your destination’s native language. These are phrases that are essential in everyday interactions and especially in the event of an emergency. Some examples include:
- “Hi, good morning/afternoon/evening.”
- “Do you speak English?”
- “Please help!”
- “Where is…?”
- “No, thank you.”
Be mindful of social media
- It’s exciting to share our solo travel experiences with others on social media, but it’s also important to consider what and when you’re posting to make sure you’re not sharing detailed information about your location with online strangers. Consider postponing posting content that discloses your specific whereabouts until after you’ve changed locations. Keep conscious of what location details and identifiable landmarks are in the background of your shot when sharing live content in and around your accommodation.
Prioritize safety over savings
- Like most solo travelers, I love a good deal but when it comes to accommodations, I’m always prepared to spend more if it ensures peace of mind and physical safety. Don’t let cheap prices persuade your decision on accommodations. Consider the location and how far the accommodation is from central areas. Also factor in accessibility (i.e. is it on the ground floor or susceptible to easy access?) and look into the safety measures the accommodation offers (i.e. security staff, cameras, locks, etc).
- You can also save coins by walking instead of paying for a ride, but it is never worth it if your safety is at risk. Avoid walking alone late at night, especially in areas that you aren’t familiar with the area and be sure to have your driver pick you up in a well-lit and/or populated location.
Know your solo party limits
- The purpose of traveling is to have fun and enjoy yourself, but be smart when it comes to drinking and partaking in other recreational activities. Know your limits and don’t let yourself get too intoxicated when partying alone or with people who you don’t know well. Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers and share your location with a friend before meeting up with new people for the first time.
What are some ways you stay safe while traveling alone? Check out my Youtube channel for travel gadgets you can use to stay safe while solo traveling.
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