Women who choose to travel solo has been rising in recent years thanks to the efficiency of today’s technology. But while traveling alone might be an exciting getaway, there’s no denying the dangers that it poses, especially to women. It’s vital that you know how to keep yourself safe, whether you are traveling alone or with others and make sure that your safety is always your top priority when you are traveling. To learn more, make sure to visit Camper Guide.
Fortunately, there are certain precautions that you can take to mitigate the risks of solo travel. Although this isn’t completely 100% effective, it’s still important to keep them in mind if you plan to visit a foreign country or go on a road trip alone.
- Do Your Research Diligently
When traveling to other countries, it’s important to understand that you’re stepping in a whole different world, a different culture. As such, it’s best to learn the local customs in the area you’re visiting so that you don’t look out of place.
Sure, in a foreign land like Taiwan or South America, a 24-year-old British female will stand out like a sore thumb. But if you act as if you belong, they might mistake you for someone who’s been in the area for a while or is at least familiar with your surroundings. That might be enough to deter potential dangers.
Also, if you can, try to learn how to properly introduce yourself in the local language. Sometimes, speaking a foreigner’s tongue can make the world of difference between safety and danger.
- Spend Extra on Safety
This covers all the bases from where you’re staying, the transportation you’re taking, the items you’re carrying, and the places you’re eating out. Don’t skimp on hostels and try to find a reputable place that is close to sites you’re planning to visit. If you’re bringing your car and plan to sleep there throughout the trip, make sure it’s geared up for maximum comfort and safety.
If it’s not illegal in the country you’re visiting, carry with you a pepper spray for extra protection. It’s also a good idea to bring a safety whistle to inform people within your vicinity that you’re in danger. Also, a rubber doorstop that can be wedged from the inside of your room should be considered as well.
- Secure Your Important Belongings
This includes your wallet, passport, smartphones, credit/debit cards, and medication. Always carry these with you while you travel. Don’t place them in your general backpack. Don’t place them in your check-in luggage during a flight. And don’t place them in the luggage hold of a bus.
Always, always, always keep them with you at all times. You should also ensure not to place them all in one place. Of course, if you’re exploring the city, that’s a different story.
On this occasion, you should leave your important belongings in your accommodation. Most hostels or guesthouses will have lockers. But if not, keep them in an anti-theft or slash-proof backpack and strap that thing to something sturdy in the room like a pipe.
Although this doesn’t eliminate the risk, it does provide an extra layer of protection. Remember, most robbers who are targeting tourists are aware that they only have a small window of opportunity to steal their victims’ belongings. Every second that you take away from that opportunity might result in them giving up and move on to someone more vulnerable.
- Trust your Gut
Most women who have been traveling alone for years will tell you that your instinct will be a valuable asset in keeping you safe in a foreign territory. Maintain your presence of mind all the time and always feel if there’s something off in your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable inside a restaurant, leave the vicinity safely by calling an Uber.
- Don’t Easily Trust People
While meeting new people is part of the thrill of traveling alone, you shouldn’t easily trust those you meet on the road. Try to gauge your new companions’ behavior and body language.
Although it’s tempting to go on an adventure with your newly found friends, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Don’t leave your belongings to them if you’re going to the bathroom as con artists have developed a skill of making people trust them. They do this for a living, after all.
- Don’t Get Wasted
This is an obvious tip but one that should be included. In a 2015 study that researchers published, it was found that drinking alcohol will excite your D1 receptors, otherwise known as the “go” pathway in your brain. This is the reason why people promising to drink a couple of beers end up consuming more, spiraling down in a cycle that eventually leads to those blackout moments.
Thus, if you’re in a foreign city, county, or country drinking with strangers, it’s best to pace yourself and keep an eye out how much alcohol you’ve consumed. Try to drink water in between bottles to stay hydrated and dilute what you’ve already consumed.
Also, eat before and during your drinks. If you have food in your stomach, the alcohol you’re consuming will slowly drip into your body’s system rather than flooding it. This is why eating foods with natural fat content is best when drinking as it slows down the rate in which food leaves the stomach.
- Pack Light
Bring what you need and leave the rest at home. When traveling, it’s best that some of your wardrobes can act as a two-in-one to save you space and lessen the things you need to worry about.
Remember, everything in your pack demands your attention. One less item is one less worry on your part, freeing up space in your head to keep your presence of mind on constant vigilance.
- Tell Your Schedule to Someone You Trust
Always tell someone your itinerary when traveling alone and keep them up to date what you’re doing whether it’s through messenger, email, or Skype. This means complete disclosure of your information including the place you’re staying, the places you’re planning to visit, flight details, front desk number, and so on.
Doing this will not only allay the fears of your loved ones but will also add a layer of safety to your travels. If you find yourself in a pinch, they can easily locate you and send help your way.
Kevin Still works at Levittown Ford Parts. If he is not writing he spends time off-roading with his friends.