Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

Traveling by yourself can be a wonderful experience.  Without a travel companion or companions you are completely free to enjoy your travels as you see fit.  There are absolutely no restrictions and you don’t have to worry about making group decisions about where to go next or what to do next.  While this can be a great experience, there are some inherent dangers that are involved with traveling alone.  When you are in a group or with at least one other companion, you are less likely to be accosted on your trip because those with ill intentions like to prey on those that they see as week.  While you may truly enjoy traveling alone and may have the confidence to do so and be fully capable of doing so, the fact that you are alone does make you somewhat vulnerable.  The tips in this article aren’t intended to scare you out of traveling solo but to inform you of how to do so safely. 

Not looking like a tourist is critical to traveling alone.  If you are alone and clearly stand out as a tourist, you may make yourself in danger of being pickpocketed or being the victim of another crime.  If you are traveling to a foreign country your ethnicity may make it impossible for you to completely blend in an appear as a native but you should at least walk with confidence and pretend like you know exactly where you are going even if you are somewhat lost.  Pulling out a map and trying to figure out where you makes you an easy target.  You are distracted plus it is clear that you don’t know where you are going so criminals may seize this opportunity to harm you in some way. 

The way you dress while traveling solo can also put you at risk.  To be safe, try to avoid dressing like a tourist.  You will want to blend in with the locals so if you have a chance beforehand, research the style of the city and try to pack appropriately.  Stay away from designer labels and expensive jewelry that may make you a robbery target.  Instead stick to smart and sophisticated clothing that is moderately priced.

While on your trip, be cautious not to advertise the fact that you are traveling solo.  This information may not necessarily be harmful but if you make the mistake of telling someone who could potentially harm you that you are alone, they may be more prone to commit a crime against you.

Avoid desolate areas after dark.  Ideally, you should end your day and retire to your hotel room before sunset each night.  This may cut down on your nightlife but it is far better than ending up on a dark, isolated street when you are all alone. 

Finally, always leave a tentative itinerary with a trusted friend or family member at home.  Although your plans may change, it is wise to have someone who knows where you are expected to be each day in case something does happen.  If you no in advance that you are making changes to the itinerary, it is a good idea to call that friend or family member and give them an update on your new plans. 

Traveling solo can be a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy a vacation but there are a few extra precautions that you should take.  Just being alert and aware of your surroundings, trying to blend in with the natives, dressing appropriately and using common sense can all help you to remain safe when you are traveling alone. 

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