More and more women decide to travel on their own, being independent and courageous in their attempts to see the world. Women travelers often deal with challenging situations and some situations can be more difficult for them, when compared to male travelers. But it doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged when you want to see the world. Traveling on your own is still possible, as long as you prepare yourself and have taken precautions to deal with the worst scenarios and conditions.
Being a solo traveler doesn’t always mean that you should always watch your back, glance along the way, and stay alerted all the time. You can still have fun and have a blast, as long as you have prepared yourself for the worst.
The first thing to know is to plan ahead for the worst scenarios. What should you do when your belongings are stolen? What would you do when your travel documents are lost? It is a good and wise idea to have several copies of your credit cards, passports, visas, or other vita documents. It is also important that you keep them in different places, so you can have backup in case the original ones are lost or stolen. Not only you need to have a hardcopy, you should have the softcopy. Be sure to write emergency contacts, important phone numbers, bank phone, and also credit card companies. They will be important if you want to cancel your credit card or close off your account.
The second thing is to be clever and wise. Sure, traveling alone can be fun and exciting. It provides you with different access and opportunities, not to mention that it is a kind of mental and courageous test. But you should know your limit and don’t tempt fate in the face. If you want to explore a remote area or you want to go to an area that is known to be quite tricky and unsafe, it is better if you can join with a group or have a companion. We are talking about your safety and your life; do you really want to challenge fate for the sake of your adventurous sense? Be really wise or you will end up regretting your decision.
The third thing is to remain cautious and always use your logic. Yes, you are supposed to have fun during your trip, but it doesn’t mean that you can splurge around and forget your wits. Be cautious for strangers that are approaching you, even the cute ones. Don’t let your guard down, no matter in what kind of situation you are. Meeting other people is good, but it doesn’t mean that you should tell them everything about yourself, especially during first time encounter or if they ask you too many questions. It is better if people don’t really know that you are alone, so your safety remains intact. If you want to consume alcohol, be sure to know your limit and keep it minimum. Always remember that you are alone and no one will have your back.
The next thing is to find out about the area where you are staying. Don’t be afraid to talk to the staffs; they, after all, are the locals who understand the situation and places around. Find out which area you should avoid, and which one is safe. You can also ask about the transportation and how to travel from one place to others. It also helps if you can find accommodations that are close to business central or close to busy spots, instead of choosing remote and quiet areas. If you stay in areas that are close to the city central or busy area, your possibility to stay safe and protected will be bigger, when compared to staying in remote, quiet, or far away accommodations.
The fifth tip is to always stay connected. You may undergo this trip to have a personal me-time, being far away from regular people that you meet on daily basis. But it doesn’t mean that you should sever contacts and connections with them. Stay in touch with them; don’t turn off your phone. It will help if you can provide the details of your itinerary to some of the closest people; your family or best friend. It doesn’t hurt if you can call them on daily basis just to let them know that you are okay. In case something bad happens to you, they will be alerted and you won’t be left deserted alone. Don’t forget to include important phone numbers as your emergency contacts.
The next one is to blend in. Nothing is more visible than having a tourist that looks very tourist-y and stand out among the locals. It doesn’t hurt to learn about the local customs, habits, or lifestyle before you actually visit them. When you look like a local, your chance of survival is bigger. Be sure to wear the right clothes that go along with the climate, culture, or custom of the local. Sure, you may want to take pictures of the locals, but instead of keeping it hanging around your neck – which makes your tourist-y look very pronounced and visible – you may want to keep it inside your bag. Only take it out and shot pictures when it is possible and safe.
Seventh, you really need to rely on your intuition. Nothing is better than your guts, and you should believe it in. When something isn’t right or you feel that the situation isn’t safe for you, leave as soon as possible. Rely on it and don’t make rush judgment, even though you may encounter people that seem helpful and friendly. If you feel that things aren’t right, leave right away.
Finally, when you are traveling, be sure to choose transportation that is packed with people. Packed isn’t the same as being crowded; packed means that the numbers are safe and they are random people; not members of a certain gang. Hop on train carriages or buses with people in it, and avoid going in one if you are the only passenger. If you have to use a taxi, choose the reliable one and call your friends or families once you get into the passenger’s seat; provide them with details of the taxi, the identity of the drivers, and such thing alike.