Traveling is your way of experiencing the wonders of the world whether it is surfing in Hawaii or trekking in New Zealand. There is always something for you. While you have the vigor and the strength, you should consider traveling even if it means being alone. Traveling alone may not be appealing to you but if you give it a chance, it will change the way you see things.
Seasoned travelers are encouraging all people to travel alone at least once in their life. Traveling alone requires special attention to safety. Put in mind that prevention always comes first. Here are some guidelines for first-time solo travelers:
Do your research before you leave
Knowledge will be your greatest tool to survive alone. With this, research is crucial. There is so much to know before you go. Do not underestimate your destination because you will end up not liking it. Research whatever you can about the place, the currency, and document requirements. Do not forget to check out your embassy details so when there are problems, you know where to ask for help.
Choose your destination carefully
Before booking, you have to check your government travel site. The government consistently updates the warnings or alerts for critical destinations. The travel site will also give information about the documents required for your travel.
Consider travel insurance
You shouldn’t dismiss the importance of travel insurance. Travel insurance is your way of protecting yourself against unfortunate events like stolen or lost luggage, cancellation and more importantly, medical costs abroad.
Choose to arrive in the afternoon
When booking plane tickets, choose to arrive in the afternoon. Your first stop will be your hostel or hotel. If you reach nighttime, you can’t really see if the area that you are staying in is safe. For practical reasons, arrive in the afternoon so you can easily find your accommodation and if you do not like it, you can make new arrangements.
Always trust your intuition
When you are traveling alone, you have to be vigilant. Remember that you only have yourself when something happens. If it doesn’t feel right, you should leave. Always trust your intuition or gut because most of the time, it is right. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not let your guard down.
Do not tell any personal information
There is nothing wrong with talking to locals or other travelers but you should not give your personal information freely. Avoid telling strangers where you are staying. Your accommodation is your safe haven and it should stay that way.
It is crucial that you rest and sleep well. Remember that if you have enough rest, it will make you more alert. If you are too tired, you let your guard down and people will take advantage of you.
You are in a foreign land alone so you need to be watchful. Unfortunately, alcohol tends to cloud your judgment and it will extremely affect your safety. If you must drink, make sure that it is not too much.
Strive to blend in
If you look like a tourist, the locals will take advantage of you. The best thing to do is to walk confidently and act as if you are a local. Walk as if you know what you are doing and where you are going.
Know when to be polite and impolite
When you are in another country, you do your best to be polite. Being polite can take you to many places but you have to know when to stop. Sometimes, being too polite can land you in trouble. If the person is bothering you, you need to be impolite and create a lot of noise to attract attention.
Do not flash your valuables
You will attract undue attention if you flash around your valuables like money, pieces of jewelry, electronics and flashy clothes. The people don’t have to know you are rich so keep it to yourself. Someone may target you for pickpocketing because obviously, you have many things.
Keep your things close
When walking around, you will surely bring your wallet, camera, and mobile phone. It is important that you keep these things close to you. Never put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put it in your front pocket so you will be assured.
Always carry a map
Carrying a map is a dead giveaway. You will surely look like a tourist but it can be of great help especially if the map includes the city’s transit system. Do not be afraid to refer to the map especially if you think that you are lost.
Take out what you need
Do not bring all your money when you go out. As much as possible, take what you need. If you have a card that does not charge for taking funds from local ATMs that would be better.
If you are going out at night alone, you should be aware of your drink and dress appropriately. Remember that there are cultural differences when it comes to acceptable dress code.
You have to respect the local norms and be considerate.
Packing light should be a priority. Just bring the things that you need and do not overdo it. Packing light will be convenient when it comes to moving plus you have less to lose.
Stash money in other places
In case you lose your money, you have to make sure that you still have something extra. The best thing to do is to tuck some money in your shoes or bra – whatever works for you.
Do not automatically help
It is good to help when you see someone in need but you have to remember that locals will be of much help more than you. If you see someone who needs help, you should get someone else to go their aid with you.
Whether you are alone or with the people you love, traveling will expand your horizons and it will ensure peace of mind. Your ultimate goal here is to see and feel the world but practicing caution at the same time. Do not forget the safety guidelines mentioned because it can make or break your trip.