Traveling solo gives you a sense of freedom. You can travel with a flexible itinerary; it gives you an opportunity to follow your own path. You meet other travelers on the way, you share your stories with them, you make friends, you enjoy exploring the world and yourself. To enjoy this journey to the fullest you need to follow some basic safety rules. When traveling solo you cannot afford to act careless, here are some of the tips.
Research – (Know where you are going)
- Always do a good research before you go.
- Study the location thoroughly, not only about the hotels and restaurants, but also look for the ins and outs of the place.
For Example: In Muslim countries the women are supposed to wear a veil in public places. In Vietnam it is important that you avoid discussing politics. In Thailand never say anything disrespectful about the King or Royal family, this can take you behind the bars.
- You can also look up for local police stations, The Embassy, The Stations and time for the last bus, metro, train, etc. You can almost search for any location in detail on Google maps. It is wise to know where you are going.
Communication – (Stay Connected)
- Share your travel plans with your family and friends, try to stay connected with them, you can even share your location with them.
- If you are traveling to a different country, get a local number as soon as possible (the local SIM cards are available at the airports) and keep buzzing your family about your whereabouts (the internet comes as a blessing here). This way they don’t have to worry about you.
- In case of no internet, make frequent calls. Make sure they know where you are staying and the trip itinerary, but DO NOT share this information with strangers.
- Another important tip is, keep your phone charged and make sure it works properly.
Book your cab and hotel in advance – (To avoid chaos)
- If case you are traveling late at night book your cab in advance. You can even ask the hotel to arrange it for you.
- If you are travelling to India the moment you will step out of airport you will be overwhelmed to see the numbers of taxi drivers asking you if they can drop you to hotel. To avoid this chaotic situation, book your cab in advance.
The Dress code – (Dress Appropriately)
- Put your feminist theory aside. Drop the attitude of “I can wear anything I want to and nobody can touch me.” Well we do believe that you are a free spirit but some people don’t.
- You cannot control or change their thought process and actions but you can surely avoid getting into an ugly situation.
- You can even learn the local dressing style.
Be aware of your surroundings – (Use your common sense)
- Traveling solo gives a chance to meet new people and make new friends. You will meet all kind of people so you need to be more cautious.
- Do not get drunk with strangers, no matter how good they seem to be.
- Try to be in crowd and not walk alone or on empty streets.
- Trust your gut feeling and intuitions. Your heart is always right, if you sense anything wrong, get out of there immediately. Some people will try to help you out or try being very nice and friendly but you don’t feel nice with them. Trust yourself. Get out of there.
- Keep the copies of your important documents in all your bags and in your mails. This way even if you lose your wallet (by a chance), you have all the information and documents.
Learn basic emergency phrases in local language – (Help me!)
- Help me is a basic phrase, learn how to say it in the local language.
- You can even carry a whistle in your handbag; this is a sign of emergency in most of the countries.
Women helpline numbers – (In India 1091)
- Look for the local women helpline numbers.
- Local police station or the Embassy number.
- Keep the emergency number on speed dials.
- If you are a USA citizen you can register with U.S. Department of State. It takes two minutes to fill out the online form and if something newsworthy (and not in the good way) goes down in your destination, they’ll be the first to let you know (or a contact at home).