Travelling solo is experiencing a resurgence in this hyper-connected world.
Celebrate the achievement of travel memoirs like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild at 2012, along with the endless websites recording solo journeys across the planet. Anybody who travels alone is mindful of its advantages that are remarkable, but these benefits could be blunted if you don’t make personal security a priority.
Here are a few safety tips for solo travellers.
- Stay Connected
The times of not having a smartphone and Skype appear almost quaint. Before you leave home, figure out if your cell phone has roaming service at your destination. Otherwise, or when the roaming price is too high, lease a phone as soon as you arrive (or purchase global SIM cards in case you’ve got an unlocked mobile phone) which means you’ve got a lifeline. Smartphones equipped with GPS or internet maps are great alternatives for motorists. If you are going to take your own smartphone consider using cloud computing as it will store your data in the cloud minimising the need to download and access data from vulnerable sites.
- Keep Others Informed of Your Daily Itinerary
Regularly let people know where you are going, including family and friends back home along with your innkeeper or hotel concierge. When travelling alone into parkland or wilderness, always let someone know when you expect to come back in addition to your precise path, and then stick to it.
- Stash Money, Credit Cards, and Passport in Independent Places
Keep some cash and credit cards in your pocket or handbag, and extra cards and money in a pocket or cash pouch. When sightseeing, take just a copy of your passport’s data page, keeping your passport secured in your hotel safe. (It is also great to make a copy of the information page with someone back home.) When you have your sightseeing days, take your passport separately from your funds and charge cards.
- Study Up On Your Destination
Be conscious of safety issues and of local traditions and etiquette, particularly with respect to dress. When in doubt, opt for a conservative approach. Female travellers should know beforehand if harassment is a problem and the two guys and girls should find the security lowdown on public transport. Speak to locals about areas to avoid, particularly after dark. Know the local number to phone for when in a crisis.
- Make Sure Your Lodgings Are Safe
Keep your door closed, together with the safety chain secured. Try to snag a space near where the action is close to the concierge desk, or near the lifts. Avoid floor tiles where window entrance is possible. Do not answer the door in case you are not expecting anybody.
- Remain Healthy
Is your water safe to drink? Are poisonous spiders or snakes an issue? Are mosquitoes a health problem? Does your dive operator possess a leading safety record? Bring an additional supply of prescription drugs and an additional script (using the generic medication name instead of the brand name). And do not overlook hand sanitizer.
- Keep Your Wits About You
Travelling alone does not mean cowering in a resort room. Venturing into an unknown land is among the joys of travelling. But do not let yourself get so distracted by sounds and sights (or documenting every second on camera or phone) that you simply let your guard down. Of all of the travel-alone security tricks, this is definitely the most important: Do not leave common sense at home.
- Stay internet safe
When browsing online from a public wi-fi hotspot make sure the sites you are accessing are secure. Look for https at the start of the web URL in order to know whether they are secure. Avoid accessing sites that require you to provide personal details, such as internet banking, access these on a secure network where you are confident hackers are less likely to lurk. Consider private cloud computing when browsing the web.