While solo travel can be an amazing experience, it is important to do what you can to remain safe. Here are some safety tips that can be used during your solo travel journey.
Leave A Paper Trail
1. Make Copies Of Important Documents. Make two copies of your passport ID page. Leave a copy behind with someone you trust. Keep the other copy with you to store in a safe place once you arrive at your destination. An alternative to hard copies are electronic copies. Electronic copies can be saved on your mobile phone or emailed to yourself and family.
2. Register With STEP. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows US citizens to enroll international trips with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. If you’re not in the US, check with your local government to see if they offer a similar program.
3. Check In. Try to stay connected with loved ones as much as you can. If you are traveling to get away, keep in touch with at least one person whether it be a family member, a friend, or the hotel staff. Apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, or Facetime are great affordable ways to keep in touch since they only require a wifi connection.
4. Share Trip Details. TripIt is a great resource that allows you to list your complete itinerary and once uploaded you can share it with family and friends. You can also create a group TripIt account so your family and friends accounts can all be connected.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
5. Keep Valuables Close. While sightseeing remember to keep your valuables such as documents, jewelry, and electronics, within eye sight. For women, using a cross body or anti theft purse while out can help protect your belongings by making it more difficult for thieves to slash through your bag or cut the strap.
6. Walk With Confidence. Even if you have no clue where you are going, it’s always important to walk with confidence. If you are lost stop by the nearest store, restaurant, or police station to get directions or call for a ride back to your destination.
Prepare For The Unexpected
7. Purchase Travel Insurance. In the event of an emergency, travel insurance ensures you are covered and able to receive treatment at an affordable cost. Check with your health insurance or credit card company to see if they cover emergency health services abroad. Companies like World Nomads, Travel Guard and Square Mouth are also options. Be sure to keep the contact information of the company handy just in case.
8. Protect Your Pockets. Once you book your trip make sure to notify your bank and credit card company of your travel plans. While you’re traveling, using money belts, storing your cash in different places, and keeping smaller bills nearby can help keep your money secure.
Travel With Ease
9. Map Out Your Route. Before you leave the hotel everyday, take a minute to map out where you plan to go. Your plans may change at the spur of the moment, but having a general idea of where you’re going will allow your day to run smoother. Downloading city transportation apps along with google maps which can be used offline can also be useful when navigating throughout the city.
10. Research Your Destination. Researching not only allows you to get a good understanding of the customs and laws, but it helps you adjust quicker once you arrive. Failing to research before you go can lead to frustrations, loss of energy, or momentum.
The most important tip we want to share with you is to follow your instincts! If something feels wrong, trust that feeling and take the necessary steps to remain safe.
As you consider these tips remember to have a great time and enjoy yourself! Solo travel can be one of the most freeing, and rewarding experiences of your life!
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