December 6, 2022
Tips for Traveling Alone

Tips for Traveling Alone

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Traveling alone is a fun, exciting, and daunting task. It can be so daunting, in fact, that we feel like it’s a no-win situation. After all, we don’t want to be left stranded alone in a foreign country, but we don’t want to be harrassed by total strangers. So, how can you maximize your experience while still being safe?

When you travel alone, you have to be more careful than usual. Your travel companions might not be able to help you if something goes wrong.

So, what do you need to do to make sure you have a good time when traveling alone?

 

Stay connected by sharing your travel plans with trusted family or friends.

Send a family member or friend back home your vacation itinerary, hotel booking information, and details of any scheduled activities. Also, let the hotel personnel know where you’re going and when you intend to return before going on any solo adventures.

Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows US citizens and nationalities traveling or living abroad to register for their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Enrolling in STEP assures that you will receive essential information from the embassy regarding the safety conditions in your destination country, allowing you to make educated travel plans. The STEP service provides information to the US Embassy about your whereabouts and how to contact you in the event of an emergency. It also makes it easier for family and friends to contact you if necessary.

Check with your smartphone carrier to identify what skills you’ll need at your vacation destination to keep connected with friends, family, or business, even if only sometimes during your solo travels. When you have Wi-Fi connectivity, you can also check-in by email or social media.

Have an emergency plan.

In an ideal world, you’ll never have to cope with a medical emergency, an accident, or a robbery while traveling. However, knowing where to go in the event of an awful situation is prudent. Before you travel, do some research on surrounding hospitals, police stations, and other emergency services.

Learn emergency words in the local language if you’re traveling abroad so you can ask for assistance if you need it. Before you depart, check with your doctor or a travel clinic to make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations.

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Bring a supply of any prescription medications you may require, as well as face masks, hand sanitizer, and items to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other disease-carrying pests, when packing. To avoid disease while traveling, it’s a good idea to study the safety of drinking water, fresh vegetables, and dining establishments along your route.

Keep your valuables safe.

When you go out, simply bring what you need, such as your phone, a credit card, some cash, an ID, and a copy of your passport. Place these in a safe bag that you can see at all times. Do not place bags containing these items on the ground or out of your line of sight.

You should also keep a photocopy of your passport in case the main gets lost or stolen in an emergency. Keep the copy somewhere safe and different from where you keep your original passport. Also, consider leaving a copy with a friend or family member who lives far away.

When taking trains, buses, or other modes of transportation, it’s also crucial to stay attentive and keep your possessions close. In the hotel safe, keep extra cash, jewelry, your original passport, and other critical documents.

Use Common Sense and Avoid Reckless Behaviors

Many of the following tips are applicable everywhere you go solo – even in your own town.

  • Keep your drinks in your line of sight and don’t drink too much. Going somewhere alone with a stranger is not a good idea.
  • When you’re walking, hiking, or driving, pay attention to others around you.
  • If you’re feeling anxious, go to a public area like a restaurant or join a wide audience.
  • If someone asks if you’re traveling alone, tell them you’re meeting a spouse, relative, or acquaintance.

Make an informed decision based on your safety research.

Learn about the safest neighborhoods in your location and any spots you should avoid. Discover the safest routes and the most efficient modes of public transportation. Knowing more about the place you’ll be going to might assist you in selecting safe hotels.

If at all feasible, get a room on the second or third floor, but not too far from the lobby and hotel facilities. When you’ve checked in, leave your door locked with the security chain fastened, and don’t answer the door unless you expect hotel personnel or guests.

Buy Travel Insurance

Guard yourself and the money you’ve put into your trip from unforeseen circumstances. Trip cancellation and suspension insurance can help you get reimbursed for covered losses such as those caused by bad weather, natural catastrophes, certain illnesses, and other factors. Other types of travel insurance can help cover unexpected medical and evacuation costs, as well as losses caused by baggage delays, theft, and other factors.