One of the commonest emails I get from solo feminine journey hopefuls is with reference to security. Maybe you’re frightened that being alone will make you a goal, your family and friends are telling you that you just’re being irresponsible by going out into this huge and scary world by yourself, or your individual inner-voice is holding you again with visions of worst-case situations.
Well screw all of that!
I’ve traveled for over three years now, virtually completely on my own, and even in nations which can be thought of ‘dangerous’, with virtually no points in any way. What’s my secret? I imagine that touring alone has truly helped me keep protected. Why? My instinct is sharper, I’m extra conscious of my environment as a result of there’s no one distracting me, and when locals see me, a woman on her personal, they’re extra prone to need to assist me than hurt me.
The fact is, you have already got the expertise you want to keep protected once you journey. They’re the identical expertise you utilize at residence to remain protected. But you don’t need to take my phrase alone for it. I requested 30 different solo feminine vacationers to offer me their finest security ideas for touring alone, and that is what they mentioned:
Trust Your Gut
1. “Politeness is never more important than safety. While the world would be a better place if everyone was thoughtful and kind, sometimes people – especially women – let courtesy override our gut instincts because we don’t want to be rude or be told we’re “overreacting.” But we must always all the time belief our instinct, cease worrying about what different folks assume, be good when it’s warranted, and select security when it’s not.” – Katie, Domestiphobia
2. “It’s SO important to trust your instincts. If they tell you something is off, it probably is. And at the same time, if they tell you it’s all good, it probably is. It’s never let me down, ever.” – Milou, Explorista
3. If you’re couchsurfing and the scenario feels uncomfortable, simply depart! Aleah from Solitary Wanderer provides, “make sure you have alternate accommodation in mind. Print out or write down the addresses of nearest hostels so you know you have somewhere to go if your arrangements go south.”
4. Be open to positivity and don’t assume everyone seems to be out to get you. As Dyanne from TravelinLass says, “I honestly rarely even think about ‘safety’ per se as I find most all folks friendly and helpful and not out to somehow harm me. Such harm can come via walking down the street of my home town after dark, and I see little difference if I’m backpacking across South Africa (yes, even in -OMG- Johannesburg), skipping around Egypt, or traveling in Colombia.”
Stay Aware and Be Less of a Target
5. Conceal money by rolling it up tightly and sticking it in an empty tampon applicator (unused!!). Slide it again into the wrapper and also you’re set. Not many pickpockets will attempt to steal a tampon from your pocket!
6. Sofie from Wonderful Wanderings provides, “Don’t flaunt your valuables too much” which ought to appear apparent, however you’d be stunned how many individuals I see with their telephones out on metropolis streets or carrying jewellery once they journey! Just preserve it hidden or at residence. You don’t must put on costly rings and earrings once you journey.
7. Avoid listening to music with earbuds in whereas strolling round in a metropolis. It makes you much less conscious of your environment and in addition often signifies to a would-be mugger that you just in all probability have a sensible cellphone in your pocket.
8. I’m a giant advocate of strolling along with your again straight and your head held excessive, and searching folks proper in the eye once they handle you. As Abi from Inside the Travel Lab jokes, “Learn to walk like a man.”
9. “Make sure you know of popular scams and problem areas within the city/region where you’re planning to travel. This isn’t to scare yourself silly before you start traveling, but rather just to be more aware of the place you’re heading to.” – Kasha, Lines of Escape
11. “Dressing appropriately can save you a lot of trouble, research about appropriate clothing for women wherever you go. Areas that are hot and humid are normally more comfortable in shorts and sleeveless tops, but it may not be suitable for certain traditions, cultures, and locations.” – Lyndsay Cabildo
12. When taking a taxi, preserve your stuff with you in the again seat so that you just retain management over when you will get out. It could be helpful if the cab is taking an extended route, tries to overcharge you, or if issues really feel uncomfortable. Whenever doable, put your bag in the again seat with you, so when you ever want to leap out rapidly, you’ll be able to!
Talk to Locals
13. A strolling tour is certainly one of the finest methods to heat as much as a brand new vacation spot. It provides you the lay of the metropolis, and helps you discover your method round with out getting misplaced the first time. Tour guides will often level out any areas you would possibly need to keep away from (in addition to cool native spots that aren’t accessible on journey guidebooks), which is able to allow you to really feel extra assured about discovering your individual method round the metropolis after being led by an skilled.
14. Combine enjoyable and security with this tip from Kristin of Souvenir Finder: “I love taking a ballet class at a local dance school to meet locals (you could do the same with a yoga or other class).” Locals may give you an incredible concept of the place to go and what to keep away from, plus, in the event that they present you round that’s even higher!
15. Do you have already got connections in the nation? Ask round on Facebook or ask locals. As Eva from Trevallog says, “When I was traveling in New Delhi alone, I asked a Tibetan friend whether he knew anyone in the town who I could travel together with. It turns out that he has a nephew who was enjoying school holiday and could accompany me to explore New Delhi the way locals do. I suggest to solo female travelers who are planning to travel to cities perceived as dangerous, to look around at their friends to see if they have any connections to local citizen at the destination city.”
16. “From my experience, women look after women, which is heartwarming. I travel solo, and local women are often really helpful. When I meet these women, I’m no longer alone.” – Teresa, Independent Travel Help
17. “If I’m traveling solo after dark, I’ll often walk relatively close to a couple or a family. Usually, if I shoot them a smile, they’ll see that I’m not stalking them, but instead looking to walk with people. You’re less of a target if you’re by other people. If you ever do feel like you’re bringing followed, pop into the nearest restaurant or hotel. These usually have someone who speaks English and they’re more than happy to help.” – Stephanie, Travel Break
18. Another tip that got here up a number of instances is understanding when to splurge and when to avoid wasting. After a foul expertise in Hong Kong, Shing from The Culture Map says, “Don’t be a cheapskate is my new motto after spending a night in [a seedy place] alone.”
19. This counts for taxis, too. Personally, I all the time use Uber once I’m in South Africa or a rustic the place taxis are sometimes managed by gangsters. The app tracks the driver and you, maintaining each of your info in the system. Even higher, the fee is completed via the app through bank card so no cash is exchanged. As Becky from sightDOING provides, “Travel budgets are a good thing, but be willing to ‘splurge’ when it relates to your safety. Pay for taxis at night instead of walking alone.”
20. Another good taxi tip when you don’t have a SIM card to make use of Uber is to “take the driver who is least interested or maybe even sleeping. Chances are lower that he/she will have malacious plans!” – Manouk, Bunch of Backpackers
21. “Avoid traveling by train/bus/taxi by night if possible. Arrange to arrive at a new location in the light of day. Not only will you feel more at ease and be able to be more aware of your surroundings but there will also be more people around, giving you a more secure feeling.” – Cailin, Travel Yourself
22. “I always grab the business card or ask front desk/concierge to write down the name, address, and phone number of my accommodation. That way if I get lost or am in a cab and can’t communicate with a driver, I can hand it to them and I can get back home.” – Arnette, RTW Girl
Bring These With You
23. “Carry decoy money in a dummy wallet. Keeping most of your cash in your bra/money belt/wherever is great, but if someone wants cash from you and you have nothing to hand them, they could get angry or even violent. I always keep a few small bills in my wallet just in case, and the bigger bills elsewhere.” – Rease, Indecisive Traveler
24. In many nations, comparable to most of Europe, carrying mace or pepper spray is taken into account a hid weapon. To get round this, I’d counsel utilizing mosquito spray as a substitute, or, as Lucy from WanderLuce suggests, “Use a miniature hairspray as a sneaky pepper spray replacement.” All of these damage once they get into somebody’s eyes.
25. Most crimes are crimes of alternative so its actually all about placing your self in the ‘too hard’ basket. Consider carrying a private security alarm (the vigilante one) in your pocket that provides off a hell of a sound when you have been to tug it.
28. Bring slash proof, RFID-blocking, and locking baggage with you. I religiously use my PacSafe cross-body bag and wire mesh bag protector and thus far, knock on wooden, have by no means had something notable stolen. No technique is totally fail-proof, however through the use of objects like these, I make myself the most troublesome and annoying particular person in the visitor home or on the road to rob.
29. “While you don’t have to check in with family or friends every day, it can be a good idea to regularly update some form of social media while on the road. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even Foursquare/Swarm, these digital breadcrumbs can give peace of mind to others that you’re safe, wherever you are” – Edna, Expat Edna
Most Importantly, Enjoy It
31. “Sometimes you need to be alone. To get some peace, to get space to think and to be at peace with the world and oneself. And sometimes this is only possible when there are no other people around, when you have time to talk to yourself, listen to yourself and leave go of all the hectic and stress of every day life. Enjoy this time. Take your time and do whatever YOU want. Go for a walk (in the daytime) just by yourself, sit in a café, go in a museum or do something adventurous. It can be anything. And try also not to speak to anyone. Just yourself. You will see that you actually enjoy your own company way more than you would have expected.” – Yvonne, Just Travelous
I hope these security ideas from these solo feminine journey specialists allow you to keep protected and assured, and when you ever want just a little encouragement, simply keep in mind what number of ladies are on the market touring alone, and having a wonderful time doing it!