Travelling is wonderful, it opens the mind, opens the soul and gives you experiences that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. However, the world can also be a tremendously scary place, especially when we are alone, feeling vulnerable and in a foreign place.
I have been in some ‘sticky situations’ that have taught me how stupid I was or how great I was at getting myself out of them, so below I am going, to sum up some of my experiences, things I’ve learnt, things I have heard from other lone travellers so that you can learn from our mistakes and keep yourself completely safe.
1.Don’t take many belongings out with you, leave them in your room. I always have a storage bag or pocket inside my suitcase where I hide most of my valuables (passport, money…). I make sure it’s secure, hard to find – inside a tampon packet. I don’t take out much money with me nor my passport, the only cash I carry is decoy money.
2. Don’t be flashy. I always leave my camera in the room(If i feel unsafe) and just take a small backpack and my phone for photos, if you’re wondering the streets alone with a giant camera, a nice watch and screaming ‘TOURIST’ you are asking for trouble wherever you are in the world.
3. Keep your wits about you and don’t get lost, make sure you know where you’re going. If I have to consult a map, I make sure to do so on a busy street and discreetly as possible to draw as little attention to myself as possible.
4. Have fun, let loose but don’t get wasted. I know it’s great to go out in new places and meet new people but don’t rely on them to get you home, keep you safe and ensure you have everything, you can still have fun without being hammered.
5.Be trusting but not stupid. If something doesn’t feel right about a person, kindly decline their offer. 9 times out of 10 my gut instinct has been right about a person if you’re unhappy or uncomfortable make your excuses and leave.
6. I don’t listen to music when walking streets alone anywhere in the world. Blocking off all of your hearing is silly for a little bit of music, keep your ears and eyes open.
7.If you’re walking alone at night, look for a family or couple that you can tag along with. You don’t have to walk side by side but close enough so that you don’t look entirely alone. However, most of the time you do end up talking and making some new friends.
8.Regularly update your friends and family on your location. Check in on Facebook, send your location via a text or upload a photo with your tagged location. This just helps everyone know where you are if something did go wrong or you lost contact.
9.A slash-proof bag is ideal if you’re leaving your bag in your hostel and want to prevent anyone from getting in, lock it and enjoy your day without any worries about someone coming in and opening up your bag.
10. This tip is so useful and one EVERYONE on planet earth should consider if going travel and that’s to make a copy of your passport and drivers license. Email them to a trusted family member/friend, email them to yourself and even keep a copy inside your luggage. It will make life so much easier if you do lose either of these things, trust me.
11. Make sure your hostel of hotel writes down the name of the place you’re staying and a phone number, so if you get lost or your taxi driver has no idea where he/she is going they can ring and point them in the right direction. This has saved me from being lost for hours, a lot more than I care to share.
12. I always leave the ‘do not disturb’ sign on my door when I am out for the whole day. I really don’t care about the maids changing the sheets or tidying up the room and if you leave the sign on it should deter any potential thieves.
13. Panic alarms are great and make you feel a lot safer if you’re in a situation you’re unsure about. I like this one, I just keep it in my pocket or any easy to reach press and a simple press sends out crazy, ear-piercing alarm sounds.
14. If you’re unhappy in the hostel or room you’re in, leave. Don’t feel unsafe all night, just spend a little bit of cash and get out of there, it’s totally worth it and something everyone should take not of.