Solo travel safety may be a big concern when you’re preparing to embark on an incredible solo travel adventure.
Traveling alone can be an incredibly enriching experience. It provides you the freedom to explore at your own pace and reinforces your self-confidence.
However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety throughout your journey.
So, you’ll want to learn these important solo travel safety tips to ensure your trip goes smoothly. From securing your belongings to remaining aware of your surroundings, these 7 strategies will empower you to make the most of your travels while staying secure.
Continue reading to make sure your adequately prepared for situations you may encounter while you’re traveling alone.
Then, go have a blast!
CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn solo travel safety tips for your trip, including:
- How to Stay Safe While Traveling Alone
- 1. Do Thorough Research
- 2. Choose Reputable Accommodations
- 3. Be Wary of Sharing Personal Information
- 4. Use a VPN for Public Wi-Fi networks
- 5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- 6. Follow Local Customs
- 7. Make Sure Someone Knows Your Whereabouts
- Final Thoughts on Solo Travel Safety
- Next Steps
Traveling Alone: What Can You Do To Keep Yourself Safe?
Any frequent solo traveler will agree that spending time in a foreign country alone can be an incredibly enriching experience.
Nowadays, it doesn’t even matter if you have a lot of money or barely save for specific trips. There are many opportunities to travel cheaply.
That goes for anyone who want to see foreign lands on their own.
For example, many lone travelers prefer to stay overnight at hostels since they’re usually cheaper than other accommodations. Hostels also make it easy to find new friends.
Moreover, there are options to stay in other people’s houses when traveling as an exchange of services. For example, you might do some babysitting, pet-sitting, cleaning, or any other jobs your hosts need help with at home.
Therefore, it’s possible for anyone to experience a sense of freedom, self-discovery, and the opportunity to explore new destinations that traveling offers.
However, this is not about the price of your stay.
With great fun comes many dangers. And foreign culture, as well as a foreign language, can even increase the chances of unfortunate events.
That’s why as a solo traveler, you must prioritize your safety. You’ll need to take necessary precautions to ensure you have a smooth and secure journey.
With that in mind, you should know the essential safety practices to make the best of your solo trip.
Here 7 main solo travel safety tips to practice when you’re traveling alone.
1. Do Thorough Research on Your Destination
Before you set off on your solo journey, it’s important you take the time to research your destination thoroughly. This is especially true if it significantly differs, culture-wise, from the country you live in.
Start by answering these questions:
- What are the local customs?
- What rules should you respect as a visitor to that land?
- Are there any safety concerns specific to the area?
- What are the local emergency contact numbers and the location of your country’s embassy or consulate?
These basic questions will help you determine if you feel comfortable visiting the destination, and how the customs and safety concerns might affect your experience. More importantly, you’ll learn where to find help should you find yourself in a compromising situation.
In fact, it’s a good idea to register with your country’s consolate. In the US, that means signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It’s free, and the US Department of State will keep you informed of safety conditions and emergencies in the country you’re visiting.
2. Choose Reputable Accommodations
When it comes to booking accommodations, be sure to prioritize safety and choose reputable and well-reviewed establishments.
You should consider staying in centrally located areas that are well-lit and easily accessible whenever you need.
You’ll gain another level of comfort if you choose a hotel that requires pass-key entry to the elevators and stairwells. That way, the hotel spaces will be off limits to anyone not intended to be there.
Here’s another part of this solo travel safety tip: It’s wise to inform the hotel staff of your solo traveler status and request a room on higher floors. That may help you feel safer when you’re opening windows since it’s unlikely an intruder would have easy access to the upper floors.
Also, when using public transportation to go out or to reach your accommodations, be mindful of your belongings. It’s smart to avoid traveling during late hours, especially in unfamiliar or isolated areas.
And as a general rule, always consider using well-lit routes with more people around.
3. Be Wary of the Personal Information You Share
Protecting your personal information is a no-brainer while traveling alone. It’s better to keep any excessively personal details to yourself when dealing with strangers, both online and offline.
You should also be really cautious when discussing your travel plans or itinerary in public spaces. If this information is overheard by those with ill intentions, it might be used to rob or scam you.
Also, don’t forget the good practice of leaving copies of important documents with a trusted family member or friend back home. For instance, share a copy of your passport, visas, and travel insurance information.
That way, if you lose the original documents or worse, they are stolen, you can still contact your trusted person for copies to get back home safely.
In fact, you might even want to keep a spare copy of these documents safely hidden in your locked suitcase, placed out of sight for safe measure. (Don’t use the room safes; they are not guaranteed to be secure.)
4. Use a VPN for Public Wi-Fi networks
Another solo travel safety tip is to maintain online security while your traveling. That means you should obtain a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Public Wi-Fi networks, especially in airports, hotels, and cafes, can be dangerous because scammers can more easily infect your device with viruses.
That’s where VPN can help.
This tool obfuscates your internet traffic and protects your sensitive data from cybercriminals.
It helps ensure that your online activities remain private and secure while you’re navigating unfamiliar networks. Some VPN providers offer to shield you even more and offer services similar to anti-virus – for example, a threat protection feature.
5. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Vigilance and awareness must never leave your mind as a solo traveler.
It’s crucial that you pay attention to your instincts and trust your gut. They can often clue you in to situations that require extra caution.
It goes without saying you want to avoid getting intoxicated or put yourself in any circumstance when you don’t have your faculties about you. It’s fine to visit a bar and have a drink. Just never leave your drink unattended and don’t drink too much. The same moderation applies to your use of recreational drugs, if at all.
You’ll want o be sure to keep your belongings near you in crowded places and be cautious of distractions; obliviousness could make you an easy target for pickpockets or scammers.
Moreover, most of the time, there’s definitely no need for you to display expensive jewelry or gadgets that may attract unwanted attention. Keep such things far from the streets. Being showy and extravagant simply tempts fate.
Another solo travel safety tip is to utilize maps discreetly. You don’t want to appear clueless about where you are in public. Better yet, familiarize yourself with the routes to your destinations in advance when possible. That way, you can minimize the chances of getting lost or entering unsafe areas.
Here’s a clever trick you might want to employ as a solo traveler: Consider carrying a dummy wallet. You can put some cash in it, and hand over if you’re faced with a robbery attempt. (That said, if there is any question to your safety, don’t argue. Give them your valuables and get to safety as quickly as possible.)
Keep your emergency contact information handy, too.
Finally, utilize discreet bags or clothing with hidden pockets for your valuables. That way, it’s harder for pickpockets to access your belongings.
Remember, being cautious doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or explore new places confidently. It just means you’re better prepared.
6. “When in Rome, Do As the Romans Do”
Almost everybody knows this legendary quote, and it holds a lot of truth.
The best way to enhance your safety while traveling alone is to blend in with the local culture, appropriately and respectfully.
That may include dressing modestly and following other rules and traditions of the country you’re visiting.
Behave in a respectful and considerate manner so that you wouldn’t get unwanted (and unneeded) attention. Be sociable with locals, but remain cautious of overly friendly strangers who may have ulterior motives.
To further enhance your safety, research local customs in advance to avoid unwittingly offending anyone. You’ll want to learn basic phrases in the native language, which shows respect for their culture.
7. Stay Connected with Someone Back Home
Maintaining regular communication with loved ones should become a habit when you’re traveling alone. Not only does that helps you maintain a connection, but it also keeps you safer.
It’s a good idea to share your itinerary with the people you trust, and update them on your whereabouts regularly.
Another great safety measure you can take in this regard is to establish check-in times. Likewise, you can use smartphone apps that allow you to share your location with trusted contacts.
This way, someone back home can reach out if they notice any discrepancies in your whereabouts. And, it also gives you peace of mind knowing someone knows where you are at all times, even though you are traveling alone.
Final Thoughts on Solo Travel Safety
No doubt, traveling alone can be an incredible adventure. Yet, that’s when safety should come first, inarguably.
By following these solo travel safety tips, you can be sure you’ve taken important steps to keep yourself safe. You will equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence to navigate unfamiliar territories while prioritizing your well-being.
Remember that preparation, awareness, and proactive safety measures are your best allies in ensuring a secure and enjoyable solo travel experience.
And then you can thoroughly enjoy the ride.
About the Author: Jackie Gately
I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years. With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality. Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! Follow my social channels for more inspiration.
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