10 Travel Safety Tips First-Time Travelers Should Know When Going Solo
Traveling solo is one of those things you have to do at least once in your life. It can give you a whole new appreciation for so many things, no to mention give you a chance to reflect on your life. With that said, because you’ll be alone, you’ll want to use keep these travel safety tips in mind!
Traveling can be an amazing experience, with opportunities to see new places, meet new people and learn new skills. However, a new country, or even just a new city, often means a new set of problems.
Personal safety is a huge issue. It’s not necessarily unsafe to travel, but being prepared should always be at the top of your list.
With that in mind, here are some travel safety tips to help you stay protected in all situations.
1. Do Some Research
Knowing is half the battle, as they say, so you’ll need to learn what you can about a place before you visit it. There are a lot of potential dangers when traveling, and most of them are risks that wouldn’t immediately occur to us.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the dangers of a foreign country is usually robbery or assault. It doesn’t immediately come to mind that we could accidentally get food poisoning or contract dengue fever.
Granted, crime is still an issue, so figure out what kinds of crimes are common and where they happen. Also, a lot of countries have scammers that prey on tourists, so you might want to look into what some known scams are.
2. Don’t Take Valuables with You
A lot of people will tell you to hide your valuables, but it’s really best not to take them. It’s one less thing to worry about, and less metal means less time going through airport security.
That being said, things happen. We may forget to take out earrings or a wedding ring. We may find something interesting overseas and buy it.
Regardless of how you got it, it is best to lock up what valuables you have. Your hotel room is probably the safest place.
3. Know Where You’re Staying
Having a plan in place is always a good idea, and knowing ahead of time where you’re going to stay is one of the best ways to avoid any kind of trouble. Plus, booking in advance gives you a better chance of getting a good room in a safe neighborhood.
You may even be able to get close to public transportation, which is incredibly useful. Please note, there may be some issues with public transport as well.
If you’ve ever been inside a subway in China or Japan, you’ve probably figured out that the system has issues with groping. There are posters and signs advising against it and encouraging victims to report it.
4. Don’t be Too Trusting
Most people in the world are perfectly friendly, and generally, they have better things to do than make your life difficult. That being said, there’s always that one in every crowd with not-so-good intentions.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be polite and even friendly with the locals, but don’t hesitate to get out if the situation starts to make you uncomfortable. On a related note, try not to drink too much, and drink alone if you can.
5. Try to Blend in
It’s no mystery that pickpockets and con artists will often target tourists, assuming that since they are foreigners, they are less aware of the culture and more likely to fall victim to a scam.
That’s why one of the best ways to avoid getting scammed is to look like you belong. Most tourist destinations are big cities, so it’s virtually impossible to know everyone there.
The trick is to look confident and not wear tourist clothes. Pay attention to what the locals wear, and maybe watch a few foreign films before you head out.
6. Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is one of the most important protections you can have during a trip. It covers a whole list of circumstances, the least of which is being scammed or missing your plane.
It can also help in case you get sick or if something goes very horribly wrong. You’re highly unlikely to encounter political violence or extreme weather overseas, but it has happened in a few extreme cases. You can never be too careful.
On that same note, if for any reason you are injured, these lawyers might be able to help.
7. Stay in the Loop
In an unfamiliar situation, it’s best to have someone you can trust and who knows where you are within reach. A well-timed phone call can solve a lot of problems.
Even if your friends and family can’t offer you any advice, just the sound of their voice can be enough to make you feel better. This is a good thing because being alone in an unfamiliar place can be frightening and make you feel isolated.
Plus, those who care about you will want to know that you’re okay, which is another reason to check in fairly regularly.
8. Be Prepared to Pay More
Sometimes, the better things in life are worth paying for, and the safer things always are. If you have to pay a bit more to stay in a secure hotel or use more public transportation so you don’t have to walk to your hotel at night, do it.
It’s always better safe than sorry.
9. Be Okay with Yourself
This may sound pretentious, but it’s sound advice. When traveling alone, you’re going to be spending a lot of time by yourself.
Being alone isn’t a problem unless you make it a problem. Are you comfortable being alone?
There are a lot of people who tend to dwell on negative thoughts when they’re alone, and there’s no shame in that. However, if you don’t know you’re that type of person or if you ignore it, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
10. Have Fun
A common piece of advice is don’t be so careful that you’re afraid to live. You are on a trip, after all, so try to enjoy yourself.
If you spend all your time worrying about potential risks or going over plans to stay safe, your trip won’t be any fun. There are a lot of health benefits to being happy and letting yourself relax every once in a while, including reduced stress, and, by extension, reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.
Travel Safety Tips
When going to a strange new place, it’s best to stay safe. There are a lot of travel safety tips out there to help with this.
However, the main point of any trip is to have fun, so don’t be so focused on safety that you ruin your whole experience.
If you want more travel or lifestyle advice, we’ve got you covered. On the topic of travel, maybe you want to know more about why you should travel alone. Maybe you want to learn how to cut down on stress a little more. We’re here for you.