Travelling solo is an incredible experience, and I think it’s very important because you learn all about yourself and your limits. But it can be scary and it can be tough, and your safety is paramount which is why I composed this list of 20 travel safety tips.
So we’re just going to dive right into it 20 solo travel safety tips!
Make copies of travel documents. This gives you a backup in case your passport gets lost or stolen. I recommend keeping this in a different place to where you keep your actual passport, because it’s pretty pointless if you lose both!
Research common scams for your destination. The imagination of scammers is pretty impressive, from fake entry fees to impersonating a police officer to broken taxi meters. So, before you go, I really recommend finding out what to look out for.
Know the emergency number. Every country has a different emergency number, like the USA has 911, whereas the UK is 999 and the Netherlands is 112. I recommend putting this number as a contact in your phone just in case, especially if you don’t think you’ll remember it or get it confused with a different one.
Let your friends and family know your itinerary. Even if you’re not super organised, just let your people know where you’re heading to next. In case you lose contact with them, they can then get in touch with the accommodation or restaurant you were meant to be at. This lets them know if something is wrong.
Read reviews on the accommodation and don’t hesitate to ask about the safety procedures they have there. You want to feel safe where you’re staying, and that includes the area and the hotel. If you get to a room and something feels off, then request to be changed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking to feel safe.
Split your money across your bags. After watching an episode in Race Across the World, if you haven’t watched it then you need to, where a couple lost all of their money, I realised it’s much safer to split your money and put it in different places. Now, if someone stole my hand luggage, I would still have money in my suitcase and my pocket.
Don’t wear flashy jewellery. This is a pretty common tip you’ll see floating around but it’s an important one. You instantly become a target if you look like you’re rich. If you want flashing jewellery for an instagram photo or something, then keep it in your bag until you want to take the photo. Better safe than sorry, right?
Look confident because it can make you less of a target. Your body language is a very powerful tool of communication. If you look scared and jumpy, you’re more likely to get mugged because it looks like you can’t defend yourself. Whereas, if you’re looking confident then it looks like you’re more likely to make a big noise if someone assaults you.
Think about your clothing. Not only do you want to be culturally sensitive, but you want to avoid looking like an obvious tourist because that also makes you a target.
When I went to Dubai, I got clothes that were past the knee and covered my shoulders. Check out this post if you’re visiting Dubai!
Carry small cash instead of the large notes that banks give you. You may be able to exchange big notes at hotels if you are carrying them.
Give your friends and family the chance to track you. I personally use find my friends and life360, both of which are pretty accurate and don’t use much of your phone battery. Not only is this additional safety for you, but it also gives them peace of mind as well.
Don’t share information about where you’re staying or going next with strangers. It’s a cynical way of looking at things, but you don’t know who you can trust and it’s better to be safe than sorry. They could easily sell the information or use it in a way you wouldn’t want.
Carry a keychain alarm. This is really good for emergency situations when you need to make a lot of noise. All you have to do is keep this in an easy to access place and pull the chord when you are in danger.
Here’s a good one on Amazon!
Double secure your room with an extra lock as this additional security can give you extra peace of mind. This is from Amazon which is highly recommended.
Talk to the locals if you want to get a taxi or go to a club. They know better than anyone which is the safest and it’s also a really good way of finding hidden gems in the place where you are.
Use a fanny pack, or a bum bag, so you can hide your valuables. As I said earlier, it’s a good idea to split your money and valuables up so a bum bag is a great way to hide and protect them.
This is a great one from Amazon!
Check for cameras and fake card readers when using ATMs. I even do this when I’m using cash machines at home. Before putting in your card, wiggle the card reader just to make sure there isn’t a fake reader on top, and also run your hands under the roof of the machine to check for cameras.
Try and stay sober while travelling. I know, this is pretty boring! But unless you’re surrounded by people you completely trust, it’s worth postponing these adventures until you’re back home for your safety.
If you can, use taxi services like Uber or Grab while abroad because it tracks your location and you can share your route with friends and family.
And lastly, number 20
Trust your gut! Your instincts have developed over thousands of years, so trust them.
All these travel safety tips can be overwhelming, and I suppose it can make travelling solo seem extra scary, but it just requires a bit of extra thinking before you make decisions. Solo travel is incredible, and I’ll have more posts coming soon about it!
Comment below any other travel safety tips you might have.