Thinking about travelling solo? There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a wonderful holiday on your own, provided you take a few precautions to ensure your safety while away from home.
Here are some tips to help women travelling alone to travel safe:
Travel Light: The fewer bags you have to manage, the simpler it will be to maneuver through crowded airports and the less likely it will be to lose your belongings. If possible, keep your luggage to one wheeled bag and one carry-on tote that can be attached to it. If possible, avoid carrying a shoulder bag, and instead, put your wallet and passport in an internal, zippered pocket in your tote. Make things as difficult as possible for would-be pick-pockets.
Choose Your Cabs With Care: Don’t practice your cab hailing skills in foreign countries. You might just catch a whole lot of trouble. Instead, ask the concierge at your hotel to arrange for a reputable taxi company to pick you up. If you need a cab from the airport, ask a uniformed airport employee to show you which of the many cab companies vying for your business are actually licensed.
Keep Your Map Out of Sight: There’s nothing that screams “tourist” more loudly than an open map. Do your map studying in the privacy of your room, before you head out so you’ll be able to proceed confidently and keep your eyes on your surroundings.
Put Your Hotel’s Business Card In Your Pocket: If you get turned around and can’t find your way back to your hotel, find another woman and show her the card. She may be able to help you get reoriented.
Bring Your Own Doorstop and Smoke Detector: Before leaving home, go to the hardware store and invest in a simple rubber doorstop. After you’ve locked your hotel room door, slip it under the jam as an extra bit of protection against anyone trying to enter from the hallway. A small, portable smoke detector is easily set up in your room just in case the hotel isn’t properly equipped.
Leave a Note: If you’re venturing out on your own for the day, leave a detailed itinerary of your plans in your hotel room and tell the front desk what time you’re expecting to return. If, for any reason, you don’t come back on schedule, you’ll have left a trail for others to follow.
Stay in Touch: Send emails and/or phone home regularly to let friends and family know what you’re doing and where you are.
Stay Safe: Ask for a room on an upper floor, so you won’t have an easily accessible terrace or balcony door, and always request a location as close as possible to the elevator.
Trust Your Instincts: Don’t like the looks of the gentleman in the elevator? Make an excuse and don’t get in. Trust your instincts even at the risk of seeming rude.
Lighten Up: Pack a small flashlight in your purse. Some resorts have pathways that are very poorly lit at night.
Leave the Bling at Home: Flashing expensive jewelry is an invitation to be robbed. Leave your valuables at home and be safe.
Liz Fleming is an award-winning Canadian travel journalist who specializes in adventure, health and wellness and learning travel. For more from Liz, go to: Liz Fleming’s Travel Tales