Wednesday, March 3, 2021


How to Stay Safe While Traveling Alone.

January 26, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Travel/Leisure, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Traveling is a fun and exhilarating experience. There is so much of the world to see and so little time to see it. Many catch the travel bug and want to hop on a plane any chance they get to explore the next new and exciting place.

If you’re adamant about traveling when you can, you may also find yourself in the position of traveling alone. While this can be an experience all on its own, it can also be somewhat intimidating.

There are a lot of unknown factors when you decide to travel by yourself. You want to make sure you are staying safe and protecting yourself amongst all the uncertainties.

Luckily, there are many ways you can keep yourself safe while embarking on a solo adventure. Travel insurance options, research, and staying alert are just a few things you can do to take precautions while traveling alone.

So what all should you do, among the measures listed above, to keep yourself safe? Let’s dive in.

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Protect Yourself with Travel Insurance 

Things go wrong in our everyday lives. We can’t expect that to stop simply because we decided to take a trip. Though it doesn’t sound as idyllic as we would like to imagine a vacation to be, things can go wrong at any moment. 

When you have travel insurance, you have coverage for those unexpected problems that may arise while vacationing. Without travel insurance, you may be stuck paying for things such as medical bills and lost items out of pocket.

Some coverage benefits of choosing travel insurance before your vacation include:

  • Unexpected cancellation
  • Unexpected delays
  • Loss of luggage
  • Emergency medical issues
  • Rental car damage and repair

With so many unexpected things that may arise, having travel insurance for your solo trip is extremely important to staying safe when traveling.

Do Your Research Before Leaving

The world is beautiful, and there are so many incredible destinations just waiting to be seen. But traveling alone or with small children abroad can put you at a potentially higher risk for the dangers these destinations may hold.

Being alone and walking through new and unfamiliar locations could make you seem like an easy target to people just waiting for lost travelers. And with no one there to help, you could potentially find yourself in a scary situation.

Doing your research before you leave can take some of the dangers away. Look into areas where you are going that perhaps are deemed unsafe by locals or previous travelers. Know your destination before arriving so you can be sure you don’t walk into unfamiliar places unintentionally. 

When you research ahead of time, you may be able to save yourself from rougher areas or getting lost and ending up somewhere you never meant to be.

Be Slow to Trust

You may find yourself feeling a little lonely on your solo travel trip. This can be normal since everyone craves companionship. However, it isn’t wise to become best friends with every person or group of people who show you kindness on your journey.

There are many con artists who scope out common travel destinations just waiting to befriend those traveling alone. They will of course be extremely kind to you initially, but once they find their opportunity, you may be at risk of being robbed or even worse.

Having a little distrust when initially meeting new people is a good way to avoid this potentially horrible situation. Being slow to trust doesn’t mean you need to come off rude by any means, but you should be wary if someone you just met asks you too many personal questions or even suggests heading back to where you’re staying.

If the person or people you have met seem to want to stick around, even without knowing your entire life story or where your personal belongings are, they may be okay to spend some more time with. Just trust your instincts and be self-aware of what situations you are placing yourself in.

Keep Your Mind Clear

It can be easy to overindulge in a new and exciting location. There may be drinks you’ve never tried or an atmosphere that makes you simply want to let loose.

Letting loose may not always be a wise decision, however. When your mind isn’t clear, you put yourself at higher risk for scary scenarios. People around may notice you having a little too much fun and take advantage of your relaxed inhibitions.

To avoid this, simply limit your alcohol intake. Even though it may be tempting to just let go, keeping yourself safe is worth more than any drinks could be. Perhaps set a drink limit for yourself spanning a certain amount of time. This can allow you to still enjoy some drinks without sacrificing a clear mind.

Be Smart with Your Valuables

It can be tempting to want to take that diamond ring you love so much to wear on your trip, or pack up your expensive laptop to have at your side.

The problem is, the more valuable items you have with you, the larger of a target you become. Thieves will look for people they can clearly see are carrying valuable items. This doesn’t just go for while you walk on the street, either. Packing valuable items in bags you won’t have on your person at all times puts you at risk of being robbed during transport.

You should do your best to pack only the items you need for your trip, rather than stuffing a bag full of items you love and would hate to lose. 

If there are valuables you absolutely must bring, do it the smart way. Only carry them in a bag you know you will have in your possession at all times. When you arrive at your destination, keep those items in your room and locked away. 

If you are carrying a large amount of cash for your trip, don’t take the entire lump sum with you while out. Only take what you believe you will need for the day, and perhaps one credit card just in case, and leave the rest with the other valuables locked away in your room.

Giving potential thieves the least motivation possible is a great way to protect yourself when traveling alone. 

Travel with a Little Self-Protection

There are a few items that are wise to bring with you if you choose to travel alone. These items may protect you from possible harm.

  • Whistle – It may take you back to seventh grade P.E., but having a whistle can come in very handy when adventuring solo. If you happen to find yourself cornered by someone or even feel like someone is attempting to get you alone, blow your whistle. The loud noise will draw attention and likely scare your attacker off.
  • Flashlight – There is always the chance you could find yourself out in an unfamiliar place after dark, even if you try your best to avoid it. Carrying a small flashlight with you can make a big difference if this happens. The light will not only help you see your surroundings better but also likely ward off someone who may see you as a target.
  • Fake wedding ring – The choice to leave your fine jewelry locked up was already covered, but married or not, it’s a smart choice to get yourself a fake wedding band to wear while traveling alone. Nothing flashy — just a simple band is enough. Typically women are less likely to be harassed if they are wearing a wedding ring because it usually implies there is a man not far from them.
  • Door stopper or lock – This is essential to ensuring you stay protected while you are tucked away after a long day out. Having either a door lock or stopper can give you an extra level of safety in your room, preventing unwanted visitors from making their way in.

Protecting Yourself and Still Having Fun

Solo travel is a little scary, but also extremely exciting. The experience of exploring a new destination all on your own is unrivaled.

Keeping yourself safe while traveling alone is the key to making sure you have the best experience possible. Using these tips, you can worry a little less and relax a little more on your adventure.

Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, InsuranceProviders.com, and has a passion for travel.

 


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