There are a lot of benefits to solo travel. You’ll get time to relax, you don’t need to compromise on what you’re doing (even a little bit), there’s no guilt if you spend too much time in your hotel bed, and you will gain unparalleled introspection and confidence.
But it’s also a big world out there, where anything can happen, so it’s important you get out there with a plan and know how to handle yourself abroad. Take a look at our tips for more information.
Make Some New friends
If you’re not comfortable wandering around a new country or city on your own, you should make some new friends. And we’re not talking about in the sense your mother says as she waves you goodbye, but in the sense that you’re fishing for a club buddy to dance with. Get chatting to someone in your resort or hostel and ask them if they’re doing anything during the night.
It’s obviously not smart to blindly trust whoever you meet abroad, so be smart. But if you have reason to think they’re trustworthy, like they’re from the same town or a little older, etc. you can make some going out plans and have a shield between you and anyone with bad intentions.
Get your Insurance Sorted
There are some things that travel insurance can’t cover, but also a lot that it can cover when it comes to traveling. If you get the right travel insurance policy you can get many things covered, like Staysure, who will cover all the usual problems of your flight getting canceled, your baggage or purse getting lost or stolen, and even your holiday getting canceled due to covid.
Look up the Crime Statistics
Before you get on the plane, train, ship, etc. look up your destination’s crime rate. We’re not talking about seeing if you are going to Gotham City incarnate but look at the most common crimes in the area and see what might affect you.
While you’re at it, you might want to check any cultural aspects that might get you in trouble. It might seem obvious to not pose with revealing clothing in a holy area, and yet, an influencer was arrested this month for doing just that. Don’t become a crime statistic.
Invest in Clothing with Safe Pockets
While we’re still on petty crimes, it should be pointed out that there is a lot of pickpocketing going on in European and East Asian cities. The tourist traps are especially bad for this. You could be standing next to the Eiffel Tower, enjoying the view enough to take a picture, and reach into your bag only to realize someone’s made off with your phone – or purse, or AirPods, or camera, or passport, etc.
If weather permits, get yourself a jacket with a lot of inside pockets. If that means stealing your boyfriend’s jacket, go for it. Failing that, get yourself a bumbag, because you’re sure to notice someone sticking their grubby little paws into that.
Scare off the Scammers
There isn’t too much of any practical advice here, except learn to identify a scammer. Learn to walk away and say “no” strongly if you need to. A lot of these tourist-filled cities and towns are filled with people peddling things. A decade ago, this meant selling fake designer bags by the beach but nowadays that includes glasses of sangria, rugs to lie in the sun on, fake roses, massages and the good old fashioned alms.
However, some people have been watching too many The Apprentice episodes and go for the hard sell. And others are distracting you so that someone can pinch your purse. If they are not taking a polite “no” for an answer, it’s time to break out a firm “no” and even a stern “no”. Too many of us are too polite and are getting swindled because of it.