Travel Tips June 2, 2016

Traveling alone

Traveling alone is sometimes the only option if you are ready to travel but no one else is. Sometimes, I actually prefer to travel solo. I find that I get to do things that I want to do without reservation. When I travel with others, I tend to put them before myself, leading to me skipping some things I would rather have done.

On my recent trip around the world, I traveled alone. Many people along the way, mostly women, commented that I was brave to do that. I didn’t know I was supposed to be afraid to travel alone. So I wasn’t. For a person traveling alone, there are some things to keep in mind to stay safe. Ideally, you should avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place. The following tips should help.

  • Be alert and aware
  • Use common sense
  • Trust your gut
  • Treat people with respect
  • Don’t go out alone at night, or with people you don’t know, until you are familiar with a place
  • Don’t drink with people you don’t know. Or at least, don’t get drunk
  • Dress modestly
  • If you find yourself in a bad situation, be loud. People can’t help you if they don’t know you’re in trouble
  • Learn some basic self-defense techniques
  • Run away if need be
  • Be careful what you share on social media
  • Don’t let hotel staff in to clean unless absolutely necessary
  • Trust no one but be nice to everyone

The most important things are to be on guard and trust your instincts. Ensure that someone has your itinerary and knows where you should be. Check in with them often so they know you’re ok. But don’t live in fear. Make good decisions so you can enjoy yourself without worry. Anytime you start thinking, “I shouldn’t be here,” you’ve ignored a lot of red flags. Try not to let things get to that point in the first place. Prevention is better than cure.

About the author

Dr Q: I am a traveler not a tourist. I have visited more than 43 countries and I have been to all 7 continents.