For some, travelling the world alone is one of the most liberating experiences a person could ever have. Knowing that you are in full control of your itinerary is enough to make anyone reach for their passport. While the excitement of a new adventure may be occupying all your thoughts, be sure to check out these top ten tips for staying safe when travelling alone to make sure that nothing ruins your trip of a lifetime.

1. Carry a photocopy of your passport and give a copy to someone at home

This simply makes things easier if your passport is lost or stolen and you need help from an embassy. If you have a copy and a trusted friend or family back home has a copy, your important details can be pulled up easily and help will happen sooner. The same goes for your visa, drivers license and travel insurance documents too.

2. Always keep the address of the place you’re staying on you

Keep one copy on your phone and another written copy in your bag – just in case you get lost or have trouble communicating your destination to a taxi driver.

3. Download a tracking app

Phone applications like Life360 work really well to protect you when you’re overseas. Simply download the app onto your phone and a trusted family member or friend’s phone. They’ll be able to see where you are as long as you have your phone on you and connected to Wi-Fi or roaming. This isn’t so that they can spy on your trip, it’s to make sure you’ve checked in at hotels, airports and other key spots at the time your itinerary said you would be there. If things seem a bit off, the person tracking your movements can raise the alarm faster than most.

4. Meet people in public places

Travelling solo is an incredibly social experience if you want it to be and meeting up with new friends is a great way to explore your new surroundings. You may think you’re a good judge of character but just keep your wits about you and meet new friends in public places during daylight hours. It’s always a great idea to reach out to friends or friends in new destinations. Everyone loves being a tour guide so you’d probably be surprised by how many people talk you up on the offer of a drink.

5. Stay on the beaten path

It may be tempting to discover the path less travelled but if you’re travelling alone it’s best to stay on the beaten path and tourist trails. If you’re craving a bit of the unknown, it’s worth spending that bit of extra money to join a tour group. Be sure to do your research before you leave for your trip so you know which tours you might want to go on and which company is the most reputable.

6. Don’t keep all your valuables in the same spot – spread them out

For obvious reasons. Pickpockets are very skilled nowadays and in just a few seconds your holiday can quickly become a disaster. Lock everything up in your hotel’s safe or a secure place where only you will have access to it. Money belts and secure wallets may not be the coolest accessory but they’ll give you peace of mind. And females should only wear cross-body bags with the main pouch sitting at the front of your body where you can see the zips.

7. Try not to look like a tourist

Yes, this may be hard when you don’t speak the language or look like the locals but trying to look confident in your new surroundings can make a huge difference. Always walk with purpose like you know where you’re going and if you need a second to stop and look at a map or get your bearings, drop into a cafe and do it over a cup of coffee.

8. Learn some of the local languages

You’d be surprised how a few phases can make you seem like a seasoned traveller and less vulnerable. If you’re going to a place with lots of hagglers and local merchants, phrases like ‘no, thank you’ or ‘I’m not interested’ can be useful. ‘Where is…?’ phrases always come in handy with words like bathroom, train station and pharmacy some of the most useful to use.

If you have a medical condition or food allergy then learning how to express these in another language will also make your adventure a lot easier.

9. Buy a sim card

If you’re planning on just connecting to the Wi-Fi whenever and wherever you can, then we’d recommend picking up a cheap local sim card for times when you’re offline. Being able to make a phone call, Google a location or text family back home when Wi-Fi is unavailable is essential if travelling alone.

10. Trust your gut

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t and you should remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.


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