I love to travel and I am always up for an adventure – this sometimes means a solo trip. Recently, I visited Savannah, GA and went by myself while my wonderful husband studied for his clinical exams and watched our fur-babies. Traveling alone can sometimes be scary, especially when you don’t know your surroundings. I wanted to share a few key things I have learned about staying safe, while still having fun on a solo trip or vacation.
Research before you go. Is the city or destination safe to travel alone? Do some digging! My friend and I were going to travel over the summer, after some initial research on our destination we uncovered the country was going through bankruptcy along with political unrest. Probably not be the best idea for two female travelers. We decided to pass and stay domestic!
Don’t give out too much information. The south is full of friendly people who love to chat! I make sure I am friendly but don’t give out any vital information – I don’t mention my hotel, the fact that I am traveling alone, or any future plans/destinations. We have all seen Taken and know that when you give strangers information, it can go horribly wrong. Plenty of other topics of conversation if someone is trying to chat you up – perhaps the fine acting chops of Liam Neeson? I kid.
Let someone know where you’ll be. Make sure you communicate to someone you trust where you will be. For me, that is my husband. I let him know when I am set to leave, arrive, and where I am heading for each day I am gone. We are typically in constant contact. This could be a best friend or parent as well. Don’t forget to email/print your someone a copy of your itinerary too.
A self defense class can go a long way. The first thing they tell you in a self defense class is be aware of your surroundings. For my recent trip, I looked at a map in the evening and the morning before venturing out. Savannah is on a grid, so it was easy to memorize. I didn’t want to look lost or flustered, so I made sure I knew where I was going. Look people in the eye and walk tall. A good percentage of the time a confident woman won’t be messed with. A perpetrator is likely looking for a vulnerable or easy target. In case of an altercation, a self defense class can teach you a variety of ways to defend or escape.
Don’t overdo the alcohol. Being aware of your surroundings means remaining 100% alert and coherent. Alcohol will slow your response and has the innate ability to lower inhibitions. Being in a city or destination alone, as a woman, you need to be even more careful. Don’t take a drink from a stranger (even an attractive one), and don’t drink too much.
If you are traveling alone internationally, there are quite a few other safety tips you may want to consider. Here is a helpful article from BuzzFeed and one of my favorite tips:
“Packing light can actually be a safety tip: Nothing says “rob me” like someone wheeling four large bags along the side of a street. You’ll also be more mobile with a smaller bag in case you need to move quickly.” -Jessica Probus / BuzzFeed