Travelling solo can be a daunting experience. Not having anyone to rely on or even blame when things go wrong means that you need to take precautions that will help to prevent any losses or damages on your travels. This blog post will be sharing some tips on how to stay safe as a solo traveler, whether male or female this applies to everyone and anyone visiting a destination alone.
PRE-BOOK YOUR AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Arriving in a new country for the first time is usually the best time for weirdos to pretend that they're cab drivers to take advantage of clueless tourists. To avoid running into a weirdo, pre-book your airport to hotel transfer. That way you know for sure that you have a legitimate way of getting to your resort or hotel without any dramas (If you've watched the movie Taken then you'll know what I mean). It's also a good idea to pre-book your transport going from the hotel or resort back to the airport when the trip is over with. This gives you one less thing to worry about and one less expense to calculate. Ran out of money on your trip? That's cool! At least you know you're getting back to the airport to get your flight on X date.
INCLUDE MEALS IN YOUR HOTEL PACKAGE
Including meals in your hotel package can also relieve you of one less burden. If you have an appetite like mine, then food can get pretty expensive pretty quickly and before you know it you will be down to your last spending coins with constantly eating out. This is because depending on where you're staying, eating out also usually involves a transport cost, whereas if you were to eat at your hotel (provided they have a decent spread of food) then you'll actually be saving. The last thing you want to do is run out of money when you're in a foreign country. Food is a necessity and pre-arranging this can help a lot.
If I'm travelling alone on a budget, I usually always include a full english breakfast in my hotel package. If I am doing up luxury, then I usually opt for half board (Breakfast and Dinner), allowing myself an opportunity to treat myself to lunch outside at a restaurant of my choice, while I'm exploring for the day. This helps to keep my costs down.
BRING SPARE CASH OR CARDS
Do not, I repeat...DO NOT make the mistake that I made when I was travelling. I forgot to tell my bank that I was travelling half way across the world and then when I tried to use my card abroad it got swallowed at the cashpoint.
Avoid this by letting your bank know, bring a back up card and consider getting a Monzo account which is great for travelling.
RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION - THOROUGHLY
Different parts of the world have different rules and ways of living. For example, when I visited Watar, Doha, although I had no plans of being drunk on the street... I learned that you could be arrested for being drunk or showing public displays of affection. Be sure to research exactly what is and isn't acceptable before visiting to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities. You may get lucky and find that they have an allowance for tourists, but always assume you will receive the worst punishment.
PADLOCK YOUR BELONGINGS!
I think it goes without saying that you should either keep your valuables with you at all times or lock them away when you're traveling. The last thing you want, is your passport or anything else that is very important going missing when you are in a different part of the world by yourself. Buying a padlock makes sense.
SPEND EXTRA TO STAY SAFE
It's better to be safe than sorry. When you are abroad by yourself, you have to be extra cautious because you're definitely more vulnerable when you're alone. So if you need to spend extra on getting a reliable form of transport, then do so. The cheapest forms of transport aren't always the safest. Especially if you're travelling alone at night.
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS A MUST
I'm sure the last thing that anyone hopes for is getting injured or falling sick on a trip. If this happens, then you need to be armed with some travel isnsurance that will have you covered. This is an importsnt document that is usually offered as an add-on when it comes to bookimg flights or package deals. Not many countries are like the UK and offer free healthcare, so if you don't have travel insurance cover, in the event of a hospital visit you could be asked to pay a lot of money upfront before being allowed to be discharged.
If you're travelling to a European country then it would be worth applying for a *FREE* European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card).
DON'T TRUST ANYONE TOO QUICKLY
I noticed on my travels that a lot of solo travelers use apps like Tinder and other sites to make friends (or more....) with locals. It's important that you don't trust anybody that you meet online or in person too quickly. Meet up outside in the daytime a few times before getting comfortable with your new friend. A lot of weirdos can also use the fact that you're a tourist seeking compoanionship to their advantage. So treating everyone like a suspect (to an extent) is a very good way of staying safe.
WATCH YOUR DRINK
When I say watch your drink, I mean it in both ways. Watch how much you drink and also if you're out then don't leave your drink unattended...EVER. I know it's tempting to let loose and get wild on holiday especially if you've made some new friends on a night out...but it's important to drink responsibly, especially if you're alone in a foreign country. The last thing you want to do is get into big trouble abroad because you weren't responsible with your drink.
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
As much as it's important to act in a safe manner, I also believe in the power of faking it till you make it. What I measn by that is, even if you do feel scared, anxious and stressed out about travelling solo, you shouldn't show it. If you act like you are cool, calm and collected then you are more likely to deter danger by default. A panicked traveler will always attractive more negative attention, than positive.
Soon enough, you'll find that you feel a lot better about travelling solo.
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