Traveling alone is a necessary and widely accepted part of everyday life. More people than ever are traveling for business, as well as for pleasure. However, there are certain safety issue the lone traveler should be aware of. This is relevant to men and women, though women can be more vulnerable. Follow our safety tips to stay safe when traveling by yourself.
Before you leave, ensure you know exactly where you’re going and how to get there. Keep a list of all transfer points. Print out maps and note down your route. This will minimize the risk of getting lost. Standing, studying a map and looking confused can make you appear vulnerable.
When planning your accommodation, look for venues that have a good safety record. Know the area you’re traveling to. Find out if there are areas to avoid and the best destinations for the solo traveler.
Plan your itinerary ahead of time so you know where to visit. Read as many travel guides as you can, like this '25 things to do in Manchester' guide. Travel guides highlight some of the best places to visit. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend so they know your route. Look for online reviews and tips on safe venues.
Basic Safety Tips
Always follow basic safety rules that you would adhere to at home.
1. Keep to populated, well-lit areas. Avoid dark places where no-one is around.
2. Keep valuables such as your phone and camera out of sight.
3. Keep spare cash separately in case your bag is stolen. This will enable you to make a phone call and get back to the hotel.
4. Be vigilant at all times. Be aware of potential threats.
5. Where possible, wear shoes that you can run in. If the worst happens, it’s harder to run in high heels.
6. It’s always a good idea to be aware of some simple self-defense techniques.
7. Don’t take unnecessary risks, such as hitchhiking.
There are several additional precautions to observe when you’re away from home.
When you book your hotel room, avoid the ground floor. This makes it that little bit harder for intruders. As you check in, avoid your room number being overheard by other guests.
Always check your room carefully. Check that windows are locked if they are accessible from outside. If you have an adjoining balcony door, make sure that is also locked. Place valuables in the safe, if one is provided. Familiarize yourself with exits, in case of an emergency.
When you’re outside of the hotel, try to blend in with the locals. Don’t wear clothes that draw attention. If there are people you can join in with, then do so. Groups are much less vulnerable than solo travelers. Choose friends wisely. Get to know the staff at the hotel. They can also advise you about the safest places to travel and the safest mode of transport.
Much of this advice is about common sense and being vigilant. Safety precautions you follow at home should be followed when traveling. Plan ahead as much as possible and leave a copy of your schedule with friends. Keep them updated when you’re away. Following these simple steps will ensure you have a fun and safe trip.