Traveling alone may sound scary, but going on a trip alone can be rewarding. Many single and married women get tired of waiting for someone to take them on their dream vacation, and they just do it. In fact, the number of women who travel alone increased 52% from 2016 to 2017. However, before you pack your bag, consider a few tips to make sure you have a safe and memorable trip.
Be Very Prepared
You will have no one else to blame if you are traveling solo and leave your passport or wallet at home. Create a checklist of everything you need and mark the items off as you pack them. When traveling to a foreign country, know enough of the language that you can get directions or find a bathroom. Also, make sure you know the local customs and rules for airport security. First-time travelers should ask someone who has been there about their experiences before leaving. Doing your homework before you travel can save you some embarrassment later.
The chance of becoming a crime victim is just as high a short distance away as it is traveling to foreign countries. Some helpful safety tips include:
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are taking a form of public transportation.
- Don’t be afraid to make friends but be wary when a new acquaintance starts asking very personal questions.
- Try avoiding the question, or have an answer ready, if someone asks if you are traveling alone.
- Secure your valuables in a purse or handbag that you will keep with you at all times.
- A cross-body purse will keep your money and credit cards close to you better than a fanny pack, which can easily be ripped from your waist.
Don’t be afraid to give a firm “no” when approached by someone wanting to sell you something or offering you transportation if you are not comfortable. Limit your activities after at night so you are not going back to a hotel alone. Make sure you let a friend or family member know you are traveling alone, and it doesn’t hurt to check in from time to time.
You don’t have to be constantly afraid or on guard – but be careful.
Traveling Alone? You Can Still Make Friends
You may enjoy your own company and not feel the need to speak to others during your trip. That’s okay if your trip is a way for you to get away from a stressful situation and gather your thoughts. But if you love companionship, you could make some new friends and possible travel companions for the future.
You won’t meet anyone if you spend all of your time touring attractions on your own. Join local tours. When attending shows or concerts, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Put down the cell phone and stop messaging people back home and engage in those around you. Again, be wary if someone acts suspicious but don’t be afraid to make a new friend.
Have you taken a trip alone? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.