“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –Miriam Beard
No matter how romanticized the idea of traveling solo is, the sad reality is that there are certain risks involved when you are traveling alone—most especially if you are a woman. Women who travel alone are often more subjected to certain risks associated with foreign travel. This is because people have formed this ill-conceived notion that women are the weaker sex (No matter how erroneous that may be). Nevertheless, the potential perils that might happen to a woman traveling alone remain very real. This does not mean however that a woman would always be vulnerable to these risks. As long as a woman stays vigilant, alert and prepared, she can avoid most of it. Here are some of the top tips a woman should keep in mind when she is traveling alone.
1.) Thoroughly research about the place you are visiting
Whether you are planning to do an adventure trip with an ATV ride in the Philippines or do nature-tripping in India, your initial task should be to research as much as you can about the place. This should go without saying, but apparently, most travelers still overlook this fact. Your research should include the best neighborhoods to stay in, places you should avoid at all costs, particular taxis you can take, etc. among others. Know how you are going to get around, what the community is like in where you are billeted and if there are any medical centers in proximity to you. These are all the vital stuff that you should know before you even start packing your bags.
2.) Keep your valuables with you while in transit
While you should have your valuables with you at all times, the thing is, you should not even be bringing anything that you would be devastated to lose. Things such as expensive jewelry, your birth certificate, family heirlooms should be left at home where you would not risk losing them. With the kind of technology people have today, most people would travel with their laptops, DSLR cameras with expensive lenses, tablets and a whole lot more. These are definitely valuables, so it is best to just bring at least a smartphone. However, if you absolutely want to travel with these items, at least find a bag where you can fit these all in—preferably a separate one from your general luggage which you can be confident that you would not lose.
3.) Do not trust people too quickly
Although it is great to make friends with locals, it is not advisable to be so trusting—especially when you are traveling on your own. Remember that although some individuals may come with good intentions, unsavory charlatans and con artists are incredibly adept at befriending travelers and getting them to leave their valuables unattended and burgling them before leaving. It is never rude to be cautious, but take some time to mull things over before you start depending on them too much.
4.) Watch your drinking
Although it would be great to enjoy some downtime at a local bar drinking a few bottles of beer, you should be careful about overindulging yourself and drinking too much. Intoxication is one of the things you should prevent while you are on a trip alone as it can make you even more susceptible to others. Remember to watch your drink at all times, keep vigilant about your valuables and always take think twice before accepting drinks from strangers—you will never know if it is laced or not.
5.) Check in regularly
To keep people from home worrying needlessly about you, routinely check in with them. It may be a family member, a friend or a significant other. Furnish them a copy of your itinerary and from time to time, leave them a message telling them about your trip or where you are and what you are currently doing. Keeping in touch with people from home will ease their qualms about you traveling alone. And in the unfortunate event that something untoward may happen to you, they would be able to locate you a lot easier.