If you love to travel and if you are a girl then at least one solo trip should be on your wish list. And why wouldn’t it be, after all, who doesn’t like to deviate from the rules a bit and feel real freedom?
However, as adventurous and exciting as it is to explore new places on your own as a solo traveler, some things need to be acknowledged beforehand.
Below we have listed tips and tricks for women who want to explore the world – by a girl traveling alone! Verify:
1. Try to reach during the day
Plan to arrive during the day so you don’t have to try to find your way through an unfamiliar city in the dark.
2. Avoid dark alleys
Always know that you can become an easy target while walking alone in dark, secluded alleys. To save yourself from this danger, a public place is always a safer option, especially at night.
3. Don’t use an iPod
Never wear an iPod while walking around. Not only does that make you less aware of your surroundings, but it also makes you an easy target for thieves who can either grab your pocket or confront you with a weapon.
4. Beware of pickpockets while traveling on public transportation
City public transportation is ready for pickpockets. Don’t carry anything in your back pocket, and always be aware of your surroundings. It’s not just guys who get pickpocketed, sometimes it could be a group of women who pickpocket you or crowd around you on the bus.
5. Update someone about your whereabouts at all times
Always let someone know where you’re going, when you can expect to arrive, and where you’ll be staying. When you arrive, confirm these details.
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6. Trust your instincts
Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, leave.
7. Scan documents
Scan your passport, driver’s license and health card and email it to yourself and a friend or family member. If you lose your passport, this makes getting a new one much easier.
8. Inform the driver
Always tell the bus driver where you are going. This way he will also be aware of your luggage and assist you in disembarking. It saves you from the risk of losing your luggage and missing your stop.
For example, when I take the bus to another city, tell the bus driver where I am going. It sounds a little silly, but a lot of bus drivers will call my name when I get to my destination.
When you appear friendly, others will reach out to help you.
A simple smile actually saved me from getting mugged once. I gave a pregnant woman my seat on a bus while two other people were trying to convince me to get off the bus early. The woman overheard the conversation and gave me a look that I knew meant something was wrong. They got off, and she told me I didn’t need to get off because I was going the right way.
10. Plan in advance
Do some advance planning. You don’t need a detailed plan but you should know, for the first night at least, where you’ll be staying. Book the hostel/accommodation before you leave for your destination. You can check out the accommodation at Zostel.
11. Go on organized tours
Break up long trips with organized tours. You’ll enjoy the company and get a chance to let someone else take care of all the details.
12. Calculate the cost
Always find out how much a taxi will cost from the bus station.
I always find this from hostels. To double check, ask the security guard where to find the best taxis so you’re confident about where you’re going and what price you’re asking when you walk outside.
13. Never fail to have a Plan B
Having a backup plan, should things go sideways, is generally a good idea and even better when traveling alone. Most importantly, it can be useful for someone who knows where you are, where you are going and what you are up to. Internet kiosks, smartphones, emails and social media make this very easy today; Leave some bread crumbs as you go along to let people know when the anxiety starts.
14. Light Package
Pack the luggage so that you can easily manage your luggage yourself. Whether you’re away for a week or three, a single bag or backpack should suffice.
15. Always have the basics
Carry the essentials with you when you head out for the day. Put the name of the place where you are staying on a piece of paper in the local language. Keep a copy of your emergency contacts and documents with you.
16. Store important items in one place
Always keep your most important items in the same place and check them easily.
For me, it’s my passport/ID card, wallet, camera, and phone. These are the items I check when I feel the need.
17. Mix with others
Connect with other travelers. Common rooms and hostel lounges are great places to meet friends on a short-term basis, as well as to get excellent travel advice.
18. Meet the locals
Connect with the locals. Many cities have local tour guides for free, but you can also bond with a local through sites like Find People – Meetup and Women Welcome World Wide – 5W.
19. Participation in courses
If you’ve been somewhere for a while, connect with others by taking language courses, cooking classes, or whatever interests you. Also, visit the same coffee shop, fruit stand every day and get to know the people.
20. Get off the beaten path
If you want to meet other travelers, get off the beaten path. Travelers who find each other in places where there are few tourists tend to talk to each other. In addition, you probably have something in common.
Other things to keep in mind, if you are planning to travel on your own
21. Watch the world around you
Take the time to notice how people interact and how things work. While sitting in a sidewalk cafe, on a park bench, or just passing the time, you can learn how to use public transportation. You should also know whether to pay the bill at your table or at the counter and how to turn it over or how to hail a taxi.
22. Open up!
Learn how to talk to strangers. Smile and start a conversation. Be curious and ask open-ended questions and follow-up questions.
23. Go out and enjoy yourself
Go out in the evening. Go to pubs and bars and have a seat. Go to concerts and theatre. Everything is possible on its own.
24. Don’t be late for eating alone
Enjoy eating alone. Go to restaurants with shared tables or counters. Ask a local to instruct you to start a conversation.
25. Take your own photos (it might be a selfie :P)
Learn how to take selfies: P. Your friends will be more interested in your photos when you’re back.
26. Use Skype
Download Skype to your phone so you can call friends and family for free when you have access to the Internet.
27. Make use of other useful apps
Download useful apps on your phone such as a GPS, translator, currency converter and some travel guides.
28. Eat big
Try the local food 🙂
29. Trust your instincts
If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, don’t worry about being rude and walk away.
Citing an example, there are many times I have ignored men who approached me in a way that didn’t feel right. I keep walking to ignore them. I may be wrong sometimes, but it’s not a chance I’m willing to take.
30. Always check information in some public places
Whenever you need to look at your map, never do it on the street. Walk into a store or restaurant – anywhere but around the corner.
Know that nothing is 100% safe, even if you stay at home. Traveling and life isn’t about learning how to be safe. They are about calculated risk. Just because seat belts don’t always save lives, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear them!
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