New Year, New Travel Goals – Have you already listed down your resolutions and goals for 2020? You may probably be hoping to travel more this year. Or better, travel SOLO this year.
Solo traveling is fun and liberating. But let’s be honest: it can also be intimidating and a bit scary for some people, especially for female travelers. But armed with knowledge and confidence, you can overcome these solo travel hurdles.
If you’re a female traveler who’s planning to explore the world solo this year, here are 11 friendly tips to keep in mind.
• Show self-confidence
Solo travelers who look confused, meek, and lost can attract the wrong kind of attention – it can even make you susceptible to theft, scam, and other crimes. You don’t have to be 100% confident, but you should try to act like it. Be vigilant. Walk as though you know where you’re going, and show that you’re in control.
• Travel during the day, whenever possible
Going to a far destination all by yourself? Time your visit and make sure you get to your hotel room or home rental before the sun goes down. The same applies when going around the town. When you’re somewhere unfamiliar, it’s better to explore during the day and get back to your hotel before the streets get deserted.
• Blend in with the crowd
Avoid wearing, using, and doing anything that will only make you stand out as a tourist. Before packing, research your destination well – do the local women dress conservatively? Bring clothing pieces that are comfortable and culturally appropriate to avoid being singled out as a potential target.
• Keep your travel OOTDs modest
We know – your clothes, your rule. And who doesn’t want to look stylish on Instagram? Just make sure to avoid drawing attention to yourself. Leave your expensive jewelry, revealing tops, skimpy bottoms, and other attention-grabbing apparel at home.
Pack light too. Keep your luggage lightweight and your travel experiences heavy.
• Be extra mindful of your possessions
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see a person, walking around with a DSLR camera dangling on his/her chest? A rich tourist.
Avoid flashing your gadgets and valuable possessions, like your camera, phone, tablet, wallet, and travel documents. It’s smart to bring a bag that’s easy to access so you can keep them most of the time and only take out when necessary.
• Stay in touch
Keep in touch with the people you left back home – your parents, your sister, or your best friend. Let them know where and when you’re staying and traveling can be a great safety blanket. You can also leave a breadcrumb trail on social media to reassure everyone that you’re safe and having fun.
• Secure your hotel accommodation beforehand
The last thing you’d want to happen is to reach your target destination after dark, unsure whether or not you can find a hotel to stay in.
If you’re embarking on a solo trip, give yourself some peace of mind by having your hotel and itinerary in place before finally getting to your destination.
• Don’t give out crucial information
You can open up about your ex and how moving on from the toxic relationship inspired your solo travel. But your hotel in Dublin, your hotel room number, home address, and bank details? When people ask you these things, start backing off. A normal person with no dark agendas or whatsoever won’t ask for these stuff.
• Don’t be a loner
One of the biggest downfalls of traveling solo is the inevitable feeling of loneliness. The good thing is it’s possible to overcome.
See it from a different perspective: you’re anonymous, and you can meet new people. You don’t have to eat alone. You can strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler you meet at the hotel breakfast hall or a local waitress. Meet other women travelers and exchange stories.
• Just make sure to be assertive
Use your best judgment: is this person just trying to be friendly or is he trying to get private information from me? Was that a friendly touch or was he harassing me?
If you feel like someone is acting suspiciously and is making you uncomfortable, find ways to get out of the conversation and go somewhere safe. Bartenders, servers, and hotel staff are great people to turn to.
• Stay sober
Drink to enjoy, not to get drunk. Getting drunk (even tipsy) with strangers in an unfamiliar place, with no friend or family to back you up, is probably the riskiest situation you can put yourself into.
And what do we say when someone offers you a drink? No, just no. Alcoholic or not, never accept drinks from an unknown source. While it’s pretty obvious, it can be easy to forget this reminder when you’re spontaneously enjoying the company of seemingly fun strangers.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate lifestyle writer for DCU Rooms Dublin, an ideal hotel for frugal travelers who’d love to experience the astonishing beauty of Dublin Ireland on a budget. This travel buff enjoys writing and sharing articles about money-saving hacks on accommodation, airfare, dining, and getting around the city.