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Solo Traveling This Summer? Consider These Safety Tips Before Going Leave a comment


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Some people cringe at the idea of solo travel because in their minds, who wants to go see the world and have nobody to share the experience with? For others though, they embrace the adventure that is solo travel wholeheartedly and are ready to share the experience with strangers they meet along the way. Solo travel is indeed increasing in popularity. 

A 2022 survey by Solo Traveler found that 74% of people opt to travel alone because they don’t want to wait for others before going on an adventure. Another 64% want the flexibility to do what they want when they want. If this summer is going to be a travel girl summer for you and you’re doing it on your own, you should certainly prioritize safety. We spoke to some expert solo travelers and they’re sharing tips on how to make sure you have the safest fun possible on your trip. 

Don’t Tell Strangers You’re Solo 

Christina Belloge, director at Melanin Travels Magic, has been indulging in solo travel since 2006, visiting over 40 countries across multiple continents including Africa and Europe. One of her travel tips is to never mention you’re traveling alone unless you share that information with another solo traveler you meet on an excursion. 

If anyone asks, pretend that a friend, family member or partner is going to meet you soon, Belloge says. This is something she once did when a staff member at a hotel spa in Mexico was harassing her. 

“I had to threaten [to] report him to the hotel manager to have peace and lie that my boyfriend will be joining me soon,” she says.

Belloge throws in that you can also sport a fake engagement ring to avoid harassment. 

Switch the Code Function on When Ubering 

Unless you decide to rent a car or use public transport in a new destination, you’re probably going to use a service like Uber. If you do, turn on the code function on the Uber app, says Sojourner White, a travel writer, social worker, and NATJA award-winning journalist.

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“It’s really easy to slip into the wrong Uber if you’re not paying attention or if there are a bunch in the area near a busy tourist attraction,” she explains. “So when approaching the Uber ask them ‘Who are you here for?’ and if they say your name then you give them the code and you know you’re in the right one. 

To avoid getting lost, White advises using Google Street View on Google Maps to get an idea of what your intended location looks like. 

Keep an Emergency Copy of Travel Docs 

There aren’t too many things more stressful than losing important documents. That stress is catapulted if it happens while traveling alone. Not only will you have the hassle of having to replace them when you get home, but even worse, you may also end up stranded in a foreign country. To avoid this, keep copies of your travel documents, advises Belloge. 

“Make sure you keep your travel ID documents in a safe place and keep either a digital scanned copy on your Google drive or email in case you lose them,” she says. 

Ideally, you should avoid taking your passport or important documents out with you unless you absolutely need them. If you must carry it, use an anti-theft pouch or money belt you can hide under your clothing. Another tip is to make a note of where the nearest consulate is so you can have an emergency passport issued if yours gets lost or stolen. Finally, take a notebook and write down your passport number as well as important phone numbers of family members in case you lose your phone and have no internet access.

Share Your Itinerary With Loved Ones 

Sharing your itinerary is a simple but effective tip that can help loved ones locate you in a worst case scenario. White suggests sharing a digital copy with loved ones before you head out. 

“I like to put my rough itinerary in a Google doc including my accommodations’ address, length of stay and any activities I book,” she says. “It’s easily shareable and updates in real time if you change your schedule. And sending it to family or friends back home is good to do in case of emergencies.”

In addition to sharing an itinerary, you may also want to share your real-time location for as long as you want to–in this case it might be the duration of your trip. You can use an iPhone or Google Maps to share your location as long as the other person has a Google account. 

Have Backups for Your Tech

It may seem obvious but a backup for your tech devices is key when you’re traveling alone in a different city, says White. This is especially true if you’re a new age person who uses your phone versus a map to get everywhere, which White does. 

“I use my phone to navigate via Google Maps, take photos and videos, call Ubers, etc. so my battery gets drained. You don’t want to get stranded somewhere due to a dead phone.” 

She recommends using products such as Anker’s portable charger. You can also carry your wires around in your bag (including a charger for the portable battery) and bring a spare phone along just in case. 

Happy solo travels!


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