As we begin this New Year, we should look at all the ways to enjoy it. Travelling can be a fun experience, filled with all kinds of excitement at the wonders to be discovered, the people to be met and the food to be eaten. However, it can be such a daunting experience when you have to go out into the unknown on your own.
The following are some useful tips on how to stay safe when traveling alone.
· Well planned travel route
One thing to consider doing before going on a trip is to have a route planned out and to have good knowledge of any alternatives. To put it simply, always have a backup plan! This will give you some knowledge of the area, before you go there. Street names might sound familiar, making it more enjoyable and giving you less to worry about en route to your travel destination.
· Safety research
Always know whether the area you are travelling to is considered safe or if it’s an area of high crime. This should help you decide whether it’s best to travel alone or in a group. In terms of safety, always think about how many safety and information points are around in that particular area, these include, tourism offices, police stations and hospitals.
Have all necessary emergency numbers stored on your phone and have enough money saved up for any emergency situations, such as unplanned medical procedures if you get injured or sick.
· Shared location
An important way to stay safe, is having people know where you are. This doesn’t only apply to long distance travel, but also when you are going to unfamiliar or hard to find places in your local area.
I will often send my location to a family member or trusted friend when I feel the area might be unsafe or when I am travelling a long distance. This puts my mind at ease, allowing me to enjoy myself on my journey.
Another reason a shared location is useful is because you are also able to see where you are, this means you have a GPS or navigation system, which will show you when you are getting lost, and most importantly, the well-known locations where you can ask for help and directions.
· Certainty of accommodation
As much as everyone appreciates a spontaneous trip to an unknown location, it is always best to clarify accommodation. Whether it’s on a travel app or website. This means that you will be aware of the pricing and availability of accommodation.
This is particularly important during peak travel seasons or local celebrations when there will be more people in need of lodging. You must always make sure you are able to find a safe place to rest for the night. In terms of solo travel, last minute accommodation just won’t do!
· Secure your important documents, money, passport, etc.
Finally, and most importantly, make sure that all your travel documents and monies are kept securely. These are the most important things when abroad, your passport, your bank cards, and any other forms of identification, as it might make it easier for you to get through a crisis if you have them. It is best to have them on your person, in a hidden pocket in your jacket rather than in a bag, where they are easier to access.
Make sure that you are able to handle the luggage or baggage that you take on your trip, as it makes it easier to move around. Having heavy bags will be an obstacle to your safety. Having lighter bags will make it easier for you to get help during an emergency without leaving anything important behind.
I hope these tips come in handy, for you to have safe and enjoyable trips this year.