Safety Tips When Traveling Alone

  • I assemble the following safety tips to help those who are traveling alone. Although I have traveled to many places in the world on my own and have not been robbed before (the nearest was a failed pickpocket attempt on my wife as we were walking down the street in Hanoi, Vietnam), I know of many people who have. Safety tips when traveling alone is specially put together to help you enjoy exploring the world safely.

    Many of the safety tips below are based on commonsense. But while it may make sense to you as you read it in the comfort of home, once you are on the road, the same commonsense tips may be easily forgotten, particularly when you are confronting numerous logistic issues at once. It is therefore necessary to consciously remind ourselves to stay safe.

    Tips for the Lone Traveler

    • Be Alert

    Always be aware of your surroundings. Do your homework before you arrive. If you are going to a strange city that you are visiting for the first time, find a good map (or go to Google Map) and get familiar with the places you are visiting. Don't make yourself to look like a tourist, or worse, an unalert tourist.

    • Dress Appropriately

    Don't wear jewelry or even an expensive watch when you travel. Unless you are on a luxurious cruise or package tour where you are insulated from security issues, it is never a good idea to flaunt your wealth in a foreign environment.

    • Make Your Luggage Easily Identifiable

    If you are going backpacking, leave that Louis Vuitton luggage back at home, and bring along something scruffy that doesn't label you as wealthy. Put a mark on your luggage so that it can easily be identified. Some people just tie a ribbon to their luggage, but I actually paint the side with my signature. That way I can quickly identify my luggage as soon as it drop out of the airport carousel.

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    • Look Tough

    You can get robbed whether you are a man or a woman. Having said that, I have known of more women who have gotten robbed. Let's be realistic. Many petty robbers target women because they consider them easy prey. As a woman, you can avoid attracting the wrong type of attention by put away feminine clothing when traveling.

    • Avoid Secluded Places

    Don't put yourself in unnecessary danger. If you must go to secluded places, do so in a group. At the same time, don't stay out late unless you can confidently take care of yourself. Don't expect to find the police when you need it. If you put yourself in harm's way, you have only yourself to blame.

    • Hide Your Cash

    Distribute your travel money in different places, so that even if you were robbed, you still have money with you. Do not make a show of large amounts of cash. Replenish your wallet with money every morning, carrying in it just enough for you to spend for one day.

    • Stay In Contact with Home

    Keep your family or relatives updated of your whereabouts a few times a week, if not daily. That way, they could take action if you suddenly go missing.

    • Get Travel Insurance

    While travel insurance cannot prevent you from getting robbed, it can at least cushion the trauma. Look for travel insurance policies that provide coverage for robberies and theft.