World is a beautiful place, it’s just that few mean people out there make the world unsafe. In one of my previous post, I spoke about how I got robbed on the streets of Cambodia and how it affected my travel. That one bitter incident has made such an impact, now I am extra careful during my travels. Time is a best healer and also a teacher, I am sure I will just carry that incident as a lesson of my life than as a baggage. Solo women travelers are very much vulnerable to these kind of unpleasant situations.
The best tip I can give is, do not get into unpleasant situations but we don’t have control over people who creates such situations, so it’s better to be prepared than be sorry later.Here I am noting down five fantastico travel safety tips for solo women travelers.
Update your Navigation App on your cell phone
Though you never got around using navigation apps in your home town, get your hands on it and learn how to use them. This can save you from getting into unwanted situations in unknown city or country. These apps, helps you to have control over where you want to go in unknown city. You will avoid situation of talking to a stranger to ask for directions. Navigation apps also helps you to be safe when you take a taxi in unknown place, even if driver knows where to drop you, its better to switch on your navigation app and make sure he is driving on right direction and actually not taking you for a ride. Installing navigation app in your mobile phone is one of the fantastico tip I can give as a solo traveler.
Learn few self-defense techniques
you don’t need to take up karate, kung-Fu lessons to learn self-defense because it’s not every one’s cup of tea. I would suggest you to learn some street smart techniques to get out of unpleasant situations. Carry pepper spray in your bag, few countries and airlines don’t allow you to carry pepper spray in hand baggage and also in check in baggage, so do your research about the country you are travelling to and see if you can carry one. You can carry deodorant in your hand bag while you are out on streets exploring the places. Even deodorant also acts like pepper spray when you are in need for one. Learn few words in local language like- ‘No’ ‘get out of my way’, ‘stay away from me’, ‘help me’. If you happen to meet men who wants to take advantage of you, use local words to shoo them away, using words from local language will makes them go off guard.
Do not leave your common sense back home
You read it right, I meant common sense only. When we are traveling, out of sheer anxiousness of exploring new place or out of careless attitude, we do few stupid mistakes. Drinking is fun, but do not get wasted while traveling alone. Always carry your hotel address card, where you are staying, if they don’t have one, write down the address and carry one. Do not disclose that you are travelling alone to your taxi driver or whomever you meet and feel free to invent imaginary boyfriend/husband who is waiting back in hotel room or who is just around somewhere there, whenever you feel like. Walk confidently on the road, though you lost your way. If you need to look up for address on the map or navigation app, get inside the nearby café or shop, because, usually in tourist places, there would be plenty of thieves watching over people to find their business of the day. Trust your instincts and just get out of the place if you feel negative vibe. Use common sense is one of the fantastico tip from my travel experiences.
Be wise with your valuables, money and travel documents
Do not carry any valuables which you can’t afford to lose while traveling solo or with gang. Always keep a scanned copy of your travel documents like passport, visa entitlement copy, credit cards and any important documents in your dropbox, google docs or any cloud storage or just email yourself all the scanned copies. Always carry little cash while you go out and keep some cash in the safe or in hidden storage in your travel bag. Do the same with your credit/debit cards as well, always keep spare card in your hotel’s safe. Last time, when I got robbed in Cambodia, I left some cash and cards in hotel room unknowingly and that saved me from calling people for my own rescue mission. Being wise with your valuables, money and travel documents is a handy fantastico tip from my travel experiences.
I know, above statement is confusing , but its a travel thumb rule. Whole traveling becomes meaningful only when you interact with new people but don’t go overboard, being friendly with strangers and stupidity has very thin line. You should know, when to back off from conversation and you should trust your instincts. Now a days almost every information is available in Google, if you get any piece of information like unexplored place nearby or some unexplored shopping place by a local, first do your research on it before you think of venturing out. Do not accept drink from a stranger, watch over your drink when you are at bar. Click pictures of license plate, before getting into taxi and act as if you are sending this information to someone on other side and do not display on your forehead that you are a solo traveler. Like I said world is a beautiful place, it’s just that few mean people are out there, so be careful with whom you are getting friendly in unknown places.
Trust everyone but don’t trust anyone
Hope these five fantastico tips are going to be handy during your solo trip. You can’t avoid troubles during traveling, being prepared for such troubles would help you to have negative impact on your life.