What Not To Do While Solo Travelling
It goes without saying that safety during solo travel is very important. When asked if there is anything I avoid doing whilst solo travelling, I have five tips that I follow. Read below and let that inner voice be your guide.
Don’t forego safety for money.
This one I have definitely learnt the hard way! When travelling solo, you do not always have the luxury of splitting the cost of accommodation with someone else. So, it may be tempting to pick the cheapest hostel possible. Off my past experience, I would not recommend doing this. Instead, do your research! Dig into past reviews, search the specific area and get a general sense of the typical guest in each establishment. Shaving money off your budget is never worth a potentially sketchy situation in a foreign place.
Don’t be out of touch.
While adventuring alone, the more people who are looking out for you, the better. Before travelling I always share my itinerary with a family member or friend. Obviously, this does not mean your itinerary is set in stone. Make sure to keep in touch during your travels and update those back home on your current plans. Another thing I tend to do is to share my location with family via apps like Find My Friends, this could help if something were to happen.
Don’t bury your head in your phone.
To stay as alert as possible, I recommend keeping your head up as you move through a new city. This is actually a hard one for me to personally follow as I use Google Maps all the time for directions. Instead, preview the directions before leaving your accommodation and then put your phone away. You will appear more confident, so less of a target for pickpocketers plus you won’t miss out on the beauty of a new city around you.
Don’t advertise that you are alone.
There are times when I feel comfortable telling people I am travelling alone and times when I don’t. When I met other solo travellers in my hostel, we fast became travelling buddies. Yet, when I met a strange older gentleman in Miami, I casually mentioned that my friends would be right back. My rule with strangers is to rely on my intuition and take myself out of uncomfortable situations. There is nothing wrong with a little white lie in the name of solo travel safety.
Don’t act differently than you would at home.
As a general rule of thumb, do not do anything that you would not do at home. Do you stumble home drunk and alone through dark alleys at 3 AM back home? No way, so similarly I do not do this in a foreign city. It seems simple but believe me, do not fall into the “I’m on holiday, it’s fine” trap, remember to use that common sense.