Traveling alone safely is a right duty
The very ugly news of the two Argentine girls brutally killed while traveling alone in Ecuador was just a few days ago. Many wonders if it is right or not for two girls to travel alone and if this episode could have been avoided.
I have traveled and continue to travel alone, and if someone were to tell me that I can no longer do it because it is not safe, I would feel suffocated. And also, if we want to say it all, nothing is safer, not even staying at home for many women, given that the monster often lurks within four walls.
Depending on the countries I have visited, there have been times when I have felt more or less safe, although fortunately, I have not had devastating experiences.
Sometimes, however, I have been afraid, and from those moments, I have learned some small precautions for traveling alone safely. Because, wherever you are in the world, being careful and using caution is essential.
Because traveling alone is our right, but enjoying the journey and coming home alive must also be one!
Don’t attract attention
When I am at home or when I travel with someone, I love to dare with exuberant looks, high heels, and even very revealing dresses. It’s part of who I am.
If you see me traveling alone, however, you will immediately notice that my clothing changes radically. I may be exaggerating, but when I travel solo, I prefer to “become transparent.” It’s not always possible, even because I have platinum blonde hair, but I try to use small tricks to be less conspicuous.
I tie up my hair, sometimes wear a hat or glasses that cover my eyes, and even if it’s hot, I try to dress soberly and less visible.
It may seem old-fashioned, but unfortunately, in many countries, some men see a provocative look as a sign that a woman is “up for it,” and therefore, to avoid misunderstandings, dressing discreetly and less visible will make us feel safer and protected from “leering” looks.
Before any solo trip, along with flights, bookings, and any entry visas, a fundamental thing for traveling alone safely is travel insurance.
There are many on the market, so in this article, I explain how to choose the best travel insurance.
I have been using Heymondo’s travel insurance for some time, which, in addition to having excellent coverage and advantageous prices, boasts a convenient APP with which you can communicate in real-time and at zero cost with customer service.
Hotel in the city center
I usually choose my hotels or hostels in the city center because there are more people there, and therefore, the area is more controlled. Anyway, read the hotel reviews and the judgments on the area before booking.
Avoid isolated hotels and always choose according to the area, perhaps those recommended for women traveling alone or close to attractions where there is always a crowd.
To book hotels during my solo trips, I always use travelzilla.live
Don’t go out alone at night
The temptation to go out at night, for me, who loves nightlife, is always strong. However, unless I have perhaps met a group of guys and girls in the hostel or know someone local, I avoid going out alone at night when traveling alone.
Believe me, this will save you from a whole series of unpleasant situations and dangers. And I say this even if I am very sorry to have to give it up.
Avoid isolated areas
If you’re like me, a tireless walker, I know well that you would never stop and would like to explore every corner of the cities and places you visit. And since I often walk randomly, I struggle to set limits for myself.
However, when you start seeing that the crowd is thinning out or that there are some suspicious faces, turn around and go back to where there are more people. Alternatively, if you want to see specific areas, rely on group tours with guides.
Learn about the culture of the place
It may seem trivial, but learning about the culture and customs of a people before leaving is essential for safe solo travel.
Therefore, study the destination well. How do women dress? Are there any restrictions? Are there areas that should be avoided?
Do not accept rides or hospitality from strangers
Never. It’s fine to love each other and say “we travelers understand each other,” but we should never cross that line of boundary and trust that could turn out to be a risk for us.
A stranger is a stranger, even if they have an irresistible smile and seem so well-dressed.
Avoid places where there are only men
We are not in the Middle Ages, that’s true. However, if there are only men in a place, maybe a bar, there may be a reason. Let’s avoid going there and looking for trouble, and let’s not let anyone think that we are there to pick up someone.
Let’s change the location directly.
Spend more to be safe
I always try to travel on a low budget, but when it comes to safety, saving money makes no sense. Perhaps invest a little more in a taxi if it’s dark or in a better area for a hotel.
Don’t overdo it with alcohol
I am the first to the party and have a few cocktails when I’m on vacation. However, the alcohol I drink when I’m traveling alone is limited to a few beers, maybe in a hotel for an impromptu aperitif.
Alcohol removes many inhibitions, and when we travel alone, it could put us in the spotlight or danger.
Security prepaid card
Do you know how many times I was abroad and entered the wrong pin? Or is my credit card magically demagnetized? Many. Fortunately, I always had someone I knew locally who could help me.
Not everyone has that, though. So, bring a prepaid card with you to use in case of emergency to avoid running out of money.
Always have your document with you
Always, perhaps copied to avoid losing it.
Don’t bring too much money or jewelry with you
When you leave the hotel, take only the essential money with you. Leave the rest in the safe. Avoid precious jewelry. They will not serve you anything and could attract the attention of thieves.
These are some small pieces of advice that I feel I have to give, based on my experience, to those who want to travel alone safely.
If you have any others, write them in the comments; they will undoubtedly be helpful to me and all other solo travelers.”