Travelling alone is an incredibly brave thing to do – not only do you get to explore the world and find out about new cultures, but you also get to do so on your own terms. Still, sometimes it can be a dangerous thing to do. If you want to spend some time exploring the world on your own, here are some tips that will ensure you stay safe.
Learn To Blend In
All across the world, tourists are a target for different sorts of criminals, whether that’s opportunistic petty thieves or criminals who are running bigger scams. Being inconspicuous is an easy way to ensure that you don’t attract any unwanted attention.
Dressing the way that local people do is a surefire way to blend in more easily: women might want to dress modestly, covering up, and men might want to wear long sleeved linen shirts in certain countries instead of their old t-shirts. Make sure that you learn how to communicate in the language of the country where you’re staying so that you can order food and drink and find your way back to where you’re staying at night.
Finally, look at local behaviour norms and make sure that you respect them: don’t drink too much, don’t react with shock at any unfamiliar customs, and be respectful towards local people at all times.
Be Smart With Your Money
Money represents more than a decent amount of cash in your bank account. When you’re travelling, it also represents freedom. If you’re careful with your cash then you’re free to do pretty much anything you want, whether that involves upgrading from a hotel in a sketchy area to somewhere a little more expensive, or being able to fly home if there are any issues there that you want to deal with.
Make sure that you don’t spend too much and that you stick to a strict budget each day so that you have a cushion of money there for you if you need it.
Before you go to a new city, it’s a good idea to do your research and plan ahead. Obviously you’ll want to plan which tourist destinations and landmarks you’d like to visit, but it’s also essential to find out about the different parts of town so that you can find a hotel somewhere safe.
If you’re planning to go travelling and see where the wind takes you, it’s still important to book a hotel for your first couple of nights while you get situated in your new city.
Talk to local people and the receptionist at your hotel about places you should avoid and areas that aren’t particularly safe, and make sure that you research transport networks so you know how to get around.
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Inform People Where You’re Going To Be
It can be tempting to go completely incommunicado when you’re travelling but it’s important to make sure that you check in with your loved ones regularly so that they know what you’re up to and so that they know if you’re in any potential danger.
Regular check-ins and ensuring that you tell people where you are will make sure that any irregularities in your behaviour that might indicate that you’re not okay will get reported to the correct authorities. A regular Skype date with your best friend might just be a lot of fun as well.
Trust Your Instincts
Finally, it’s important to trust your instincts. If your body is screaming at you to get out of wherever you are, trust it. Your instincts may have picked up on something that you haven’t consciously noticed, so if you feel uncertain or unsafe for reasons that you can’t quite explain, go with the way you feel and make a hasty exit.
Make sure that you have a small amount of cash for a taxi fare hidden in your clothing and that you have the number for a taxi company written on the back of your hand or on a scrap of paper in your pocket.
Travelling is one of the most rewarding things you can do but it isn’t always easy and it definitely isn’t always safe. Follow these tips and you’re much more likely to get home safe and sound.