Traveling is an adventure not meant for everyone, and that’s okay. Traveling alone, however, can be a dangerous undertaking. If you are a traveler and your friends are not,or maybe you just need some “me time”, there are a few things you should keep in mind for staying safe while traveling alone.
Have a system
If you are traveling alone you should have a system with friends back home to make sure you are safe. Make sure you check in with them regularly. When I’m traveling alone I check in with something irregular like an inside joke so they know it is really me.
Make local friends
Try doing a homestay or hostel when traveling alone. This way you have locals or others in the area that are looking out for you. You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere with them but if you give them a rough idea of your plan and something happens, there is someone in the same city as you that can take charge.
Don’t tell people you’re alone
I know this sounds like a contradiction, what I mean is don’t tell random strangers that you are alone. There are records of the people staying in your hostel or the hosts for a homestay house, but you should not go around telling everyone you meet that you are traveling solo. You can never be certain of who you are talking to, predators are less likely to prey on someone in a group.
Let others know your system
On this same train of thought, if you do let it slip that you are alone, do not be afraid to tell people about your security system. Again, having someone looking out for you increases the chances of a criminal being caught for any misconduct.
Watch your drinks
Everyone should do this, always. If you are alone or in a group, always be aware of your drink. This is the oldest rule in the book and this awareness should only increase if you are traveling alone. And of course, don’t drink too much. You need to be able to stay alert and coherent.
Know where you are going so you are not constantly looking down at your phone. If you are distracted by trying to find directions you open yourself up to pickpockets and thieves. Also, people who look lost are vulnerable to other types of criminals. Furthermore, if you know where you are going you can share this with friends and family back home so if something does happen they have an itinerary to share with the authorities.
Choose a good place
Lastly, choose a place where you will be happy being alone. Think about what you want out of the trip and what will make you happy. If you are a social butterfly that lives to meet new people, you might like the city. If you would rather sit in a quiet area and read, maybe the woods or the beach. Whatever it is you enjoy, you will be safer if you feel comfortable.