words Alexa Wang
Traveling alone can be an attractive endeavour. You get to truly do what you want to do, without compromising on anything. The girls would want to drink day and night when you might fancy a break to browse a museum, the family will need to keep the kids occupied while you want to read a book in café, even a honeymoon comes with the expectation that every activity is made for two.
Sometimes you need some time to yourself. Travelling allows a person to find themself, truly recharge, and gain some culture. Sometimes that’s just not something that can be done unless you’re alone.
However, if you’re travelling alone, you could make for an easy target. From petty crime to bigger problems, you won’t feel too relaxed if someone decides they are going to ruin a tourists’ trip. Read on for details on how to stay safe while you are abroad.
Do your research
Before you book your flight, look into the climate of where you are going – and we don’t mean what the weather will be like. Is there any war or a lot of civil unrest? Check the Foreign Office, US Bureau of Consular Affairs, or equivalent websites in your country for information on the mindset of a particular country. A general reputation should dissuade you from some countries. For instance, maybe don’t enter Russia if you have a journalism degree right now.
Every country is going to have some form of crime, but make sure to research what is most rife to avoid. For example, Paris has a bad pickpocketing situation, as do a lot of European cities. Are there gangs or drugs? Trafficking? Being aware is the first step in protecting yourself against it.
Invest in travel insurance
Travel insurance is a good investment if you are going abroad. Your medical expenses, lost luggage, personal liability, and, most importantly for now, cancellation of your trip is all covered. With travel insures like Staysure for example, you can get up to 104 days of worldwide coverage should anything happen on your single trip, plus you could also be paying less than £5 on coverage as did 74% of their customers. With the current climate, the status of your holiday is more likely than ever to be taken out of your hands.
Keep your documents safe
A passport is the most important thing to a traveller who is abroad. It proves who you are and that you have permission to re-enter your country, allowing for safe passage home and there is a myriad of reasons as to why it would go missing. Drug smugglers and human traffickers rely on “clean” passports to go about their business, making that photo that you hate a valuable piece of paper.
Make sure that any accommodation you are staying at houses a reliable safe. If your room doesn’t have one, the front desk should. Carry a photocopy of your passport ID page and scan everything onto an email storage or Dropbox account. And it sounds obvious, but make sure your door locks.
Say you’ve got yourself into a situation where you arrive and you see the safe doesn’t work, and the door doesn’t lock or any number of other things that make you feel uncomfortable, once you’ve demanded another room, you might feel more comfortable keeping your documents on your person.
Leave the backpack in the hotel, since it will make you look like a tourist more than you already do, and if you’re in a cooler climate, take a jacket that has a lot of pockets, or some inside pockets, so you can feel your passport sitting in a place that would be hard to pickpocket.