Safety tips for single travellers

by Jill Dixon

Travelling solo can be a revelation. If you have previously relied on friends or a partner to accompany you on your adventures abroad then heading for the horizon alone can be a refreshing change of pace. No discussion about where to visit, what to see, where to eat - you are in charge of your destiny. However, with this freedom comes responsibility - when you travel alone you must be your own best friend. This means being vigilant and keeping an eye on your belongings whilst still enjoying your holiday to the maximum.

A few simple rules will keep you safe and secure:

  •  Attire - choose your clothing carefully. If you haven’t packed something suitable, buy something that is. Regardless of climate there are many places where t-shirts and shorts are NOT to be worn in the street. Especially for women travelling on their own, it is crucial to be sensitive to what is considered appropriate clothing, as you need to avoid unwanted negative attention

  • Visibility - try to blend with the local culture. If you can’t pass for a local aim to at least look like a seasoned ex-pat

  • Heads up - remember that daylight doesn’t always equal safety, so if you end up in an area with very few people around, walk with purpose. If you choose to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, make sure to organise a reliable taxi service to take you back to your hotel

  • Valuables - wearing a money belt will keep your passport and other essentials safe, if you enjoy spending time on the beach, a swim wallet can also be a good investment. Don’t be tempted to hide your room key in your shoe, as it could easily be stolen, and chasing after a thief in your swimsuit is to be avoided at all costs

  • Big spender – be very aware of using large amounts of cash in public, if in doubt get change at the hotel or local money exchange. Only use your credit cards in reputable establishments.

  • Expert navigator - when going out sightseeing, try to plan your route in advance. Wandering the streets with a map in your hand could make you an easy target for pickpockets.

  • Communication - though you may be completely immersed in your holiday and haven’t a care in the world, be sure to check in with friends and family via email or text once every few days

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