As a globe trotting woman, you’re probably aware that there are special safety considerations to take when you’re traveling solo. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling alone or with someone else, you’ll need to take special measures in regards to your safety before you hop on that next plane.
Have the Basics Planned–and Tell Someone
You don’t have to go all type A on your trip and plan every minute of every day. It’s a good idea, however, to know where you’re sleeping and a general idea of when you’ll be there. Try to have your hotels planned in advance and leave that itinerary with a friend or family member back home and keep a copy of it in your hotel room. It’s best not to keep the copy on your person; if you lose it or someone steals your bag, they’ll know exactly where you’ll be staying–alone.
Talk to People
Make an impression on the people you’ll be seeing a lot, especially your hotel staff. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the hotel staff and be friendly. Not only will having the staff know who you are work in your favor, but you’ll also know the ins and outs of the city you’re in. Don’t spend all your time asking the places you should go; you also need to ask about the places you should avoid. This can save you from having unnerving run ins with shady locals or even warding off an unpleasant bout of food poisoning.
Have Travel Health Insurance
This is especially important if you’re traveling for longer than a week or so. Health care is notoriously better in other countries, but usually only for residents. If you’re a foreigner, chances are you’ll have to pay out of pocket for every penny and that can be hazardous if you’ve been in a particularly nasty accident. Some hospitals won’t even treat you if you don’t pay a certain portion up front, and if you have to be medically transported back home, you’re looking at potentially tens of thousands of dollars needed up front. If you’re on a regular medicine for simple things like asthma or menopause, it’s a good idea to have insurance in case you lose your medications.
Protect Your Identity
When you check into your hotel, don’t be afraid to check in as a “Mrs” even if you’re not married. Wearing a cheap wedding ring can also help ward off any unwanted attention; in some cultures, a wedding ring signifies you’re off limits and most men will leave you alone. Ask the desk staff at your hotel to avoid saying your room number aloud, and leave the TV on in your hotel room to make it hard to guess whether you’re in the room or not.
Traveling around the world can give you unique experiences that can’t be replicated at home. You’ll meet new people, try new foods, and learn about new cultures all while expanding your horizons. Stay safe so you can continue these experiences for years to come.