Am I being watched? Am I being followed? Is someone trying to photograph me? Is this place safe to venture out in the night? This and many such thoughts keep clogging your mind if you are a solo woman traveler. Not very pleasant isn’t it? The world has ceased to be a safe place to travel for women and such inhibitions can’t be wiped out, though they can be controlled by proper travel and itinerary planning. Here are a few tips that will help you.
Have a slightly bold approach if you have decided to tread alone. Avoid constantly thinking of things that can possibly go wrong as this can be a serious mood dampener when you are on your toes. Being aware is one thing, but being paranoid can sometimes invite danger. Choose a destination carefully. If you are an amateur at this, go for safer and frequently travelled places. Don’t explore too much and have your itinerary planned in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises. If you choose a popular destination, ample amount of information will be available on the Internet. Browse through travel blogs as well and avail of the Youth Hostel facilities. They are women-friendly, safe and very often, you end up meeting like-minded travelers. You could seek company for a while that might change the travel mood and help fight loneliness, if at all. Plan transits that avoid night times and have a local contact, if possible. It’s tougher when you are on your own and you will feel reassured if you know someone from a land that is entirely foreign to you.
Staying in touch with folks and friends back home is crucial for their peace of mind. Get a local sim card on arrival and have a GSM phone on you as they work anywhere in the world. There are good operators who offer you schemes for affordable international calls as this becomes a necessity not just for reasons of security but also to fight loneliness and boredom whilst you are travelling. If not a call, international texting too can cheer you up at times. Besides being in constant touch, it is also important for you to be aware, at all times. Keep your eyes and ears open not just for a culture and traditions that are completely new and interesting to you, but also for anything that might seem weird. Do not look too lost with a huge map in your hand as you could become an easy target. Be intuitive and trust your notions of right and wrong. The thumb rule is, if it doesn’t fit, don’t do it! However, don’t let your imagination run wild too.
It is essential that somebody is aware of your complete itinerary and keep someone updated at all times of your travel plans. Social networking sites have made this easily possible these days. You just feel connected and just a call away, in times of need. If you know your travel destination well, you can carry yourself with much better confidence. Talk to people as a travel friendly destination will be open to queries and inquisitiveness about their culture. People won’t shy away from telling you about their customs and sometimes, there is even excitement around filming them. Be careful though and do not indulge in anything without prior permission. If you happen to know the language, it will simplify your life. Do not go to a country that is so alien to you on your very first trip that you will never set your foot out again. As I mentioned earlier, try simpler destinations if you are an amateur. If you are a pro at this, you could spice it up with that extra tinge of adventure of your own!