The people who have never tried Solo Traveling before are probably shit scared of the concept. Personal safety is one of the reasons you have not given solo traveling a try. Well anything can go wrong anywhere. You can get mugged in your own backyard or in Colombia. But You can take certain precautions to avoid your solo trip turning into a movie plot of ‘Taken‘. It is all about being aware of your surroundings and following some basic safety tips. If you love traveling, then you better not stay at home with a pepper spray in your hand.
Be in touch with Family:
Always keep in touch with your family. Let them know where you are going. If you are staying in a local home-stay let your host know when you will be back. Stick to a communication schedule. If you are hitching a ride, take a pic of the number plate and send it to your family. Get a local SIM and remain connected to your world.
Study up on your destination. Do not follow what the media projects about a place. Better read blog articles of travelers who have been to these places. They can give you a better first-hand information about the place than the stupid media who keep showing you bullshit just for the sake of TRP. Learn about the local culture so that you won’t piss off the locals.
You are bound to be nervous on your first Solo Trip. But showing the nervousness outside can make you look like an easy target. Live and act like a local. Do not show off that shiny wrist watch or your favorite necklace and project yourself as a dumb tourist. Just blend in and don’t appear like you are traveling alone.
Watch your belongings:
Keep a lookout for snatchers and pickpockets. Do not leave your backpacks unattended. Do not let it lie around loose. Keep your hand around one of the straps. Lock up your bags when travelling. Ensure that your hostel/hotel have secure lockers. Keep your cash in the front pockets of your pants. And don’t keep all your cash at one place. Keep some in the backpack or side-bag. Keep some back at the hotel for emergencies.
One of the best part of traveling is the local food. But it is advisable not to eat a lot of street food. That does not mean you have to splurge all your money on high end restaurants. The science of street food is that, the more you eat the more your body gets adapted to it. But when you are travelling you are not likely to spend enough time to get adapted. So google out the popular local food joints. They maybe a bit crowded but it is safer. Also keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. All trouble starts with alcohol. Travel along with your regular medication.
Carry your ‘weapons’:
Always keep your ‘weapons’ handy. The best weapon is your common sense. Try to avoid any tricky situations in the first place. Pepper sprays, Hiking sticks, Selfie sticks, a whistle, a pen etc can come in handy.
Bring out your Ninja side when needed:
If you get cornered then it is better to throw your possessions away from you and run. If you are aggressively approached by a man then go for the ‘quick and strong kick to the groin’ move and disappear. Women usually won’t resort to physical violence. They will try the seductive way and spike your drink which you can easily avoid. If you are being followed, then don’t move into an isolated alleyway, do not stop walking. Get into a more crowded place or the first restaurant you come across.
Connect with everyone but Don’t trust everyone:
Meeting new people is one the best parts of Solo Trip. But at the same time it makes you more vulnerable. Scammers are the ones who may be over-friendly. It is OK to talk but not to trust them with your personal info or valuables. It is OK to be open minded but keep your guard up to ensure your own personal safety. Always trust yourself. If your internal alarms are going off, then better trust them.