Solo traveller safety

Teresa is travelling on her own and while she’s a sensible soul, she would like some pointers to help her stay safe.

Q. Teresa
I’m keen to travel on my own and while I understand I need to be a little more careful, are there any safety tips I should consider?

A. Travelling alone is fun, but you’re right, you do need to be a little more careful than when you have a companion. I always find myself checking my passport and wallet about 50 times a day, which really shows me up as a nervous tourist! Here are five simple tips which will help keep you safe.

Project confidence
Looking nervous, unsure or having your nose stuck in a massive map will single you out as being on your own and not sure of your surroundings. Know where you’re going before you set out and walk purposefully. If you’re unsure or get lost, grab a seat at a local café and get your bearings.

Stay alert
Drinking too much or getting caught up in the excitement of the moment can dull your sensibilities. Keep hold of your belongings at all times, be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your drinks unattended.

Do it by daylight
While it’s nice to see a city by night, doing most of your sightseeing in the daytime is safer. If you get up early and stay out all day, you’ll be tired by evening anyway. Or while you’re out and about during the day, scope out places to eat and drink at night that aren’t too far from your accommodation and are easily accessible.  

Forget flirting
Even for the most ardent solo traveller there are times when being alone can lose it’s appeal. Chatting to locals and finding out more about your destination is fine, but avoid flirting with lothario-type characters. Consider a simple gold band on your wedding finger to ward off unwanted attention.

Listen to yourself
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore your gut instinct. Remember that the risk is seldom worth the reward and get yourself back to your accommodation to regroup your thoughts. However, don’t let it put you off the rest of your trip.

Do you have any tips for solo travel you want to share?

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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