7 Travel Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

Photo via Jon Rawlinson, Wikimedia Commons

To the newbie traveler, solo-travel can be an intimidating thought.  There’s a lot that you can spend countless hours up at night worrying about.  But ultimately you have to take that leap and have a little faith that the goodness of the world will swoop you up before you fall.

Faith, however, only gets you so far.  Travellers (both solo-travellers and those exploring in groups) must not be too naïve, things can happen, even to the most experienced traveler.  Things get stolen or lost, people can try to scam you, you get put in sticky situations, and sometimes its outright dangerous – the important thing is to keep your wits about you, and just use common sense.  Females can often feel more vulnerable – so here are some tips so you can remember to stay safe, but still have heaps of fun!  Please note, these tips are pretty generic- even the boys can take note!

1.  Use common sense and trust your gut!
I think this is pretty self explanatory – don’t do stupid things.  Be smart and keep your wits about you.  Your gut instinct is almost always right, so if something seems off, or you are getting alarm bells going off in your head – trust your instincts, something is probably not as it should be.

2. Let others know where you are/ keep in touch
You may not think it’s a big deal, but letting people know where you are or where you’re going can save you a lot of grief – be it people at home, or people you’re traveling with (but preferably both).  Same goes for keeping in touch with those at home, it will ease their minds knowing what you are up to and that you’re alright.

3. Don’t get black-out drunk/inebriated

I also tend to think this is pretty self explanatory, but then again I am shocked at the number of travellers who go out and have way to much to drink, black out, and bad things end up happening.  Know your limits and stop before you reach a point where your safety might be compromised.

4. Be aware
Be aware of your surroundings.  Look around, take note of anything that may seem ‘off’ and avoid it.  Be focused and alert.

5. Be confident
Even if you are scared beyond words, pretending that you are calm and confident may stave off any unwanted scammers.  As Caz from yTravel Blog says, “walk assertively and with confidence.”

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you need help, ASK.  Don’t be scared.  Most good-hearted people will look out for women who are on their own (and men for that matter).

7. Don’t worry about the dangers

Most importantly, don’t spend too much time actually worrying.  99.9% of the time, nothing bad is going to happen.  Anything bad that can happen to you on the road, can happen in the safety of ‘home’.  Enjoy yourself and don’t let the fear of “what if” stop you from living your life.

Melissa Shearer

About Melissa Shearer

Melissa is our Solo Female Travel Expert. She traded the mundane 9-to-5 for a life of adventure and fun on the road. Whether it's drunkenly falling off bicycles in Sweden or scuba diving with sharks in Western Australia, she's got the desire to do and see it all. When she’s not too busy throwing herself off bridges or making friends from all over the world, she writes about her experiences as a solo female traveler at The Mellyboo Project. She also describes herself as a professional world-traveler, wannabe filmmaker, avid social-networker. We think she's pretty rad!