Don’t put off your travel dreams because you don’t have anybody to travel with. Now more than ever it’s totally possible to travel by yourself safely and have a great time. When you’re solo you’re in control. You can do exactly what YOU want to do.. when YOU want to do it. You don’t have to wait for someone or compromise on something that none of you actually want to do. Some things are harder: You don’t have a dining buddy, or a line holder. And solo travel is more expensive because you’re not splitting the costs. But solo travel can be really rewarding.
1 – Research
Safe parts of the city.. no go zones. If you’re going to downtown LA you should know to avoid Skid Row.
2 – Know how to get to your hotel
Have a plan.. and stick to it. Bus might be the cheapest..but maybe not the safest. Lots of scam artists hang around airports and train stations. You always want to look like you know where you are going. And never look lost.
3 – Plan to arrive during daytime
And long distance travel like trains in the day too. Things are just easier and safer during general working hours. You don’t want to be wandering around at midnight looking for your hotel.. when everything is closed including public transit. I like to get to hotels right at the check in time. Don’t drag your luggage around the city. Leave it at the hotel if you’re early.
4 – Know how to get to your destinations
Don’t stand on street corners with large unfolded maps.. that’s just asking for trouble. If you do need to consult a map for a long time.. hop in a store or cafe. Less eyes on you.
5 – PRINT maps and names of destinations
Particularly your hotel.. and particularly in the local language. If you really get stuck you can find a taxi and show them where you want to go. Many hotels have cards with the hotels info in the local language.. or “take me to” cards.
6 – Taxis:
Pickup taxis at legit places. Airport taxi rank.. in front of a major hotel. Have the hotel staff tell the taxi driver where you are going.
7 – Consider car service:
Hire a car and driver for the day to take you around.
8 – International data
9 – Appropriate luggage
10 – Keep your belongings in sight
11 – Consider B&Bs
12 – Chat with the hotel Concierge
13 – Take group walking tours
14 – Eating
15 – At night
16 – Ask for help
17 – Photos
18 – Be a skeptic of people that are too helpful
19 – Share your itinerary with others
20 – Drinking
21- For women: Safety and harassment
When chatting with new friends probably best that you don’t share too loudly that you are traveling alone. You can totally be traveling with your husband, boyfriend, family, etc. You can say “I’m meeting my parents here any minute now.. BYE!”
Don’t share what hotel you’re staying in.
Take a look at what the locals wear and try to dress similary to avoid calling attention to yourself
If you think you’re being followed.. go in to a store, restaurant, hotel, police station. Chat up the front desk people at the hotel.. wait until they leave. Or ask for them to call a taxi.
If a situation is getting sketchy.. leave before it IS sketchy. Learn to say “NO” in the local language and be willing to be forceful with it
Beware of what country you are going to. Not every place is friendly to women. It’s not right.. but it’s a fact.
If it makes you feel better carry some sort of self defense mechanism like pepper spray.. just make sure it’s legal where you are going and on your mode of transport.