When I was on the public boat in Bangkok I struck up a conversation with another traveller. We exchanged pleasantries, joked about the haphazard method of transportation we were on, talked about things we had seen in the city and then he asked me, “Are you here alone?” Immediately my red flags went up and I said my rehearsed line, “No, my husband is here on business and I’m tagging along to do some sightseeing.”
I hate lying and I love to declare my passion for solo travel loud and proud, but I also know that I don’t owe this stranger any information that can be used to hurt me or put myself in an unsafe position.
Here are three things I always do when I solo travel to keep myself safe:
1. Have someone back home who has your itinerary – where you will be staying, where you are going, any transportation details. Check in with this person at least daily. For me, this is my husband but this can be a parent or a friend. Because you have someone who knows where you should be and doing if anything happens to you they will know.
2. Don’t tell people you are traveling alone – use your good judgement. Most people don’t mean any harm when asking this but it’s none of a stranger’s business. I have often said that my husband is here traveling for business and I’m tagging along to go sightseeing. You can also say you are on your way to meet up with friends or family. Really anything that gives the impression that someone would immediately realize if you went missing.
3. Get sleep, stay sober – you are able to make better judgements when your brain is working at it’s best, so be sure to take care of yourself. I get it, you are on vacation and enjoying yourself, you are running around all day taking in the sights. But you need to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
I don’t want any of this to scare you off of solo travel! I’ve been all around the world with no issues but these three things will not only make your trip safer but you will feel safer.