Travelling solo is an extraordinary experience, with no restrictions of any sort. Such a vacation epitomises, what in Hindi is called “being apne man ke malik”. There is an incredible sense of freedom and possibility which solo travel offers, both for men and women.
Planning a vacation in a group, be it with family, or friends is commonly heard of. However, slowly, the trend of travelling alone, be it men or women, is catching up. The reasons for travelling alone can be different for different types of people. In this fast paced, heavily connected world, for a lot of people, travelling alone becomes a form of detox, a detour to spend some quality time with oneself. Many travelers have also revealed that travelling alone allows them to partake in the pristine beauty of their destination, unfiltered by the prejudices of a travelling companion.
Undoubtedly, solo travel can prove to be an exhilarating experience. However, at the same time, since you won’t have the support of a travel companion or group, it’s imperative that you’re well prepared and equipped to keep yourself safe.
Some important safety tips, which should be kept in mind while travelling alone are:
1) Ensure safety at your hotel: Book your room in advance. Also, preferably opt for a room near the elevator. Skip filling Mrs/Miss/Mr when filling the registration form. In case the lock is unreliable, wedge a rubber door stop under the door.
2) Arrive at your destination while there’s still light. This will assist you in finding a place to stay and help you get your bearings clarified before dark.
3) Dress appropriately, keeping in mind the customs and culture of the place you’re visiting.
4) Scan all your documents and send them to yourself at an e-mail address you can access anywhere. Also, keep copies of all important travel documents in your suitcase.
5) Get a travel health insurance and if you have one, ensure that is updated. The insurance should cover all medical expenses for illness or injury, loss or theft of valuables, damage to baggage, and flight cancellations.
6) Avoid carrying valuables such as expensive-looking cameras, jewellery, and that may mark you as a wealthy tourist and attract the attention of people.
7) Keep your luggage locked at all times and ensure that you carry a minimum of two sets of keys when travelling.
8) Study a street map before going out. Avoid opening a map in a public as it would give the impression that you’re vulnerable. Keep your GPRS switched on at all times. If you get lost, try to get your bearings and ask for directions from a trustworthy person, such as a police officer or a shopkeeper instead of strangers.
9) Consider carrying a spare mobile phone or buying a local one so that you have an emergency number. This will come in handy, in case you experience a mechanical breakdown or find yourself in danger.
10) Stay alert and aware of your surroundings when travelling alone. It is best to minimize alcohol and drugs consumption in new surroundings.
Enjoy to the fullest and travel safe, when travelling alone!