Top 9 safety tips for solo travellers
By Vidhya Raghavan
I have been travelling solo for more than 10 years now. I have now lived and worked in 4 different countries and travelled across 9 different countries. I think it takes a different kind of guts and courage to go travelling solo as a female. You are pushed to develop a whole set of amazing life-skills: becoming highly resourceful, adaptability, accommodation to different cultures, emotional resilience, handling your own company, problem solving, getting along with people, minimalism – and a lot more.
However, the most important thing for anyone, especially a solo woman traveller would have to be – practising high levels of safety. In my own experience, these are some of the tips that will help you with security:
- Before taking a taxi, take a pic of the number plate and driver together and message it to someone, if it’s not Uber.
- If you are going on a long hike, keep someone informed about where you are going and what time you are expected back.
- If someone hassles you and you feel threatened, switch on the video on your phone and start recording.
- Have a back up cheap phone for local sim cards. Keep the expensive one in your hotel locker – especially, if you expect to receive SMS from the bank.
- SAMBA now has a gadget that does not need an SMS/SIM card requirement. You just press the button and it gives you the security number to access your account.
- Try to withdraw money during weekdays from a bank’s ATM. If the ATM swallows it then you have a chance to get it back then and there. Also, public ATM’s are being hacked for passwords these days, whereas bank ATM’s are manned by security.
- I always pack a wedge to keep the door firmly shut, in case the locks are not reliable.
- Keep a wallet with minimal cash to give it away if you are confronted with robbery. Distribute your money in different parts – so you don’t lose all in the one go.
- When you are out in public, make sure you order the drinks yourself and keep an eye on the drink.
Overall, I’ve mostly had positive and supportive experiences during solo travel. It’s just handy to be aware of what can go wrong and be prepared for it.
Have fun and enjoy travelling.