Yes, I write a blog, but I actually have a regular job, as well. I bet you can guess what I do…I work at a travel consulting business. It’s amazing to help people plan their next excursion. I think one of the many questions for anyone who isn’t accustomed to traveling outside the country, is it safe? It doesn’t matter what country it is, the question is always about safety, especially when you travel solo. The news is one reason why people ask this question; terrorist attacks, abductions, human trafficking, war, and so much more can scare any novice traveler. Mexico can be one of the most beautiful places to travel, there’s so much culture and the people are some of the most humble and nicest people, but the media portrays Mexico as a place filled with criminals. This is why I will always be an advocate for more travel, you will never know the truth until you see it for yourself. There are things you should and should not do when you are in an unfamiliar place alone, never forget that commonsense is always key. If you are a female traveler, we would love it if the world was more equal, but we know we do often have the biggest target on our backs. Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Research where you are going, always plan ahead: Not knowing your surroundings before you travel is a big no no. Knowing where you are won’t interfere with your fun, it can actually be helpful. Not only is it safer, but you can find another place to visit. For example, while I was in Amsterdam, I took note of the street signs to make sure I knew where I was going and how to get back to my loft. While my friend stayed and rested in our apartment, I wanted to explore the city alone. Being familiar with surroundings made me feel more confident and even safer.
- No Everyone is a Friend: Trust should be given out like acetaminophen should be ingested, sparingly. Although speaking to new people can be refreshing, smartphones can give you every answer. You no longer have to ask someone, which way is the museum? Now you can say, “Hey Siri, where is the nearest museum?”
- Emergency Kit: It’s always smart to have an emergency kit, just in case. This kit would have any documents you may need to identify yourself and any cash you would only use for an emergency. No one wants to think of any negative things that may happen on their trip, but it’s always nice to be prepared.
- Keep Your Family and Friends Informed: Before you get to your destination, let your family know where you will be staying. Again, being prepared for the worst always helps. If something happens in the city you are traveling in, your family will be able to know where you may be staying and can contact this location if they have any concerns about your safety. Another great source we have is social media, when something catastrophic happens you can actually check-in on social media. So many people rarely checked their phones, but social media platforms are their main source of contact.
- Stay Safe in Your Accommodations: Hotels are a bit easier to stay safe in, there are so many people and there is a guest desk to actually observe people walking in and out. However, an AirBnb can be a bit trickier, especially when you’re alone. My tip is to always reserve the WHOLE HOUSE. Yes, booking a room is a bit more inexpensive, but it may be safer to have the house to yourself. Book a house that is big enough for only you, don’t overcompensate, you can’t monitor a huge 5 bedroom home alone. Whenever you leave your AirBnb, make sure to lock the door or follow any security system rules left by your host; the same goes for when you are inside the house.
I hope these tips are helpful for your next solo trip, but these tips can also be used when you are traveling with another person. Again, always use commonsense, trust your intuition. If you are going out to drink, don’t drink too much and don’t leave your drink unattended. Never go anywhere alone with someone you don’t know.