Thursday, 25 April 2019

5 SAFETY RULES FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS*

Image Credit: Unsplash

Travelling solo is completely different to travelling with friends or family. When you are on your own, you don’t need to make compromises about how you spend your time, where you go or when. You can completely set yourself free and explore the world on your terms. But whether you are planning an extended stay in Europe or a one-off trip to a particular resort, there are a few things you ought to keep in mind.

Get Insurance

Having the right insurance should always be the first thing you do after booking a trip and it is just as important as a solo traveller. All travel comes with some risk from cancelled flights to full hotels. Having insurance means that you can recoup some of your costs should something go wrong and have someone at the other end of the phone dedicated to sorting things out. You should also think about the kind of health insurance you might need. If you are travelling to Europe, you should definitely consider getting an EHIC card which allows you access to medical services while you are abroad. You can click this link for help to apply for your EHIC card. Having insurance doesn’t prevent accidents but it does make finding a solution much easier. Don’t underestimate the power of insurance! *This is a partnership post.

Give Someone Trusted Your Itinerary

Travelling alone is truly freeing as you can choose exactly what you are going. However, it is still a good idea to let someone know what you are planning to do and where you will be each day. This is mostly about peace of mind but should something go wrong it will also mean that your loved one knows where to look first. If you are staying in a hotel or hostel for a longer period of time, you might like to tell the concierge about your plans. This is a good idea if you want to get some advice from a local too! Asking the concierge for advice about the best time to see particular sights is a good way to avoid big crowds but it is also a chance to get more personal insight into the area.

Having an itinerary doesn't mean that you can’t change your mind. However, if you do decide to do something else, it is a good idea to let your trusted person know so they can update your travel plans at their end too. Telling someone where you are doesn’t make you any less cool and won’t dent your identity as a free spirit, it’s just about being safe.

Check in Regularly With Friends and Family

As well as letting your family know where you are, you should also check in regularly. To be fair, you will probably want to chat to someone with a familiar voice anyway, if only to show off all the amazing things you have seen! Even something as simple as sending a text each morning just to say you’re okay will be really appreciated by your family. Facetiming is a nice way to see the ones you love while you are away and is a bit more personal. However, do think carefully about where you call from. Looking at your phone and concentrating on talking can leave you vulnerable in crowded spaces. It’s usually best to talk while you are in your room or you are sat somewhere like a cafe or restaurant.

Another nice way to keep everyone up to date with your travels and activity is through blogging. Setting up a travel blog is surprisingly easy and is a lovely way to document your time abroad and reflect on what you are learning. A travel blog doesn’t have to be anything big and you might decide to make it available to friends only but this digital diary keeping is a great habit to get into as it can clarify the experiences you gain.

Choose Where You Stay Carefully

Choosing where to stay is a crucial decision for any holiday. But when you are travelling alone, you might like to put a little more emphasis on your own safety. While you might be happy to share a hosted Airbnb with a friend, you might feel more cautious. Being cautious about where you stay is totally healthy and natural. If you haven’t travelled alone before, you might like to consider a single room in either a hostel or hotel in the middle of town. This will be more expensive but you will feel safer. When you are more used to travelling alone, you might like to branch out a little more but please, remain healthily cautious about who you trust and where you stay.

When you are travelling alone, you might find yourself craving the company of others. If this sounds about right, a hostel could be just the place for you. Lots of solo travellers tend to congregate in hostels and if there is a social lounge or bar, it’s quite easy to make a new group of friends. Though larger hostels might feel safer, they can also be quite impersonal so going for a smaller place will give you a chance to recognise more people and make new friends.

Stay Aware

Keep your money, passport and other valuables in separate places and if your room comes with a safe make sure you utilize it so that you aren’t carrying everything all the time. A money belt that you can wear under your clothes is quite useful but make sure you split your money up to reduce any risk. Only go out with the money you need and keep it in smaller parcels to avoid flashing your cash.

When you’re on holiday, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and forget about keeping an eye on your stuff. Taking photos and videos is a brilliant way to capture a moment but it may also be the opportunity a pickpocket is looking for! Be aware of who is around you and just keep an eye on your bags.







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