Travelling alone gives an awesome experience as it encourages your growth and freedom. It also allows you to make all decisions while you travel for yourself. You will be able to feel your environment better when alone than when your friends are around disrupting your thoughts and serenity. However, as an unaccompanied female traveller, there will always be fear and nervousness within you about how safe and secure you will be during your journey to a new place, around new people and atmosphere. Here, CoDE provides you with a few tips which can help you be well prepared for your solo adventure.
Your first intuition about something is usually right, be it a good or a bad thing. You get that feeling in your guts that tells you to do or not do something. Listen to it! If anyone or anything make you feel uneasy, just say ‘no’ and walk away. You have the right and there is nothing wrong in doing that. Remember, you are on a solo journey, so it is about you and you are your own boss here!
It is a good idea to keep a dummy wallet with you to fool thieves that make them think you are carrying a lot of money valuables, where in reality you are just carrying some cancelled credit cards and a few dollars. Actually, you might have hidden your cash inside an inner pocket of your pants.
Also make sure you carry something with you that makes noise, like a whistle. If someone is bugging you, just blow the whistle real loud so that you attract people’s attention. This way, whatever or whoever is bothering you stops or goes away.
Ask the hostel staff which areas female solo travellers should avoid so that you can stay away from trouble. No one knows this better than the residents of the place themselves. Call up the hostel in advance and probe into what areas to avoid. There are also online communities like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, etc. where you can make inquiries about the safety of a place.
You will be more welcomed at your new locality if you resemble and blend with the locals. You just do not want to be stared at or stand out in a public place, because people will notice you and you could be at risk. You do not want that to happen. For e.g., in a few countries, women need to cover up and cannot expose too much of their skin, otherwise, locals will get offended. Do your prior research or ask your hostel staff on what you should and should not wear to save yourself the embarrassment and prevent security issues.
It is always better to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Hoping that you will not lose any of your belongings, you never know what will happen when you are travelling alone. Keep at least a couple of photocopies of your documents in different bags or store them in your locker in the hostel. Also, take photographs of the originals and upload them onto a secure cloud server. Do the same for your electronics as well, as later you may have to prove ownership and claim insurance if you lose them.
Always have the local emergency contact number handy. Ask the hostel staff if you don’t have them. Apps like TripWhisle can give you emergency contact numbers from different parts of the world.
During your travel, make sure you are in constant contact with your folks and friends back home who might be worried about you. Ensure that you keep them posted on your travel itinerary and give them your contact number in case they want to reach you.
When you are in an unknown place, it is always advisable not to stay out alone too late at night, for obvious reasons. If you really need to go out at night, ask one of your hostel mates to accompany you or go in groups so that you don’t look vulnerable.
From this, we learn that with all the thrills solo travelling brings, it also brings a hard side to it. The bright side is that it helps to sharpen your intuition and know the world around you better. However, never forget that danger is lurking around everywhere, not just at a new place you are travelling to, but even at your very own hometown. It is up to you to take all the necessary precautions to be safe, whether you are alone or with your friends and family!
So, let us know which of the above points you felt as most useful as a woman travelling alone and staying in a hostel by leaving a message on Instagram #CoDEPodHostels or texting us directly via Facebook: m.me/CoDEPodHostels