Safety Tips

Travelling solo or with someone else can be a lot of fun, mentally challenging and rewarding. If you are on your own you’ll need to be extra careful so I have created this page of safety tips for a solo and non solo travellers.

Always be aware of your surroundings

  • Stay vigilant
  • Be aware of who is in front and behind you
  • Watch your pockets and bag in crowded areas.  Be aware of bag slashing
  • Donโ€™t walk in unlit areas and be very careful if you go out at night
  • When visiting a restaurant or bar for the first time, make sure you are aware of the layout and sit somewhere where you can easily reach an exit
  • Remember a landmark near your accommodation to help you return safely and quickly
Caution
Be vigilant

Personal Safety

  • Try to dress like a local where possible
  • Donโ€™t put anything of value in your back pockets of jeans/shorts
  • As well as having money in your purse, also tuck an emergency stash into your shoe or underwear
  • Donโ€™t wear a fully zipped up hoodie as the hood could be slid over your head to disorientate you or used to drag you into alley
  • Donโ€™t wear flashy designer clothes or jewellery
  • Avoid scarves as these could be used to choke you
  • Donโ€™t carry designer bags 
  • Donโ€™t flash your camera, phone or money
  • Think about investing in a personal alarm
  • Take care not to drink too much and put yourself in a vulnerable position
Alarm

Be Confident

  • Walk as though you know where you are going (hopefully you do!)
  • If you need to check a map, do so in a shop or a cafe
  • Donโ€™t make yourself a target
  • If you need to ask directions, look for a policeman or ask in a cafe
Hat

Public Transport

  • Bus: Sit in the front half/lower deck as this will make it easier for you to get off if you feel uncomfortable or in case of an emergency
  • Bus or Train Station: Donโ€™t wander around any corners.  Make sure you stay within full view of CCTV and staff
  • Ferries: Stay indoors or in the middle of the boat where the crew and other passengers can see you
  • Taxi: Only use official taxis or the official equivalent
  • Train:  Sit somewhere where it easy to raise the alarm or escape
Public Transport

Technology

  • Check whether there is data available for your destination.  If there isnโ€™t download maps.me, which can be used offline. This can be found on my Handy Travel Apps page
  • Check to see if there is uber or the equivalent and make sure you have the app downloaded
  • Make sure you carry a fully charged power bar.  You donโ€™t want to run out of charge at a crucial moment!
iPhone

Research

  • Find out what you want to see, how to reach it, how much it costs and the opening hours.  This way you wonโ€™t be ripped off. Also try to make sure you are on the penultimate bus (or the one before it!) back to your accommodation. Then if you miss it there are still a couple of buses and you won’t be stranded.
  • Find out about any local customs (such as covering shoulders), making yourself less of a target
Research

Accommodation

  • Read reviews of where you plan to stay.  I had booked a guesthouse and found several reviews saying how the owner was harassing solo female travellers.  I cancelled that booking in a hurry!
  • Try to book a room on the 3rd floor or higher as this is less likely to be broken into
  • Check the windows and door locks work
  • Check there is a spare chair (to be put against the door if necessary)
  • Invest in a rubber door wedge, or a portable door lock or a travel door alarm
  • Always keep the chain/latch on the door
Hotel

Keep in touch

  • Arrange to check in with family or friends so they know you are safe.  This could be a call every couple of days or a text or email. If calling, arrange a set time as things can get confusing due to time differences

Documents

  • Make several copies of all your important documents such as passport, driving license and credit card.  One copy can be kept in your suitcase and another  on you when you are out and about.  Never hand out the original documents in the street
Passport

A friend helped me come up with these safety tips. Thank you very much Pete Hughes!

Don’t forget……be safe and have an awesome time!!