Top 10 safety tips for solo travellers

5 minute read

Whether or not you travel with a Solos group, there are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind when holidaying in a foreign country without the comfort blanket of your friends, family or partner. Here are our top safety tips for travelling alone to take with you on your next solo adventure.

1. Do your research

Before you travel, do some research on the country you’re visiting to learn some more about the culture, traditions and customs, and whether you should be adhering to a particular dress code or schedule while you’re there.

You might find, for example, that it’s offensive to show your shoulders when exploring the bustling cities of Egypt, or that taking a taxi in Tel Aviv at night-time is safer than using public transport.

Fortunately, our handy blog is a great place to discover what you can expect from the countries in our portfolio, and the top things to do while you’re there. Trust us: you’ll instantly feel safer and much more at ease with travelling alone when you familiarise yourself with the destination you’ll be calling home for the duration of your trip.

2. Get travel insurance

This may seem like one of the more obvious tips for travelling alone, but it’s surprising how many people forget to take out travel insurance when holidaying somewhere that’s considered ‘safe’ or closer to home.

Wherever you’re going, be sure to take out travel insurance (and bring your documentation with you) to get yourself out of a number of potential tricky situations. You’ll be covered for anything from theft to a missed flight and lost luggage, adding an extra layer of reassurance to your solo holiday that’ll make your trip far more relaxing from the get-go.

3. Leave expensive possessions at home

In many countries, theft isn’t a severe problem unless you’re flaunting flash watches, diamond rings and large wads of cash.

The easiest way to keep your valuable possessions safe is to leave them behind. However, if you really must take them with you, store them in a safe deposit box in your hotel room, or keep it tucked away from sight. Remember: be wary of pickpockets that might take advantage of solo tourists.

4. Learn some basic phrases

Whether you want to confidently chat with the locals, make friends abroad or find the nearest toilet with zero hassle, keeping a few useful phrases up your sleeve is a great way of making the most out of your solo holiday.

Although many people speak English, there are still plenty of places where you can find yourself in a situation where nobody can understand you – and this can be scary, especially when travelling alone. In this situation, learning a few basic phrases such as ‘I need help’, ‘Where is…’ and ‘I am lost’ can really get you a long way.

5. Stay in public places

Travelling alone is definitely safest when you’re surrounded by lots of people in busy, public areas.

Of course, this isn’t always possible in off-the-beaten track places like Armenia, which is why we recommend travelling with a Solos group when heading to more undiscovered destinations.

Wherever you go, it’s a good idea to avoid wandering around alone at night and to keep your wits about you at all times.

6. Try to blend in

A sure-fire safety tip for travelling along is to try to blend into the background. This is especially important if you’re travelling somewhere with a noticeably different culture to your own, such as India.

When walking around towns and cities, dress to match the people around you; if no-one’s wearing shorts and a crop top, there’s a good chance it’s not seen as appropriate for the area you’re in. Beaches are usually an exception, but it’s still worth doing your research to find out what’s acceptable and what’s not.

7. Always carry a map with you

Many people consider a paper map to be old school, but it can still get you out of some tricky situations!

If nothing else, a map is a great back-up for if your phone runs out of battery – or gets lost altogether – so be sure to pack one wherever you go. Even if you’re having trouble finding your place on it, there will always be someone who can help.

8. Stay connected

A solo traveller’s best friend is their phone. Not only will it help you stay connected with friends and family back home, but it’ll also act as your translator, map, restaurant guide, bank – and more!

A great way of staying safe is to keep someone back home updated with your movements, where you’re staying and your itinerary for your trip, whether this be through daily emails, texts, social media updates or Skype chats.

9. Don’t leave your common sense at home

When travelling alone, a little common sense goes a long way.

Don’t get ridiculously drunk if there’s no-one you trust to look after you, don’t take risks that you wouldn’t take at home, and remember to trust your gut at all times. If something doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t.

Sometimes it’s also worth spending a little extra money to put your safety first. Whether that means taking a taxi back to your hotel at night instead of walking, or investing a little more cash into a tour guide you trust, you’ll feel at ease knowing you’re in safe hands.

10. Travel with a Solos group!

Of course, the best and safest way to travel solo is to join a Solos holiday.

You’ll travel with a sociable group of like-minded people from all different walks of life, who are all looking for the same thing: to have fun, make friends and create long-lasting memories.

You’ll also be joined by one of our friendly, expert Solos Tour Leaders, whose job it is to make sure everyone’s safe and having the best time. They’re also there to answer any questions you might have, and to clear up any problems should they arise.

The best part of our solo holidays is that they also give you plenty of alone time too. Dip in and out of activities as you please, or spend one day with the group and one day on your own: the choice is yours!

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