HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFE WHEN YOU TRAVEL SOLO
One of the reasons why I started Mister Weekender was to share my adventures and inspire people to live an outdoors lifestyle. However, one of the most important reasons why I started this travel blog was to readers out when they need tips and advice on all things travel. When I recently posted a photo onto Instagram, I was asked if I had any tips for keeping valuables safe when solo at a beach. And it made me think, there are so many blogs about how rewarding and amazing travelling solo is but no one really gets down to the nitty gritty about traveling on your own. So here are a few tips on how you can stay safe when you travel solo.
1. Safety first. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Carry the right identification in more than one place, and keep to open and public places, especially at night. Don’t look around nervously or looking like you’re lost - exude confidence and always walk purposefully.
2. Be mindful at the beach. When you go to the beach solo, it brings up a whole host of problems for the safety of your belongings. Pack lightly and take a waterproof pouch with you so you can put your phone, keys, wallet or money in it when you go for a swim. Or if you have a safe in you hotel room, leave all of your personals in there and only take a book or a magazine to the beach, along with a hat, sunscreen and a towel, of course.
3. Be proactive about public transport, especially at night. Before you leave, write down notes of all of your options including maps with directions. Know where you’re transport is leaving from, how long it will take to get to your destination and your expected time of arrival. If you can, have Google Maps open on your phone so GPS can track your location.
4. You don't need to talk to everyone. If you don’t feel like talking to anyone or be bothered by anyone, put headphones on – even if they’re playing music or not. I do this as soon as I get onto a plane, that or I use my earplugs for noise (and conversation) cancelling.
5. Pack smarter not harder. You can achieve this by packing less and buying what you need as you go; there is nothing worse than lugging a heavy suitcase all over the world if you don’t need everything in your suitcase.
6. You will spend a lot of time eating out solo, so rock it! Take a book if you feel like everyone is watching you, which they aren’t. Soon enough you’ll have the confidence to eat alone without needing the support of a book or phone. Hurrah.
7. If you’re feeling like meeting some likeminded people, go on a group tour. Or stay in a hostel. Or if you feel like some down time, take your laptop, a good book or a journal.
8. When you travel solo, rock to your own beat. So take your time, stop when you want and simply watch the world around you. People watching is one of the funnest things (not to mention a great way to pass time) to do when you travel solo.
9. Be mindful of your belongings. Keep your camera safely in a bag or if it's hanging off your shoulder, keep a hand holding onto it at all times. Not sure how to capture your travel moments? Read these tips here!
10. Order a special meal on flights because you get fed first. Hurrah! I always choose the gluten free option as it means I don’t feel bloated and grumpy when I jump off the plane.
11. Avoid the beach at night. Beaches are often not well lit, so avoid going on walks at night – even with a group of friends you meet on your travels. It’s best to stick to well lit areas at night where there are lots of people.
12. Get comfortable with being firm. Don’t let people influence you or pressure you to do something or go somewhere you don’t want to go. Trust your instincts!
13. If you’re feeling homesick, you can always call home. Use Skype, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Viber so you can catch up with your family regularly.