DEAR DAD: PLEASE DON’T WORRY (A TREATISE ON SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL)
Here’s an excerpt:
And now for the practical part of this post…
Tips for Safe Solo Travel
None of these tips are earth-shattering. In fact, I would call most of them common sense. But these 5 little bits of advice go a long way towards keeping me safe when I’m traveling alone. And note that these are just tips for safe “solo travel” — meaning they apply to BOTH genders!
- Tell someone where you are going. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or not — if you’re traveling alone, SOMEone back home should know of your plans. Check in often, and let them know about any changes you make, or if there might be a stretch of time when you might be off-grid and unable to be reached. With e-mail, Skype, and free texting apps like WhatsApp, staying in touch while traveling today is ridiculously easy.
- Do your research on neighborhoods/attractions/scams to avoid. All it takes is a simple Google search on the destination you’re headed to to learn about the things to avoid. Whether it’s a tea scam in China or a neighborhood to avoid in Chicago, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Not only will you develop those street smarts I mentioned earlier, but you’ll also be exponentially more aware when you’re out and about — and being aware means being safer.
- Don’t carry around a lot of valuables. It makes sense, right? If you’ve got a ton of fancy camera equipment, 2 iPads, a gold watch, and a fat wallet sticking out of your back pocket, you will automatically be a bigger target for pickpockets and other nefarious characters who populate most large cities around the world.
- Use the buddy system. There’s a reason you learned about it in elementary school — there IS usually safety in numbers. This is especially recommended at night and/or away from very public places.
- Don’t be an idiot. If it’s not something you would do at home, why would you do it while traveling? In the case of Sierra, there are some people questioning whether her time in Turkey was really as innocent as her family is making it out to be. Whatever the truth is doesn’t really matter, though — murder is still murder and no one really “deserves” it. But if you’re considering doing something illegal while traveling? You might want to consider the possible consequences first.
- Listen to your gut. Lastly, your own instincts are very often your best line of defense. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. If your gut is telling you to remove yourself from a situation, then LISTEN.