As much as I hate it, some places of the world can be more dangerous than others when you’re traveling on your on – for both men and women. Usually common sense works out, but there are also a couple of extra things you can do to feel extra safe (but be cautious! don’t let a couple of tips let you get your guard down!). So here are they: my safety tips for the solo (female) traveler!
1. Don’t get too drunk, just don’t.
That applies to all solo travelers! Although I like to order a glass of wine at dinner sometimes, that’s as far as I go. Getting wasted just opens up for lots of problems.
2. Go local – at least clotheswise..
.. because if you don’t stand out much people are less likely to notice (and potentially bother) you. In theory women should be able to dress however they like wherever they go (I wish things were like that) but now it simply isn’t. If covering my shoulders or hair helps me avoid unwanted attention then so be it.
3. Get a door stop
A door stop takes up little space but is perfect to shove under the hostel door to feel extra safe at night (also, it’s cheaper than getting one of those travel alarms).
4. Single? Make up a story
I hate myself for recommending this, but some people do not respect you unless you “belong” to another man. It’s tragic, but having a story for whenever someone bothers you can be very helpful. When I need to I have a boyfriend who’s a police. No one messes with that..
I repeat: it is crazy that this is a “safety tip”!
5. Have check-in points
Schedule a time every day when you “check-in” with either a family member or friend at home. This could be done either via calls, photos, texts, whatever works for you.
6. Headphones a.k.a your best friend
On the London subway I kept my headphones on – but without music (or at a very low volume). It helped me look less like a tourist and also was a way for me to keep an eye on my surrounding without it being too obvious.
7. Don’t worry too much
There are hundreds of varnings out there, but generally I just do what I’d do at home. I am aware of my surroundings, don’t take unneccessary risks, have a backup plan. Just be street smart! Of course this depends on where you’re going, but this probably applies to most places in Europe.