It is a big bad scary world out there but also full of intriguing, curious and exciting adventures. As a solo female traveller I have often been asked if I was scared to travel on my own. My answer was no. Or more honestly, I had never really let the scary thoughts enter my mind.
The secret I have found to surviving on my own in a foreign country is to show confidence and look like I belong. Never advertise your tourist status or that you are unsure of where to go. This draws the suspicious looking locals to take advantage of you. I have put together some key tips in this week’s post that have assisted me in my travels. I hope you find these useful to travel safely on your next exciting journey.
I always study the map in my hotel, apartment or hostel so I know where and how to get to an attraction or place of interest. Pulling a map out on the street corner can make you vulnerable to unwanted attention or potential mugger. I like to pre-plan and research before I step outside and it has assisted me to get around safely in an unfamiliar city.
When out walking alone during during day tours, it is always a good idea to carry a set of keys in hand. I even do this when I am walking alone in Adelaide. Keys are the perfect weapon, in the event that one will be needed, to use against unwanted attention and leave memorable scratches on the attacker’s skin. If you are hesitant about walking around a new city on your own, join a sightseeing day tour. Not only will you feel safer, quite often other solo travellers have the same idea.
As Australians, we are known as being friendly and approachable. However, there are some countries where this can be to our detriment. Don’t be afraid to be firm and say no in an uncomfortable situation. There was a moment in New York when saying no helped me out of an uneasy moment. It was the first time in all my travels I had been approached. It was a little unnerving at first, but I was firm and confident in deterring the unwanted attention. Generally New York is reasonably safe, and I would visit again, but on the odd occasion there may be a time when you will just have to say no.
Another tactic I employ to deter the interest of unwanted attention is to wear a wedding band on my finger. Nothing flashy, but something that will symbolise to others that I am not a single, female traveller on my own. You will be surprised as to how effective this is in warding off most men who approach.
When I am meeting up with new friends I have met on my travels, I always make a point to make sure never to meet anyone at the hotel here I am staying. Although they may be nice people, it is best to be cautious at first. Arrange to meet your new friends at the restaurant or a popular landmark.
Ultimately, be aware of your surroundings and never go into a place or put yourself in a situation where you feel uneasy. Trust your first instinct as this will, in most circumstances, always be right.
After all, this is your dream holiday and no-one has the right to spoil it on you.
All pictures courtesy of wonderful Clip-Art