As the world opens back up, many are chomping at the bit to get out there and experience the world again. However, there are many that are still too unsettled by what has been happening around the world over the last fifteen months. For these individuals, traveling might be more of a future plan rather than a present one.
So if you are one of those that are ready to start traveling now, you might not have the choice but to travel alone. On the other hand, it could be that the decision to travel is not a choice but a necessity. Perhaps you need to travel for work, to check out universities, or to find a new home. Whatever the reason, traveling alone can be a mixture of fear and excitement for most.
Excitement can come from the freedom to be able to make your own schedule and change plans at your whimsey, without having to consult anyone other than yourself. However, you have to be ready to play all of the responsible roles that usually can be shared with a traveling companion. One of these roles that helps alleviate fears is having someone watching your back.
The fear of becoming a target because you are traveling alone is a fear that is most common amongst solo travelers. Especially for women, since statistically they are seen as easier targets than men. However, solo male travelers are not immune to being targets as well.
Traveling alone doesn’t have to feel like you are gearing up to go to war with the world around you. There are steps that you can take that will help you feel prepared and informed before you travel. Being prepared and having a plan should you encounter problems on your travels is the best defense you can have.
Let’s look at some ways that you can be prepared and reduce the risk of negative interactions occurring on your travels.
Have a Check-In Schedule
It sounds like it defeats the point of traveling solo if freedom is your intention. However, it doesn’t have to. It is just a smart safety precaution. You will need to have a tentative itinerary to travel by air or ensure you have a place to sleep. So go ahead and share that itinerary with one contact person. Have at least one person that will notice if they do not hear from you within reasonable time frames and has at least some idea of where to send a search for you if necessary.
This does not mean that you are not independent or experiencing the freedom you set out to. It just means that you are ensuring your survival. That is self-preservation and empowering.
Choose your Transportation Wisely
Although it sounds relatively benign, how you choose to get around in your destination can actually be the most hazardous part of your trip. The most vulnerable position that you can be, is trapped in a vehicle making escape very difficult. Always ask your hotel to get you a cab when you leave and the number of a reputable cab company to bring you home.
If you are using a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, be sure to check the license plate number and the name of your driver before getting in the vehicle. These safety features have been added for a reason. There has been an unsettling amount of sexual assaults reported on these ride-share companies in the past few years leading to sexual assault lawsuits. It is very important that you pay attention as to who is picking you up to prevent the risk of you becoming another possible victim.
Research your Areas of Travel
It is always a good idea to have some understanding of the areas that you are intending to travel, especially these days, being that post-pandemic travel might differ in areas than it did pre-pandemic. Due to COVID-19 and the relatively recent restrictions lifted, it would be wise to make sure that there have not been any reinstated bans or rises in active cases in the areas you are traveling.
Also, many larger cities are experiencing a dramatic surge in violent crimes. Take time to look at which cities are being affected and if there are specific areas that are being targeted versus the entire city. These factors should definitely be included in your decision-making when choosing areas of travel. These types of reports would be helpful to consult if you don’t have a choice as to where you are traveling.
Being prepared and aware will give you confidence. Hopefully, knowing that you have done what you can to arm and defend yourself with knowledge, you can relax and enjoy your travels. You can enjoy the beauty around you while keeping an eye on your surroundings.