Venturing out alone? These solo travel tips will help you stay safe & make the most of your trip
If you’ve ever traveled before, you know just how much those experiences mean to you.
Whether it’s a beachside family vacation or an international backpacking trip, these adventures are often defining moments in our lives that stick with us forever. There’s no better way to experience new places, cultures, and people.
But traveling alone presents unique challenges and requires a careful attention to detail that can be intimidating.
Don’t worry, though.
With these solo travel tips, you’ll have all the right preparations in place to ensure your safety so you can relax and have the time of your life.
Study Your Destination
Nobody likes homework…
But when you’re planning a solo adventure, researching your destination before you head out can save you a lot of trouble.
Whether you’re traveling in the US or internationally, take some time to learn about the local customs, laws, and potential safety concerns. This solo travel tip will teach you how to conduct yourself when you arrive and help you blend in better with the locals—even if you’re from out-of-state or a foreigner.
To be extra cautious, you could also check if your government has issued travel advisories about your destination to make sure it’s safe.
Share Your Itinerary With Someone You Trust
Before you go, give a trusted friend or family member (or both) a copy of your itinerary, including contact information for yourself and every hotel, hostel, or Airbnb you’ll be staying at.
It’s also a great idea to make copies of your passport and other important documents and leave them with your emergency contact.
That way, if they get lost or stolen, you’ll have backups at home that your loved one can send to you if you need them.
Pack Smart (And Light)
Although a backpack is enough to mark you as a tourist, it’s always best to avoid lugging around extra suitcases and bags if possible.
Packing light not only makes carrying your belongings easier, but also frees up your movement.
Basically, if there’s anything you can’t part with, don’t bring it. Leave flashy and expensive clothing and jewelry at home. And if you’re carrying a backpack or purse, keep it close to your body and never let it out of sight.
Anti-theft backpacks, purses, and clothes are excellent investments that will prevent pickpockets from making off with your valuables and give you peace of mind.
For added protection, pick up a travel lock to secure your luggage—especially if you’re staying in a hostel or other shared accommodation.
And if you want to ensure your privacy wherever you’re staying, consider investing in a portable door lock or doorstop alarm.
This solo travel tip is for you and your loved ones’ peace of mind.
Wherever you plan on going, don’t leave without a reliable means of communication. If you’re staying in the US, your cell phone plan will do just fine. But if you’re crossing borders, make sure you have an international plan or satellite phone with you throughout the trip.
And don’t forget to bring a portable charger!
Along the way, stay connected with your loved ones. Let them know when you’ve arrived, successfully changed accommodations, and update them with any changes to your travel plans.
At the same time, avoid sharing too much information with strangers or on social media. That means no sharing or posting about travel plans or where you’re staying.
Unless you’re planning a group outing with new friends, try not to tell anyone you’re traveling alone.
A keen eye on your surroundings and belongings will help you detect and avoid trouble before it happens.
Keep your valuables out of sight, and don’t venture out alone at night or in unfamiliar or remote areas.
Also, be aware that pickpockets like to use distraction techniques to get their hands on your wallet or purse. Sometimes, there’s no way to conceal the fact that you’re a tourist, and thieves and scammers will target you as a result.
So, be smart, don’t let yourself get too distracted, and trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, move to a safe location or seek help.
Study Up on Some Basic Phrases
This solo travel tip is essential for international travelers. If the locals at your destination speak a different language, learn some basic phrases before you go.
Knowing how to introduce yourself, ask where the bathroom is, and order food will give you more opportunities to make friends and deepen your experience.
It’s also important to learn how to ask for help.
In unfamiliar places, the unexpected is everywhere. These phrases will help you better navigate your destination and communicate with locals, showing that—at the very least—you’re trying!
Stick to Reliable Transportation Methods
When commuting around your destination, never get into an unmarked vehicle or accept rides from strangers.
Always use reputable services, such as public transportation (subways, trains, and buses), licensed taxis, or ridesharing services.
If you’re renting a vehicle, make sure you have the necessary licenses and insurance.
Be Careful With Alcohol
Getting tipsy with friends while on vacation is one thing. But if you’re traveling solo, being just slightly impaired can affect your judgment and leave you vulnerable.
You know your limits better than anyone, so unless you go out with a group you feel safe with, keep your alcohol consumption in check and avoid getting drunk.
And, of course, never get behind the wheel or ride in a car whose driver is impaired.
Have an Emergency Plan in Place
From injuries to natural disasters to civil unrest, there’s no telling what unexpected crises may happen when traveling. That’s why our final and most important solo travel tip is to develop an emergency plan before you go.
In your pre-trip research, learn the local emergency number, familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures at each of your accommodations, and locate the nearest embassy or consulate.
For international trips, always keep a small amount of local currency on you for emergency expenses.
Also, it’s best to download and set up any personal safety apps before you begin your journey. These precautions will remove as many barriers as possible between you and the help you need.
For National Travel, Nothing Gets You Help Faster Than Rescu
In the US, Rescu is the fastest way to get help in an emergency.
Rescu is a personal safety app that operates independently of the understaffed and underfunded 911 system.
Using state-of-the-art GPS technology, Rescu allows you to instantly dispatch fire, police, or ambulance services to your exact location anywhere in the US with just two taps on your smartphone.
One tap for the emergency service you need. One tap to send the alert. There’s no need to talk on the phone, answer questions, or wait to get help.
When you set up the Rescu app, you’ll add your relevant medical information, health conditions, and emergency contacts.
Then, when you send an alert, Rescu will automatically send that information to your first response team and notify all your emergency contacts via text with your exact location.
Happy (And Safe) Travels!
Traveling provides some of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of our lives. But if you don’t make safety a priority, it can be difficult to lean in and enjoy yourself.
When you combine these solo travel tips with Rescu, you’ll be prepared for the challenges that come with traveling alone so you can go with confidence.
Download the Rescu app today to upgrade your travel safety plan and experience your adventure with a clear mind and open heart.