How to Travel Solo Safely

Cruise and Maritime Voyages Columbus Cruise Ship in Tenerife

Hey Owlets,

Travelling solo is absolutely one of the best things you can do to grow as a person and it's something you really should experience at least once. However, personal safety is one of the biggest factors that stops people from booking a trip alone - let’s face it, you’ve probably looked at a cheap flight, fancied the idea of a sneaky getaway then thought about the logistics and backed out. In case you hadn’t already worked this out, I’m a terrible influence and will absolutely be that friend that encourages you to say “sod it” and book the flight. With that being said, I don’t want you to worry about not being safe, so here’s a couple of simple ways to look after yourself when you’re travelling.

Camera cityscape at sunset - keeping valuables safe when travelling

Hide Your Valuables 

I know it’s the first thing that everyone says when you’re travelling but it’s probably something you’ve not thought that deeply into. If you exchange money for travelling you will almost always be given denominations of €50, €20, €10 and €5 euro notes. If you’re travelling alone I always recommend asking the agent to skip the larger notes and instead opt for mostly 10s instead. A lot of people will throw all their money into their wallet, and if you go around pulling out €50 notes for something that costs maybe €15, you’re going to make yourself a target. Another simple way to hide valuables is to leave your fancy brands or expensive jewellery at home. If you’re walking around with a bag from Louis Vuitton or a big gold necklace, you’re almost always going to draw someone’s attention.

Plus size solo female travel blogger in Lanzarote

Get Travel Insurance and Actually Read the Policy 

I feel like you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking “Yes Mum” now but seriously, DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT INSURANCE. If you’ve been anywhere on the internet then you’ll probably have seen those horror stories of people who owe thousands because they didn’t buy travel insurance and got sick or injured while they were travelling - they’re all true. When you’re shopping for travel insurance make sure you think about what it is you really need, make sure you list the countries you’re going to and get appropriate extra cover if need be - most insurers will insure a small selection of activities, but if you’re planning on doing anything specific then you’ll probably have to purchase sports cover. When it comes to medical fees get as high as you can - I usually choose a policy that has £15 million medical cover because it’s very unlikely you would ever go above that so you don’t need to worry. Make sure you read the policy wording before purchasing to ensure that it lines up with what you’re doing so you know you’re totally covered.

Keeping valuables safe when travelling

Only Withdraw or Change Money in Banks 

There are a lot of tourist scams but one of the most well known and widely operated scams relate to changing or withdrawing money. Sometimes locals will try to get you to change your money with them on the street and will scam you by giving you old money that isn’t valid anymore or they'll give you a really bad rate hoping that you won't notice. It’s also common that the big money exchange centres will promise no fees or advertise a rate that’s better than they actually give you, when if you went into a bank you’d get what you actually should. 

Female plus size travel blogger in Somerset UK

Leave Everything in the Safe

Hotels provide you with a safe for a reason, make sure you always use it. First of all, if anything is stolen from your hotel room, a lot of insurance policies won’t cover anything you haven’t locked in the safe because in their eyes it’s your negligence that has caused the theft. If you brought cash with you, only take what you need for the day and lock the rest away along with your passport - most countries will accept a photocopy as proof of identity, and that way your real passport remains safe. The same goes for things like cameras, phones or any other valuables - if you’re not using it put it in the safe.

Cable Car tourist attraction in Funchal, Madeira

The Tourist Option is Usually Safest

You may have read articles online that encourage you to live like a local and fully immerse yourself in a city’s culture, but residents have one thing you don’t  - local knowledge. While it’s normally fine to take the metro or spend hours wandering aimlessly to discover a new city, make sure you do your research first and know which areas are the safest. If it’s late at night then sticking to a touristy area is going to be a lot safer than an unknown suburb, and if you’re out after dark then sometimes the safest way to get home is to find a city-licensed taxi, rather than getting the subway in an area you don’t know.

Plus size female travel blogger in Oradea Lavender Farm, Romania

Trust Your Instincts

This final tip might seem a bit of a cop-out but it’s probably the most important. You’re much more intelligent than you think and a lot of the times your brain will subconsciously pick up on things that you haven’t even noticed. If you feel uneasy or like something isn’t right it’s probably because there is an issue, you just haven’t consciously noticed it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if something doesn’t feel right get out as soon as possible. Trust your gut, it’s usually right.

There are so many different ways to keep yourself safe while you’re travelling; these tips are just the most important and most obvious ways. Make sure you fully prepare before travelling and when you get there have fun but trust your gut and stay aware. 

What’s your biggest tip for keeping safe while travelling? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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