Solo Travel: A Guide to Staying Safe

DocGoneWild is delighted to introduce a guest post by successful travel blogger and experiences solo traveller Lauren Pries. You can check her out over at her own blog

Everyone wants to stay safe and out of trouble, especially when solo traveling. These simple tips will help you do just that, and barring any bad luck or extreme circumstances, they will help you have an unforgettable trip!

1. When alone at night, don’t get stuck somewhere unfamiliar.

I get it, the allure of solo travel is that you get to do what you want, when and where you want to do it. But when it comes to safety, if you’re unfamiliar with a place, you probably shouldn’t get stuck there alone at night. By “stuck” I mean that you don’t know how to get back to your accommodation without assistance (e.g. phone or map). While in Spain, I followed this rule in certain cities, but not in others. In Barcelona, I made sure I was near my accommodation when the sun set. I did this because Barcelona is a huge, unfamiliar city. But in San Sebastián, I walked alone at night in a part of town that was further from my hostel. I was okay with this because it was much a smaller, safer, and more familiar city. I had also walked the city so many times that I knew how to get back to my hostel without needing assistance. In any other place where that isn’t the case, I would highly advise against getting stuck somewhere alone at night.

<<<<<<<<<< me common sense that you'd use in your hometown. A lot of people have this misconception that other countries/cities are more dangerous than their own. Maybe this is because these places are unfamiliar and foreign. Maybe its because of media influence and propaganda. Or perhaps its because people let the fears and insecurities of family and friends influence their conceptions about travel. Now if you actually go out and solo travel, you quickly realize that although some countries and cities are quite dangerous and you definitely shouldn't go there, the majority are perfectly fine to visit. You just have to have good common sense and use it! As a general rule of thumb, anything you wouldn't do in your own country/city/town, also don't do wherever you're traveling. More specifically, I'd say to try to refrain from making yourself vulnerable when you're walking alone at night (e.g. listening to loud music with headphones in both ears). However, if the place you're in has a lot of people around, is well-lit, or if its day time, you should be okay to blast those tunes! <<<<<<<<<< rinks...don't leave them alone. I hate that I even have to talk about this. But the reality is, some people are creeps and they do things like spike your food and drinks with substances that can incapacitate you. So try not to leave anything you plan on consuming with anyone other than close friends and family. Those nice people you meet at your hostel don't count either. I know what you're thinking, "oh but everyone's so nice", "so-and-so would never do something like that". False. You can't actually know people as well as you think you do in just the day or two that you've hung out with them in the hostel. Though you may have a good a judge of character, its still the best practice to be safe and not sorry. <<<<<<<<<< the appropriate attire for the place you're in and dress accordingly. Nobody wants to be that person wearing something completely inappropriate in a foreign country. It leads to unnecessary and sometimes dangerous consequences that can easily be avoided. All it takes is a quick google search, and you'll save yourself a ton of problems that can arise from being inappropriately dressed. As a general rule, its best to go with more conservative clothing. Because the rest of the world isn't as liberal or free with their clothing choices as we are in the USA (or areas of Western Europe), your default should be to dress more conservatively. Even though there may not be actual laws about clothing in a given country, you still want to adhere to the cultural guidelines. Please don't be that oblivious, ignorant, tourist that didn't do their research. <<<<<<<<<< re rides to your accommodation with strangers (unless its on a bus or shuttle with lots of people). We all saw the movie Taken. Don't be like the girls in Taken. <<<<<<<<<< per spray, an alarm, or know how to protect yourself. Everybody who doesn't know how to physically protect themselves or may be in a physical condition that makes them less capable of protecting themselves should have other ways of defense. There are lots of alarms, pepper sprays, and other products that can be used as weapons if the situation requires one. <<<<<<<<<< phone charged. This one is super important. Pretty much everybody has a mobile phone now. If you don't, you may want to buy one before you travel. Your phone can be a lifesaver, literally. In emergency situations, its the way to get help. In non emergency situations, its the way you communicate, let people know where you are, find your way around, and much more. Thus, it is extremely important to keep your phone charged when you're out and about. Without it, things can be a lot more complicated and even dangerous. So before you go traveling, invest in a good quality external battery and bring your charging items with you! Check out the battery pack I use- it lasts for ages, charges an iPhone 7 at least 5 times and can charge two devices simultaneously: Anker PowerCore 20100 – Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with one of the Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone 7 /6s /SE, iPad and Samsung Galaxy S8 / S7 and More (Black)<<<<<<<<<< ren Pries Published: 12/27/17

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