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Traveling Solo: 8 Important Safety Tips

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Solo travel is an adventure. After all, exploring the destination of your dreams in precisely the manner you choose, without negotiation or compromise, can be exhilarating. A solo trip opens you up to meeting people, seeing sights, and having experiences you may not encounter when you’re traveling with a companion. However, sometimes it can be challenging to handle the logistics and security concerns of traveling when you have no one to share the responsibilities.

That said, planning ahead and following some travel safety tips make it not just manageable but enormously rewarding. Be prepared to experience a significant confidence boost when you step outside your comfort zone and embark on your first solo adventure!

 

8 Safety Tips for Solo Travel

We recommend the following safety tips to help you enjoy your solo travel experience to the fullest.

 

1. Take time to work through any details

As always, knowledge is your friend when you travel. Research your destination to learn all about how you should prepare. Investigate not just the must-see sights but also the logistics you’ll have to navigate. What is the currency used there? What language do they speak? And what is the best time of year to visit the specific destination? When traveling to another country, will you need specific vaccines? And are there any health issues specific to your destination?

If you’re planning a solo trip within the U.S., you’ll still want to learn about the location. Where are the safer neighborhoods, and what places should you avoid? Read up on available accommodations, learn about local mass transit options and what you need to know about renting a car. The U.S. travel guide is an excellent resource, as are guide books and websites devoted to specific locales.

 

2. Avoid Travel Scams

There are many rewarding adventures for solo travelers — just don’t get caught in a travel scam. Con games and scams that separate tourists from their money are both universal and highly localized. This is another item to research as you plan your trip. Whether your solo trip has you heading to another U.S. city or venturing to a far-off destination, be sure to research the local travel scams. Do a Google search for “tourist scams in [location]” to learn about any scams in the area you’re traveling to, so you can be prepared.

 

3. Consider Travel Insurance

The better prepared you are for various contingencies, the better positioned you will be to enjoy your solo adventures. Travel insurance can reimburse you for trip cancellations and various covered losses that can occur due to inclement weather, illness, natural disasters, lost luggage and much more. The peace of mind that a good insurance policy provides is worth more than a new set of matched luggage.

 

4. Share Your Travel Plans and Stay Connected

Solo travel may be an adventure you embark upon on your own, but it’s not the same as isolating yourself. Share your travel plans and itinerary in detail with a trusted friend or family member. If you’re traveling outside the U.S., consider the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service enables U.S. citizens and nationals who travel abroad to register their trip with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that serves the areas they visit.

Enrolling in STEP provides you with up-to-date information about safety conditions at your destination. This program also enables the Embassy to contact you in the event of a family emergency. Pre-program your phone with contact information for friends and family, the Embassy or Consulate, and any local emergency numbers as well.

 

5. Stay Healthy and Safe

Hopefully, you’ll never face a medical emergency, accident, or robbery while on a solo trip. But having an emergency plan can be the difference between an inconvenience and a catastrophe. Research hospitals local to your destination and along your route and look into police stations and other emergency services available in the area. Also, learn and practice basic emergency phrases in the language so you can ask for help should the need arise.

Before embarking on your solo travel, book a check-up with your doctor and get any required inoculations. Be sure to pack a supply of all your prescription medications, as well as face masks, hand sanitizers, antacids, and over-the-counter pain relief. Bring along Band-Aids, antiseptic ointment, blister pads and other First Aid supplies to help keep you comfortable in uncertain circumstances.

Also, you’ll want to investigate available protections against mosquitoes and other disease-carrying pests and research guidelines on drinking the local water and eating the local food. Learning about conditions and taking smart precautions are sensible preparations for any solo adventures you’re planning.

Learning about conditions and taking smart precautions are sensible preparations for any solo adventures you’re planning.

 

6. Secure Your Valuables

Leave expensive jewelry and other non-essentials behind when you set out on a solo trip. And take great care to secure your cash, credit cards, passport, visa, plane tickets, and other essential documents. Scan and email yourself copies of all your documents, including vaccine verifications, so the information is available to you even if you lose the documents. You might even consider purchasing an RFID-blocking wallet to protect against identity theft and investing in pickpocket-proof clothing and accessories to keep your cash close.

To help keep you and your belongings safe while you’re in your hotel room, bring along a small door stop for rooms that don’t have deadbolts or key cards and a padlock for lockers.

 

7. Stay Smart to Stay Safe

Whether your solo trip is across the country or around the world, common sense is an invaluable guide. Keep some of these tips in mind:

  • Don’t drink alcohol to excess and always keep your drink in your sight.
  • Stay alert to those around you and take note of your surroundings.
  • Research your route before heading out on a walk, bike ride, or bus trip, so you know where you’re going.
  • Dress to fit in with the locals and don’t advertise that you’re a tourist.
  • If at any time you feel uncomfortable, move immediately to a public place like a restaurant.
 

8. Take a Practice Run

Before embarking on a big excursion, take a short, local solo trip and practice these travel safety tips. You’ll be more comfortable trying out your plans closer to home, and the experience will help you spot any gaps in your preparations. You can also use this time to practice preparing your home for your time away.

Don’t let these precautions damper your enthusiasm. Careful preparation will help ensure a successful solo travel trip. Before you embark on your travels though, contact Wawanesa to review your home or renters insurance policy or request a quote so you secure your home while you’re off on your next adventure.

 

 

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Disclaimer:

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.