Traveling solo can be an excellent way to get out of your comfort zone, experience a new place, and learn more about yourself.
Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or just embarking on your first adventure alone, you should always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. When traveling solo, keep these tips in mind to stay as safe as possible.
RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION
When planning a solo travel adventure, research your destination so you’ll know what to expect and how to navigate the area. Look at the area’s websites, guidebooks, and maps during your planning process to avoid any surprises.
Before booking your accommodations, research the area and neighborhoods to get familiar with the location. Once you know where you’ll be staying, locate the nearest hospital, police station, and embassy if you travel internationally.
If you’re traveling solo somewhere with a different primary language than yours, it’s a great idea to learn the basics of the language before your trip. Also, learn about the water supply and any potentially dangerous native animals, plants, or other concerns specific to the location.
Researching the area will keep you safe and help you look less like a tourist because you’ll know where to go and how to get there. By doing so, you can blend into the crowd whenever possible, which is a great way to stay safe.
When traveling solo, share your daily itinerary with a trusted friend or family member so someone will know where you are and when they’ll hear from you next.
Confirm your mobile phone will have connectivity so you can check in with others as needed, but be cautious about posting your location on social media.
BE AWARE AND TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Don’t hesitate to leave a location or situation that makes you uncomfortable. If you leave somewhere, get to the nearest public location or group of people as quickly as possible. Staying in populated, well-lit areas is a good way to be safe.
Pay attention to who and what is around you. If someone asks if you’re traveling solo, say you’re on your way to meet your friend, spouse, or family member.
If you’re consuming alcohol, order a bottle or can or watch the bartender mix your drink. Try to limit alcohol intake so you can remain fully aware of your surroundings.
BOOK A MORNING FLIGHT
We recommend arriving at your destination when there’s still daylight. One way you can do that is to book your departure flight as early in the morning as possible.
Have a plan for how you’ll travel from the airport to your lodging destination. Upon arrival to your room, make sure the security features like door locks, alarms, and safes are working. Pack a few simple safety items like a small wedge doorstop, safety whistle, and flashlight.
BE DISCREET WITH VALUABLES
While traveling solo, don’t flash your money or other valuables around. Don’t store your cash, credit cards, and passport in the same location, and have a backup copy of all travel documents.
A few items you could get to prevent theft include an anti-theft backpack or purse, a safety lock, pickpocket-proof clothing, and an RFID-blocking wallet. You can also get travel insurance to protect you and your belongings should any unforeseen events come up during your solo travel adventures.
BE CAUTIOUS WHEN ACCEPTING HELP
Solo travelers are often recipients of kindness from strangers. While some people are genuinely helpful, other people will try to take advantage of your perceived vulnerability. If someone offers to help you with directions or carry your bags, be sure of their intentions and credentials before accepting.
Needing medical care in an unfamiliar location is a valid concern for those traveling solo. In addition to knowing the location of the nearest medical facility throughout your travels, be aware of any outbreaks and health concerns in the area.
Here are a few things to pack to help you stay healthy:
- Vaccinations and verification paperwork
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Basic over-the-counter medications
- Prescription medications
- Portable water purifier
Be sure to follow TSA’s guidelines for packing liquids in your carry-on. You can bring one quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, or pastes in your carry-on, but those items must be in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces — 100 milliliters — or less each.
FLY WITH US
Wherever you decide to fly for your next safe solo travel adventure, the South Bend International Airport will help you get there.
We offer nonstop flights to 12 destinations and convenient connections to worldwide destinations. To book your next trip with us, check out the airlines who fly with us.