Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there may be times when you find yourself embarking on a journey alone.
These trips can provide positive experiences, but they can also pose safety concerns you might not otherwise face when traveling with others. By taking a few smart precautions, however, you can avoid the hazards of independent travel. Use this guide to help you travel safely.
Always do your homework before traveling to ensure you’ll be more familiar with your surroundings. Gather information ahead of time about where you’re going and how to get there. You should also look up the weather forecast and important details like public transportation routes and the location of nearby shops. If traveling overseas, memorize useful foreign phrases and check with your mobile phone provider to see if you need to update your plan to use it overseas.
When choosing your lodging, look for places with clean and safe conditions in low-crime neighborhoods. One way to do this is by consulting other travelers’ reviews on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor. Before heading overseas, consider submitting your travel information to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so you can be alerted when important travel advisories are posted for your destination. This enrollment may make it easier to contact you in case of an emergency and connect you with friends and family.
Take precautionary measures
To potentially ward off any would-be intruders, select a room that’s in a busy area of your hotel (such as by the elevator) and can’t easily be entered via a window. Always lock the door and fasten its security chain. For additional protection, purchase a door stop fitted with an alarm—when placed under your door, it will sound if someone tries to enter your room. And think about putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and leaving a light or TV on whenever you leave your room so it appears occupied.
Be sure to give a copy of your itinerary to family members and friends so they can get in touch with you if needed. Keep your guard up and try to sightsee mostly during daylight hours since that’s when you’ll likely be more aware of your surroundings; otherwise, try to stick to public areas.
Conceal your valuables
As a precaution, scan important documents you’ll need for your travels beforehand and store these digital files on your mobile phone. Don’t keep all your money and important documents in your wallet; otherwise, you’ll risk losing your cash, credit cards, and other important items like your license and passport. Instead, carry only what’s necessary and leave the rest in your locked hotel room safe. Think about leaving your expensive or sentimental jewelry at home, such as in a lockbox that’s secured to a wall or floor. You could also consider investing in travel gear specifically made to conceal your valuables, such as a money belt or neck pouch.
Ensure your health
At least a few days before your trip, gather any over-the-counter or prescription medications you’ll need. You could put them all in a pill organizer so you won’t have to carry multiple pill bottles. Also bring any other health aids you might need, such as a water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellent. If you have a chronic medical condition, be sure to schedule an appointment with your medical provider beforehand so they can confirm you’re healthy enough to travel. Finally, overseas travelers should visit the CDC website to identify any vaccines they might need for their trip.
Consider purchasing travel insurance as backup should anything go wrong during your trip, such as if you lose your hotel room or miss your flight. Some insurance plans can offer you the financial flexibility to help you make other arrangements. Medical travel insurance may also be worth getting, especially if you are going to a foreign locale and your health insurance provider doesn’t provide coverage for that country.
Before embarking on your trip, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself as a solo traveler. For extra security, consult with an insurance professional to help ensure your financial safety during your travels.
This article was prepared by ReminderMedia.
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