A solo trip is the most liberating thing you can do for yourself. For a few days or weeks, you’re the master of your decisions. When you gain so much freedom, you realise your sense of responsibility also exponentially increases and your sense of self-awareness grows more attuned.
Despite the newfound desire to go crazy, we can’t stress enough that it’s better to be safe than sorry. While we don’t advocate erring on the side of caution so much that you set too many restrictions for yourself, we’d keep these five tips on hand.
Just in case.
1. Walk purposefully
If you’re walking in an unknown place, look like you know what you’re going, even if you secretly realise you’re walking around in circles. Confidently approach people to ask for directions. Take a glance at your map while maintaining a confident stance. Don’t let people, especially street peddlers, sense your fear, lest you become an easy target.
2. Withdraw money during the day
Refrain from heading to an ATM before you head back to your apartment for the night. Instead, withdraw money in the morning before you start your day. However, even in the day, look out for suspicious characters lurking around in the vicinity.
3. Do your research about public transport
It can be disorienting when you realise you’ve missed your train stop, or need to cross an unsavoury location in order to take the bus back. Plan your daily travel route early on, get acquainted with the various public transport cards and packages, and have backup plans if you decide to stray from a certain route.
4. Register yourself at your embassy within the country
In case of emergency, the only one most able and likely to render help is your country’s embassy. Always register your travel plans with your embassy, especially if you’re headed to a place torn with recent protests or political unrest.
5. Dress modestly
While do not agree with the argument that women shouldn’t dress a certain way if they don’t want to invite trouble, we also understand that’s not how the rest of society works. Unless you want to risk sacrificing your safety for feminism, it’s better to cover up or dress decently. (It’s also better to cover around a pepper spray.)