Urmila Marak Aug 03 2014

Stay safe while travelling solo

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Travelling alone can be very liberating as well as fun for women. The thrill of being on your own and getting to do things all by yourself can be exciting. But being a solo traveller means you do not have a companion to fall back on when in need. Therefore, it is essential we follow certain guidelines before we hit the road solo.


Travel Smart

• Pack light. This will help you to move around freely without seeking any help.
• Do not forget to carry your identity card.
• Ensure that you carry either your debit card or credit card with you. But for safety reasons, try not to keep all your money together.
• Try to reach your destination during the day. In case you are reaching in the middle of the night, make sure that you had pre-booked a cab.
• Dress appropriately. Always ensure that you have minimum jewellery on your body. Little research will help you know how the locals dress. You do not need to be like them, but dressing up modestly will not attract unwanted attention.
• If you are travelling by bus at night, ensure that you are seated next to a lady passenger. There is always an option while booking your tickets.
• Do not plug in your earphones and walk when you are in a new place. You might miss out on what is happening around you if you are too engrossed with your music.

• Carrying a map comes in handy. However, try to get a fair idea before you set out of your room, instead of opening the map every now and then. If you are doing that at night, it will indicate that you are new to the place and might unnecessarily attract attention.
• Even if you are lost, relax. Don’t panic. Check your GPRS on your phone for the directions. In case, if it is not working properly, confidently walk up to a policeman and ask for directions. In case there are no policemen around, you can walk up to another woman and seek help. I usually do that, and I have never been disappointed.
• Keep your bag and purse properly, where nobody can lay a hand on.
• Do a thorough research about the place you are going to before you set out on your trip.
• Carry some basic medicines with you for cold or fever.
• Book your hotel in advance at a centrally located place, where local transport is easily available.
• Carry a pepper spray in your bag. Sometimes, even carrying your deo spray can come in handy.
• Wear comfortable shoes. A heel might not be convenient when you have to walk a lot.
• Wear sun glasses. This will help you avoid direct eye contact with strangers.

Follow your Instincts

  • In case you feel something is not right, always go by your sixth sense. Believe me, it works.
  • Keep taking note of your landmarks, streets and routes. Always be cautious. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Be wary of strangers who try to befriend you. Not everyone is on a lookout to harm you, but being guarded helps. However, while travelling alone sometimes we end up meeting some amazing people. That’s when we need to follow our instincts.
  • Do not blurt out where you are putting up in front of total strangers. Even if someone asks, be very vague.

Connect with family & friends

• It is necessary to keep in constant touch with your family and friends back home.
• Besides giving your hotel number, update them your itinerary for the day before you set out.
• If you are at a particular place for a long time, keep them posted.
• Being in constant touch with friends and family will also help you get rid of your boredom.

These simple tips will help you ward off any unwanted trouble. But remember to have fun all by yourself. Travelling alone can be an enriching experience. Just be confident and travel safe.

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