Make sure that when you travel alone your adventures are all about the sights and not about the stress. These tips will help keep you and your belongings safe, so all you need to worry about is enjoying the view.
1. DropBox all your important information
Taking photos of all of your documents and storing them in a DropBox folder is a good idea to keep yourself safe if you ever lose your hard copies. Putting them in a DropBox folder will allow you to access them from any computer, so even if you lose everything when you travel (including your phone) you’ll be safe.
2. Bring a few different locks with you
It doesn’t hurt to have two or three different styles of locks with you, in case there is somewhere to store your luggage while you travel. Having a few different kinds will save you from extra spending, and you will be sure they will work properly and only for you.
3. Carry a small flashlight
Carrying a small flashlight is a smart way to make your travels easier at nighttime. This is also a much better option than using your phone, as it won’t be attractive to thieves and it won’t waste your phone’s battery.
4. Rock the fanny pack
There is no shame in a fanny pack that keeps your money and personal belongings safe, especially when you travel alone. Updated versions are thinner and more discreet, and can be worn underneath garments and out of sight. Consider a fanny pack like this to keep passports, money and valuables within reach at all times.
5. Book Ahead
Don’t get caught settling for a place where you feel uncomfortable. Booking hostels or hotels ahead of time will help you avoid extra travel, especially at night. Book your spot early so you know exactly where you’re going and that it’s the safest place to stay.
6. Bring an External Charger
More than likely you will be relying on your mobile device for directions, communication and everything in between. Make sure to pack some sort of external charging source so you are never without that lifeline. This external battery duals as a USB.
7. Have a Check-In Buddy
It’s smart to have someone at home who you can check in with every couple of days (Or hours, if it’s your mother). Schedule specific times to text or talk on Skype so there is always someone who knows your whereabouts and your plan for the next few days until you meet up again.
8. Mark free Wi-Fi spots
If you know the general area where you’ll be for the next few days, locate a few restaurants or hubs that offer free Wi-Fi. This way you can check in with your buddy without worrying about connection, and you can use this time to map out the area for your next stop. Have a small amount of savings set aside for coffees and snacks in case the only establishments with Wi-Fi require you to be a paying customer. Try downloading the app “Wifi Map- Passwords for free”, which allows travelers to insert Wi-Fi passwords of public places in over 95 different countries.
9. The Less, the Better
Making sure to pack light is an important aspect of staying safe when traveling. Packing too much will make it harder to locate your important belongings, and having too much to keep track of may bring unwanted attention. Packing lighter will make it easier to check luggage, travel or quickly re-locate if necessary.
You can also download these helpful travel apps all available under $2, great if you travel alone:
Embassy & Consulate Free: Lists over 10,000 embassies and 15,000 consulates with addresses, contact information. Free.
Google Maps Up-to-date mapping of over 200 countries with voice guidance and a turn-based navigation. Free.
Yelp Perfect for finding recent reviews for all kinds of establishments including restaurants, hotels, shops, etc. Use the search engine to find ideal destinations based on location, price and ratings. Free.
Travel Safe App Offers access to emergency numbers in your area including police, fire, medical and personal numbers. The app will inform you of your location to share, or it can send your coordinates and personal information to the number you’re trying to get a hold of. $1.19.
Google Translate A clean, easy-to-use app with almost 80 languages to choose from for translation. Save your most used phrases for offline use, or refer to the included dictionary. Free.