Solo travel is quite the trend these days. If you a female and thinking of enjoying a solo retreat, here are some tips from the owner of Travel Savvy, Jennifer Morris, to help when planning your trip.
Do your research:
Morris advises females to check that the destination is safe for women to travel alone. Morris usually reads as many forums and blog pages to know what to expect and what not to do. She said some places are notorious as being unsafe for women travelling alone, such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, India and Turkey. Some places do not allow women to travel if they are not escorted by a man, such as Saudi Arabia. She said cities have safe and unsafe areas, and one should know what those are.
Separate your cash from travel documents and try to spread them around a bit. If you keep everything in a bag on your shoulder and are then a victim of a bag-snatching, you've lost everything. She recommend keeping cash in your bag, some stashed somewhere safer at your hotel, some on your body somewhere in a special travel pouch so that you are not deserted if something happens. “Don't keep all your eggs in one basket especially if you in a foreign country,” she said.
Take comprehensive insurance
“The last thing you want is to be injured or taken ill and have to rely on government hospitals or informal clinics to medical care,” says Morris. She advises women and other travellers reading this to take comprehensive travel insurance acts like a medical aid during travels. “A good policy will also include evacuation cover, if you need to be transported to a better medical facility, or if your holiday destination has just become a war-zone. Leave a copy of your policy and the SOS contact details with a family member or friend so that they can facilitate things if you can't,” she said.
There are a number of tracking apps available now that will broadcast your whereabouts to your chosen circle, making it possible for them to know where you are at all times.
“Sure, that might seem a little intrusive, but it'll be vital information if something happens to you while you're travelling and they need to send help.
“I also recommend using Facebook and other social media platforms to check in with friends and family and keep them appraised of your whereabouts and plans,” says Morris.
Make copies of travel documents
Morris says that one has to make colour copies of all their travel documents and keep them separate from their passport. “If your documents are stolen, this will make it a lot easier for your local embassy or consulate to reissue you with new papers,” she says.
Travel light, if possible.
“You need to be able to maneuver out of a situation you deem unsafe or threatening in a hurry, and you can't do that if you're lugging all the shoes you've ever owned in three pieces of industrial-size luggage,” Morris says.
Have some form of alert or protection device
As a female travelling alone, it's important that you stay protected. Morris says keeping some form of alert or protection device, such as pepper spray, air horn (makes a very loud sound when activated) or loud whistle on you when you travel is essential. “If you do feel threatened, you can either buy yourself time to get away or else sound the alarm. You can't travel by air with pepper spray, but the little canisters are easy enough to buy in most Western countries. Whistles and air horns are safe to fly with,” she said.