Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you there’s something very refreshing and freeing about taking off on your own adventure.
If this is something you are planning on doing, whether it’s for a weekend, a week or a year, then here are some tips you should keep in mind!
Remember, if there’s any travel tips you would like to add to the list, then just pop them in the comment box below!
Bring a rubber doorstop wedge
This might sound like a really strange tip, but hear us out!
We have all heard those horror stories where a woman’s hostel/hotel room was broken into while she was sleeping.
To be double sure you feel 100% safe in your room at night, bring a rubber doorstop wedge. When you lock your door from inside, stick the rubber doorstop wedge underneath the door.
That way, if someone tries to gain access to your room (with or without a key), they won’t even be able to push it open. You can even get door stop wedges that are alarmed so that if someone does attempt to open the door, the alarm will alert you.
At least this will give you some peace of mind at night.
Transport fees add up and in the end, the total can turn out to be expensive.
Save yourself money by planning ahead.
For instance, Eurolinks Coaches have ticket deals that allows passengers limitless travel between 53 European cities for a certain period of time.
Backpacker Tip: Bring a Scrubba
If you’re backpacking and not looking forward to the inevitable lack of clean clothes that will occur, then it might be worth picking up a Scrubba Wash Bag, or better still, a Scrubba Wash & Dry Kit!
This gem of an invention was designed for backpackers and campers as it is portable and allows travellers to wash and dry their clothes regardless of where they are.
When it comes to safety, this is a REALLY beneficial service for the solo traveller.
If the unexpected occurs and you don’t return to your place of accommodation, what is your safety net?
Who is going to know you’re even missing? If you are in country where there is a significant time difference to home, then it may be hours before your family and friends realise you’re missing.
Safecheckin.com is a clever service where solo travellers can insert specific details of where they’re going and what time they should be back by. If you don’t ‘check in’ on the site by the time in question, safecheckin.com will contact you to see if you have returned.
If there’s no response, the site will then get in touch with the people you have listed as your ’emergency contacts’. If they still can’t find you, they will contact the police.
It;s a great resource, but if you don’t want to go down this route, then another alternative would be to make an arrangement with a loved one whereby you will text them at a specific time each day so they know you’re ok.
Backpacker Tip: Register with the IAMAT
If you are backpacking, it would be a good idea to register with the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT).
Their mission is to “minimise health risks to travellers” and if in the event, you get sick or injured while on your travels, their “member card grants you access to professional care by reputable English-speaking doctors and mental health practitioners, at an affordable price.”
If you are wary of leaving valuables such as your cash or your passport lying around the hotel room while you’re gone, then there are ways you can keep them safe and out of sight.
For instance, you can place your valuables in the empty kettle that comes in the room. Another idea would be to hide money or small items in a tampon box.
It’s the last place anyone would look!
Photograph & Dropbox your travel documents
Whether it’s your Passport, plane ticket, health insurance, drivers license, the rule is simple…if it’s important, then photograph or photocopy it.
Save the photos/scans to a Dropbox folder or email them to yourself so you can access them from a computer anywhere in the world. Also email yourself a list of important phone numbers. Never hurts to have backup copies.
Don’t act like a tourist
If you look and act like a tourist, you will instantly be targeted by pickpockets and scam artists.
For instance, if you are lost, don’t look like you are lost! Don’t open a map in the middle of a street either. Straight away, you are easily identified as a tourist and as a result, you become an obvious target.
Blend in with the locals.
This rose gold print!!! Get it here
Before you get into the taxi, take a photo of the license plate. This way, if you leave anything behind, the taxi in question can easily be tracked.
If you are wary of taking a taxi on your own, especially at night, then here’s a trick to bear in mind regardless of where in the world you are. Make a fake phone call to a parent. Pretend the parent is asking you for the drivers official details (which should be displayed on the dashboard) and call them out on the phone. If the driver was planning anything untoward, he’s certainly not going to do proceed with it now because he know’s someone close to you has his details. Seems extreme but better safe than sorry.