Travel can be a rejuvenating experience. After all, learning about different cultures, creating new experiences, and visiting memorable sites can be one of life’s biggest joys, but doing so alone can require some extra precaution. Learn how to travel safely—and enjoy your trip to the fullest—with these essential tips.
1. Scan Your License, Passport, and Health Insurance Card
Traveling smart means taking precautions—even before you catch your flight. Scan important documents like your license, passport, and health insurance card before you leave, and email them to yourself. That way, if you lose your passport during your trip, you'll have an easier time getting it reissued.
2. Alert Others Of Your Location
It might sound like common sense, but letting friends and family know where you’re staying, how long you plan to visit, and when you arrive is a good rule of thumb. If anything should happen, those close to you would know you last whereabouts. So send them your itinerary ahead of time.
3. Protect Your Important Belongings
You might be used to sticking your cell phone in your back pocket or throwing your debit card in pockets that don't have any buttons or zippers, but there's a better solution. The hide-away pouch of the Undercover Hidden Pocket slips onto your belt and can be tucked away into the waistband of your pants for incognito confidence. Another option is to use the silk undercover money belt, which has dual zippered pockets that can help keep both money and documents hidden and secure.
4. Write Down Your Location
You never know when your cell phone battery could die. When your main source of communication is down—as well as all the notes that you may have taken on it—you'll want a small notebook as a backup. Write down the address of the hotel or hostel your staying at and the cross streets. That way, you’ll be able to hail a cab and make it back safely—even when your phone battery is empty.
5. Sightsee During The Day
Travel is all about new experiences, but if you’re going alone, it’s better to venture into unknown territory in the daylight and come back by dusk. If you’re looking to find a built-in social scene, sign up for group tours or events. Most places have organized tours—whether that means riding a double-decker bus in London, visiting the Arc de Triomphe in France, or going on a group walk through of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. If you do need to travel at night, walk along a well-lit path.
6. Get Wise On Public Transportation
Before you make your way around town, look into the city’s public transportation. Become familiar with where the stations are, the frequency of pick-up times, and what routes lead back to your destination. This will help you plan ahead and figure out when you need to start heading back to your hotel or hostel. When traveling, keep your items protected. Keep zippered items secure by locking them with an ultralight TSA lock when you’re in transit.
7. Don’t Flash Money Or Jewelry
Being alert is key. Don’t walk around town with an iPod blasting in your ears, and don’t wear flashy jewelry. Basically, don’t draw attention to yourself. When buying items, it’s best not to pull out a wad of cash. Instead, keep smaller bills on hand and keep larger denominations hidden. The lightweight credit clip RFID keeps your valuables hidden on your person with a metal belt clip and keeps high-tech criminals at bay with RFID-blocking technology that's designed to insulate you from electronic pickpocketing of credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses.
8. Plan Ahead
Before booking your first solo trip in Europe, choose a country where you speak the language—or at least a country where you’re able to make simple requests (like asking for the location of the nearest restroom, where to hail a cab, or how many blocks it is to the museum). Knowing how to ask basic questions takes some stress out of the situation, helping ease you into your first solo trip.
When you keep these tips in mind, you're more likely to stress less and enjoy your solo trip to Europe. What about you? Any advice that you'd add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.
While Eagle Creek is here to provide tips and insights on travel, we cannot accept any responsibility for any potential consequences arising from the use of this information. Always conduct your own research and use your best judgment.
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Spend an Active Family Spring Break in Italy
The Do's and Don'ts of Thailand
The Secret to Enjoying the Outdoors Off the Grid