With travel possibilities opening up, a lot of us are finally looking forward to vacationing abroad again. The travel industry witnessed a rise in solo female travelers before the Covid 19 pandemic, and this trend is set to continue in 2022 now that restrictions have relaxed. There’s literally a world of wonderful travel adventures to enjoy out there, though as a first time solo traveler, you might feel butterflies at the prospect of going it alone. I recently booked a trip to Semarang – staying at Hotel Aruss – so I’ve booked up – you should too!

To put your mind at rest, and set you off on an unforgettable travel experience, here are some practical tips below for staying safe as a solo on vacation.

Practical tips for a safe vacation

  • Consider going on an organized tour for your first trip. There’s a variety of amazing trips out there and a tour organizer will sort out accommodation and transport for you. You’ll usually travel within a group which is a fantastic way of meeting like-minded people. Do try and use a local tour organizer where possible, as this will bring more benefits to the local community.
  • Research your destination before you go and choose a country where you’ll feel safe. A quick internet search will alert you to security issues in your destination country. Choose your accommodation carefully and read reviews from female travelers. Opt to stay in safer parts of the town you’re visiting. Don’t book the cheapest accommodation if it’s in a dodgy neighborhood where you might feel uncomfortable. Check out hotel curfew times, if you plan on being out late.
  • Get a telephone number of a taxi service or familiarize yourself with rideshare options. Check the taxi for official credentials before you get in, and always wait for your taxi in busy areas. If you organize rideshare, be vigilant about the driver’s details.
  • Leave your valuables at home. With sustainability as the next biggest travel trend, less is more! Travel light and leave your expensive jewelry at home. If you love your bling, bring along some pretty, inexpensive pieces – you might pick up some quirky craft jewelry in markets abroad. If you have rings or keepsakes that you bring everywhere, make sure your accommodation has a safe where you can stash them.
  • Keep your passport, cash and cards in a safe too. Take photos of your passports (see here), travel documents, details of your country’s embassy and save them somewhere secure. Keep paper copies of documents and important numbers in a safe place too, should you lose or damage your phone or have limited internet access.
  • Mind your phone. Nowadays we store so much important information on our phones that keeping it safe is a must –  especially in an airport. Mobile phones are rich pickings for pickpockets so keep your phone in a zipped pocket or fanny pack. Avoid listening to music with earbuds on the move as it distracts you from potential risks and makes it obvious that you have a mobile phone. You don’t want to miss out on taking photos but be careful where you set your phone down. Invest in a waterproof phone wallet – priceless at the beach. Be conscious of your surroundings if you’re texting or talking on the phone.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. It’s fun to socialize and enjoy a tipple when traveling, and with the delicious wine and beers on offer, it can be tempting to overindulge. Be attentive as too much alcohol can make you vulnerable in an unknown place. Keep your drink close, you definitely don’t want anyone spiking it.
  • Respect the local customs. Dress appropriately according to local norms and cultures particularly when visiting places of worship, says Kayak.
  • Learn the basics of the local language. It helps you connect with locals who can share great travel tips. You will meet other travelers and befriending other females on holiday will help you feel safer and might lead to enduring friendships and future travel buddies.