13 Easy Safety Tips
Whew, that was a lot of information. If you feel overwhelmed, here is a breakdown of 13 easy things you can do to feel safer when you are traveling (or just living) alone:
1. Adventure in the light
I always plan my days so that I am back at my hotel/Airbnb by dark or right after. While this means an early return in the winter, it makes me feel safe to know that I am secure after dark. It also gives you time to relax, plan the next day, and get up with the sunrise.
2. Spend extra where necessary
If a hotel or Airbnb looks like it might be sketchy, just assume that it is and go for the more expensive option. In the grand scheme of things the extra money here and there for peace of mind is worth it.
3. Plan plan plan!
If feels good to know what you’re doing, when, and how. Read more here.
4. Be careful with drinking
Most violence happens when drinking is involved and it also makes you an easier target. So either abstain, have just one drink with your lunch/dinner, or wait to have that wine until you are safely alone at night.
5. Bring a whistle, doorstop, and pepper spray
I don’t have a doorstop yet but I plan on getting one for my next jaunt this weekend. Put it under the door from the inside to get some extra peace of mind. I’ve been in some airbnbs that don’t lock well and I know this would just add another layer of security. You can even get cheap doorstops with an alarm that will sound if they are triggered. A whistle is just practical to bring attention to yourself if you need it, and pepper spray more than anything just makes me feel more confident.
6. Stay connected
Let people know where you are! Share your itineraries, get on social media, text people back for goodness sakes so they don’t worry!
7. Be confident
...and if you aren’t pretend to be. Get your RBF out and walk with a purpose. Fake it till ya make it.
8. Be aware
Our awareness is actually better when alone without distractions, but make sure you are cognizant of your surroundings
9. Assess and make decisions
Sometimes you have to let a guy in a monster truck help you get out of a McDonald’s parking lot. Use your judgement. Assess the situation and make decisions. You can’t avoid everything.
10. Copies of documents
Scan/take pictures of important documents and credit cards in case you get separated from them (but make sure they are uploaded to some sort of cloud/your email). Also – write down some important phone numbers! If you lose your phone/it breaks you probably won’t remember them.
11. Share location
Let someone know when you should be somewhere if you think you will be off grid. I use the share my location feature on my iphone with at least one person when I’m traveling. If you know you won’t have service let them know that too.
12. Prep your car/rental
Make sure you have your insurance/roadside assistance information and supplies in case of an emergency (snacks, water, blanket etc)
13. Phone charger and extra battery
Your phone might die quicker while traveling due to use, roaming etc so always have a charger or extra battery on hand
Safety is something we can’t help but pay attention to. Just remember, you’re probably just as safe (or even more) traveling as you are living your life each day. It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let it stop you from living your adventure. The risk is worth the reward.
Check back next week for Part 3 :)