How to Travel Alone

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Traveling alone can open you up to unique personal experiences in new places. Take full advantage of these opportunities while maintaining your safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Journal
  • Local Guidebooks
  • Maps
  • Wedding Rings
  • Postage Stamps
  • Stationery
  • Whistles

Practice Personal Safety

  • Consider learning basic self-defense. For instance, by striking the eyes, nose, throat, groin or knees, you can disable an assailant.

  • Research your destination so you'll know what to expect in terms of attitudes toward foreigners and, if you're female, women.

  • Request a room that isn't on the ground floor, which can offer easy access through a window.

  • Avoid opening your door to people who are unknown to you or who do not identify themselves.

  • Become familiar with the people at your hotel's reception desk, and inform them of your comings and goings. Give them emergency numbers of family or friends.

  • Get to know the area where you'll be staying, and trust your intuition; avoid places that look risky.

  • Dress like a local resident, or at least try to look inconspicuous in your dress and behavior.

  • Walk with confidence. If you're feeling nervous, seek out a fellow traveler as a temporary companion or stay close to another pedestrian so that you don't appear to be alone.

  • Stay sober, or at least know your limits when drinking.

Get Comfortable on Your Own

  • Follow some of the routines you have at home: Drink a cup of coffee in the morning, take an afternoon jog, visit the market in the evening.

  • Create a temporary home, if you are staying more than a couple of days, by decorating your room with familiar objects, such as pictures, candles and flowers.

  • Go to a restaurant and bring a book, journal or materials for writing letters. You might also bring a guidebook or map to help plan the next part of your trip.

  • Become a regular: Visit one shop consistently or have breakfast at the same café each morning, and get to know the people who work there. They can give you helpful advice about the area and, when you need it, provide assistance, which can be especially important in an emergency.

  • Meet other travelers through classes or tour groups. They can share travel tips with you and even become temporary travel companions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be somewhat cautious when meeting new people. Ask lots of questions and get to know people first before you tell them that you're traveling alone. You don't want to become a target for others to take advantage of you.
  • If you run into trouble in a foreign country, contact your country's embassy or the closest consulate as soon as possible.
  • If you are harassed, be clear and firm in your rebuff and get away from the harasser as quickly as possible. Seek out the police or other authorities if necessary.
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