Solo Travel Safety
Solo business travel has become more of a regular thing in my life since converting from employee to consultant. Whether for work or pleasure, solo travel comes with some caveats. Safety is one of them. No one wants to be the person who reviewed their photos only to find that someone snapped a picture of them while they were sleeping…
I perform many of the rituals and take many of the precautions mentioned by the women interviewed for this article (quoted below) – some with a twist. For instance, when I had a garage, I did make it a practice to watch the garage door close on my way out. I also watched it close in the rear view mirror when I got home. I did not unlock my car until the door was completely down and I had ascertained that no one had followed me in.
Here are some more of my own personal solo travel rituals:
Park for safety, not for economy
Part of my reimbursable travel expenses always includes a spot in the parking garage at the airport. The garage at my airport is well-lit and frequently patrolled. I try to arrive early enough that I can wait for someone to leave that is parked close to the elevators. The garage is more expensive than parking in the big open air lot, but also safer when my plane lands at midnight and the prospect of a lone trek out to the car looms large.
The same parking risks exist in the hotel parking lot. When parking a car at your hotel, then consider using valet instead of parking it yourself and having to walk back alone. If you can park it yourself within steps of the hotel’s entrance, then great. If not, then use valet.
Protect your carry-on valuables
I carry a lightweight, fold-up bag. Should the airline decide to check my carry on at the gate, I can remove valuables like my laptop and consolidate it with my purse to form a single carry-on item.
Carry yourself with confidence
I plan ahead to eliminate any fumbling for what I need. I think fumbling makes one look distracted and therefore vulnerable. Identification, credit card, cash, phone, all have their own designated places in my travel purse. I therefore always know exactly where to find everything. I also use my brisk “chick from NYC” walk to further signal that I would not be an easy target. This is easier than it sounds. Just put “Pretty Woman” (the Van Halen version) in your head, and walk to that beat. It works!
Online safety concerns
Something that may seem counter-intuitive to safety is that I “check in” online everywhere I go. As a solo traveler, I think it’s a good thing to leave a trail of bread crumbs for my family and law enforcement to follow. I do agree that there are risks to mitigate. If I am alone, then I usually wait and check in upon departure. This way, those who might need to can still track my movements, but any potential cyber-stalkers will arrive only to find I’ve moved on.
I’m sure everyone has their own set of precautions for solo travel – what are yours?
Check the link below to read more valuable solo travel safety tips.
Let me share with you a few of the things that I do – as well as a few things other women travelers do and have shared – that help keep us safe in a practical and stress-free manner .