Traveling alone is great. You can go where you want, when you want, eat or not depending on your tastes and desires. See the sights or relax in your motel or camper with no responsibilities to anyone except yourself. It’s the epitome of selfishness and it’s wonderful.
The solo traveler has to think about safety. It seems strange that solo travelers think they are safer at home, especially in a big city, than they are in another state or another country, but they do. So observing a few common sense tips while traveling can make you feel more comfortable.
Keep track of your stuff
If you have a passport and are traveling in another country, don’t lose that passport. Make a copy of it and keep the copy somewhere else. Stuff it in your boot, put it in your luggage or in the safe of your hotel room. That way if you lose it, you can use that copy to get another passport. Leave another copy with a friend at home. Do the same with a visa if you need one. Oh, and before you leave, be sure your passport has not expired. If it is, apply for a new one at least 2 months before you plan to leave. Make a copy your credit card and leave an extra with a friend in case you lose yours.
Leave copies of your itinerary with friends as well. Don’t forget to include relevant telephone numbers and addresses.
Leave expensive stuff at home.
Don’t take anything that you might lose or might look attractive to thieves. Follow the same rules you would at home.
Leave jewelry at home. Even if you are dressing for dinner while traveling, you don’t need good jewelry. People travel see the sights, not to see you.
If you must have a watch, buy a cheap one to wear. But you are on vacation and should not need a watch.
Use one credit card. Leave the rest at home.
What about my health insurance and medications?
Check with your insurance company. It’s possible you will need more insurance to cover any emergencies while out of the country.
Take all your daily medications with you. Bring some extra in case yours gets lost or rained on. Leave them in the labeled bottles that you got them in.
What about camping safety?
Many woman camp or travel by car by themselves these days. Some carry a gun and feel safe. If that makes you feel safe, then by all means do so. Be sure you have the right one for you, have the proper licenses to have it and know how to use it. Be prepared to use it if you feel you need to. A dog might be better protection. The dog will protect you while you excuse yourself to find your gun, load it, aim it and shoot it while a dangerous attacker patiently waits for you.
Some solo travelers carry wasp spray. It can shoot someone from 15 feet away, will not kill anyone and blind the would-be criminal while you call the police.
Too bad we have to teach the traveler to be safe as opposed to teaching people not to steal, rape or kill.