Spring break is right around the corner, and we can’t wait for sunshine — and spring fashion and spring garlands and — is it here yet?! That being said, not all of us have booked a villa with five of our closest friends. Instead, you might be opting for a more adult spring break destination, to travel exactly where you want and do exactly what you want. To get everyone off your back who keeps side-eying you about traveling alone — since Taken really did a number on our psyches — assure them you’ll be following some of these simple rules by fellow female travelers that can make even the most novice adventurers seem savvy.
1. Documents are important
You can’t prevent every thing from going wrong, but having a back-up plan for the things that might will make your travel experience so much easier. We’ve all learned not to get into a cab with a stranger and tell him (or her!) every detail of your itinerary, but making sure you have all of that information is absolutely crucial.
“I always send my parents and a good friend copies of my itineraries and where I’ll be staying. And, if I end up on a Tinder date (which is really fun in a new place!), I send that same good friend a WhatsApp pin of where I’m meeting him.” – Sara, Cambodia 2012
“Always write down ON PAPER the name, address and phone number (if possible) of your next destination, and store in your pocket. If it’s in a purse or on an electronic device, it could either get lost or stolen, and you could have major problems.” – Laura, Spain 2015
“Have copies of your passport in different places (luggage, jacket pocket, purse). Having a copy of my passport and drivers license helped me a lot when my passport was stolen in Guatemala. It facilitated the process.” – Rebecca, Guatemala 2010
2. Check yourself
Being aware of your surroundings and yourself is numero uno in solo safety advice. Try to limit your bling factor so that you don’t make yourself an easy target, and avoid places that could leave you vulnerable — the classic dark alley scenario is actually what we’re talking about here. For unexpected moments, it’s good to know a bit of self-defense, and even using the latest safety gadgets can help reduce your risk factor.
“My biggest safety tip for solo travel would be to trust your instincts. Fairly obvious, I know, but so many people don’t listen to their gut. If a situation feels weird, leave. Don’t feel guilty or worry about being rude. Protect yourself first and foremost. Over time and with experience, you’ll learn to read people and situations really well on your own, and for me that’s been the most important thing I’ve achieved with my solo travel.” – Liz, New Zealand 2015
“Walk like you know exactly where you’re going. Even if you’re totally and completely lost and confused, head up and eyes forward like you own the place.” – Erin, Ecuador 2014
“I never listen to music while walking alone; I’m constantly keeping an eye on everyone around me. And I try to walk with a sense of purpose. If I am lost, I won’t check my map or phone on the street. Also I am a ninja, so that helps.” – Stephanie, Thailand 2015
“Have your money already divided and placed where you can just grab and go. You don’t want to fondle through the purse or anything. And carry a cross-body handbag — nothing huge or easy to take, just with the basics in it.” – Jasmine, Australia 2011
3. Have fun!
Being aware is one thing, but being paranoid is another — remember to let loose and have fun! Trust that, even though there are some weirdos out there, people are most often just people and would rather show you a positive experience of their country.
“Travel with positivity and awareness. Respect your environment and yourself.” – Georgie, India 2014
“Number one piece of advice is to travel with an open mind. I went to an underground jazz club in Scotland. I went on a date with a guy in London and he showed me around to all the Banksy street art that had been glassed in. I have been lost on the coast of Ireland and saw the most gorgeous sunset, and made friends with an adorable Border Collie named Rosie. The key is to go with the flow, but constantly be aware of your surroundings.”– Grace, London 2012
What is your biggest piece of travel safety advice? Share it @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)