Celebrity Corner Solo Travel

8 Important Safety Tips For the Solo Traveler

Solo travel can be a very rewarding experience. You’re often more open to unique experiences and meeting new people than if you’re traveling with friends and/or family. While this can be a wonderful, enriching adventure, it’s important to consider safety since you will be alone. Here are my helpful tips on how the solo traveler can plan a fun AND safe solo trip.
  1. Book a hotel instead of an Airbnb. Airbnb can be a great affordable alternative to pricey hotels while traveling, but if you’re traveling alone, opt for a hotel. With a key card, security staff and cameras, hotels provide the comfort of a built-in security program. Airbnbs simply do not have this same level of security. Plus, you never truly know what sort of neighborhood an Airbnb is in until you arrive. You could show up alone and be in a very unsafe area, which could become a real problem.
  2. If you don’t feel comfortable somewhere, move. Whenever my daughter travels, I tell her that security always comes first. If you aren’t comfortable staying somewhere, don’t. Always trust your instincts in this situation.
  3. Get in and out of the airport as quickly as possible. Airports are crowded, can be potentially dangerous, and an easy place to be preyed upon as a tourist traveling alone. Move as quickly as possible through the airport to the secure area.
  4. Always choose your own taxi. NEVER let a stranger pick your taxi for you. If someone offering a ride seems questionable to you, move on to the next one. Once you get into a taxi, be sure to check that the person driving matches the license photo at the front of the car.
  5. Take a photo of your hotel’s info. Most hotels have stationary with its name, phone number and address on it. When you check in, take a photo of that so that you can reference it on your phone whenever necessary. Take a photo of the street that the hotel is on, too–if you’re ever lost you’ll know where to go. Take a photo of the map and subway stop of the hotel–anything you might need to know in the future.
  6. Store important documents in the cloud. Having physical copies of your passport and banking info is a smart idea, but storing all critical documents in the cloud is the best option. When you do this, you’ll be able to print these documents anywhere that has internet.
  7. Consider booking a travel experience with a tour company. A great way to travel alone is by taking a trip with a travel adventure company. Choose a tour with about 10-15 people and you can do all sorts of things. Experiment with cooking in a local kitchen, stay someplace unusual, do a little hiking, make friends—it’s a really cool way to experience things. Search for adventures that will have like-minded travelers. You don’t want to be single and end up on a trip with a lot of couples. G. AdventuresGoway, and Gate 1 are my top recommended travel experience companies.
  8. Use apps for a smooth trip. HotelTonight and SkyScanner are two of my go-to travel apps to quickly and easily book affordable hotel rooms and air travel. Always be sure to download your airline’s travel app, too. This is the best resource for up-to-date flight information.

solo travelerAs CEO and founder of Unicomm, LLC., John Golicz produces the largest and fastest growing travel trade show series in the United States– the Travel & Adventure Show Series. With nearly 30 years of travel experience, John is an expert on how to travel better, safer, smarter and cheaper.

John V. Golicz, Executive Editor | March 9, 2016

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