Either out of necessity or choice, many travellers will find themselves exploring solo at some point. And rather than be daunted by the prospect, it’s a great opportunity to embrace the situation and plan the ideal trip for you.
Single travellers can do exactly what they want, go where they want, when they want! One of the primary concerns for solo travel however is safety. There are many simple precautions that you can take and here we cover some of the key tips and advice to keep you safe and allow you to enjoy a worry free vacation.
• Before embarking on solo roadtrip, there are some essential things should be done to prepare you and your vehicle. Make sure your car is serviced and checked thoroughly prior to departing. Make sure the technician checks the tyres for optimal air pressure, that your treads are good and legal and that the overall ride is smooth. Check all fluids levels including brake fluid, oil and transmission fluid. These are just some of the basic maintenance techniques required to ensure driver safety. And remember, no questions are dumb questions when it comes to vehicle safety!
• Pay special attention to paperwork and make sure that you have your passport (if heading overseas), driver’s license, all relevant insurance (travel, car etc) and all forms of identification in order. Failure to have adequate identification can cause serious problems and long delays when trying to return home and should you run into difficulty.
• Don’t take all your holiday money as cash; take some traveller's cheques to spread the risk.
• Pack appropriately for your destination, leaving behind the rather expensive valuables which tend to attract unwanted attention. Decide against wearing diamonds and gold and opt instead for understated costume style jewellery.
• Keep communications open. Make sure that more than one person knows your destination and has your correct cell phone number before embarking on the trip. If there is going to be more than one destination, then alert a friend of every stop you will be making along the way. Inform others of your expected departure and arrival times from both destination and back home.
• Do your research before leaving. Know everything that needs to be known about your destination. Talk to others who have been to the same vacation spot and where to seek accommodation. Use a specialist solo travel website or forum for research. It is best to spend a little extra money on safer accommodation then to opt for less expensive local hotel or motel which could be risky. Again online review sites really come in handy, as does checking your destination city or region name in the news alerts section on your search engine.
• When taking taxis or private transport, check your driver's identification. This may seem irritating to the driver but if it settles your mind, he will get over it.
• Opt for an across-the-body purse or handbag when around town. Or opt for backpack or money belt to avoid purse slashers or thieves when wandering tourist areas.
• If someone is following you, stop off at a shop and stick to open busy areas. If they are persistent then seek assistance.
• Make sure you get plenty of rest before embarking on a full day of sightseeing. Stay alert to your surroundings and don’t overdo the alcohol.