Travel Tips

How to Avoid Being a Target When Traveling Alone

Visiting-Chau-Doc-markets

Let’s get this straight. Traveling solo is a wonderful thing to do. You can go at your own pace, rediscover yourself, not worry too much about pleasing others and do whatever you wish! It’s also worth remembering that solo travel can be completely safe. It’s important to learn how to avoid being a target when traveling alone.

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A city like Hanoi can be initially overwhelming to solo travelers, however, it’s also very safe.

It’s easy to imagine that traveling solo automatically makes you more vulnerable, after all, you don’t have someone there to watch your back and if something goes wrong, then you’re on your own. However, traveling solo also means you’re less likely to stick out in public places, you can move quickly, and you won’t have anyone else clouding your judgement. Sure, you’ll need to invest in a tripod so you can take amazing travel photos of yourself – make a nice photo collage with your images by clicking this link – but you’ll manage!

Despite this, there are some travel mistakes that solo travelers often make. And the best way to avoid them is to find out what they are.

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Asking a family to take your picture is always a safe bet.

Not doing enough research

Don’t be fooled into thinking researching your destination will spoil the spontaneity of your trip. All travelers should research their host country, so they can make themselves aware of any dress codes they may need to adhere to, any areas that tourists should avoid and any faux pas that they need to avoid. By researching a little before you travel, you’ll get to make the most of the country you visit and won’t struggle too much with the culture shock!

Not blending in

Walking around with a bright pink Disney top with clashing prints or dressing for a day at the beach while you’re at the local market – as a woman, dressing modestly is always your best bet. Outfits that are permitted at the beach may not be acceptable in temples or other places of interest. Again, research will help you establish what outfits are acceptable and the more you blend in the less of a target you’ll be.

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Modest dress is an absolute must when visiting temples in Cambodia.

Not being sensible at your hotel

Your hotel is going to be your sanctuary whilst you’re overseas. But you should still exercise caution. If you fail to engage with hotel safety, then you may make yourself a target. Avoid rooms on the ground floor and familiarize yourself with the fire and evacuation plans. Never open your hotel room door to someone you don’t know (even if they claim to work at the hotel), call down to reception first. Never say your room number out loud. Invest in a simple door wedge to give your hotel room door as a means of providing yourself some extra protection.

Failing to walk with confidence

When you’re lost and beginning to panic, it’s difficult to look confident. However, the more confident you look, the more you walk with determination and direction, the less of a target you’ll be.

And finally, not leaving your jewelry at home

Gold chains, glittering bracelets, or even rings and earrings – if your jewelry means something to you, then leave it at home. You’ll just make yourself a target for thieves who’ll spot your wealth instantly.

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A silver cuff bracelet and small pearl studs were the only pieces of jewelry I wore during my 3.5 weeks in SE Asia.

What other tips would you recommend to solo travelers?

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