Today I have a guest post from the lovely Vicky of Miss Tilly and Me, all about travelling alone. Check it out:
My name is Vicky and I blog at www.misstillyandme.co.uk, I have been blogging for 5 years and it really is all part of my everyday life now. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Although I don't actually travel alone, I do travel with my 8 year old daughter, so I might as well be a lone female traveller. I do often worry about travelling with her alone but the potential adventure always outweighs the worry. Luckily for me, she has the same adventurous streak as I do and she is happy to travel. She calls me ‘The Adventure Mum'. I kinda like that! Whether your travelling alone or travelling alone with children there are so many tips to follow to avoid anything going wrong and keeping you safe as you roam.
Always check in online whilst you're travelling or when you have reached your destination. My daughter makes me do this, With Europe being the centre of terrorist attacks, it does make her worry. So I check in as often as I can. If anything happens on holiday, I always mark myself as safe. People will know you have gone to a certain country or city, but they will never know how close or far away you are from an incident.
Keep a photocopy of your passport and back up of your travel details. You can even take a photo on your phone and save it to the cloud. Then if your passport is lost or stolen, you can easily get help as you have a backup copy.
Always stay somewhere that has multiple good reviews. We booked into a hostel in Budapest once and it looked lovely on the booking website, but in fact, it was awful and there were plug sockets loose and it was extremely dirty. We refused to pay and walked straight back out, we were walking the streets of Budapest at 10.30pm looking for somewhere to stay.
Make online friends that are going to the destination at the same time as you. I know this isn't always the safest option but people have been travelling for year and years on their own and they meet people at the airport or on a train and they go travelling with them. It means you get some company. Just make sure you really vet the person that you're meeting.
Never get in a car with a stranger, Never get in an unmarked taxi. If you can pre-book airport transfers and then they will normally meet you in arrivals. If you just jump in a cab at the airport, you will end up paying more because they charge extortionate rates.
Leave a copy of your holiday route with someone, this way there is always someone who knows where you are going or what you are doing. If your route or travel plans change, let them know. I know its difficult to let people know, whilst you're away but it really is so they can keep track of you.
Do something that you wouldn't normally do with anyone else. Be adventurous and climb a mountain if you want, don't let anyone else put you off. It's a great way to get stuff ticked off from your bucket list too.
Use a website like Air BnB or Expedia to book excursions, they can range from visits to the cinema or visits to tourist places. Many solo travellers do this and it's a great way to meet new people and it's completely safe because it's organised properly.
Stay alert to your surroundings, don't flash your cash around for everyone to see and make sure you always put your money in separate places. I usually stuff some down my bra, in my bag, in my purse, in my kid's bag. I have even put money in my shoe before! Don't let go of your bag and always walk with your handbag on the inside of the pathway, so nobody driving past can grab it.
Do your research on places that you're going to visit. There can be some beautiful places to see in a city, but there can also be a dodgy area too. You don't want to book a hotel or hostel because it's cheap and then find it is the wrong area of the place you're visiting.
You can feel quite alone in a big city as a solo traveller. But it will be one of the best things that you will do.