There are many people who take off in groups for weekend trips in Bangalore, but have you ever tried traveling solo? It is the most liberating experience. However, without the right precautions to make personal safety a priority, it can also leave you deeply scarred. Worry not; here is a list of a few safety tips that will come in handy on your next solo travel.
1. Learn about your destination:
Be aware of local customs and etiquette, appropriate dress code, especially for religious sites, if in doubt, opt for conservative. This will help you prevent harassment, physical violence, and even arrest. Learn a few basics of the regional language which is invaluable for asking for assistance. Get acquainted with any forbidden gestures. The very common ‘OK’ finger sign has different connotations in Brazil and Germany. Get the safety lowdown on the public transportation of the destination, and areas to avoid after dusk. Make a note of local numbers to call for emergencies.
2. Be wise in choosing your transportation:
As you step out of an airport or train station, there are herds of people standing by to take you on the next leg of your journey. Many of them are genuine but it’s important to note their cab number and immediately message it to your contacts. Once you have boarded your ride, don’t fall asleep even if you are fatigued. Whether you are traveling solo in India or abroad, avoid hitchhiking as far as possible, and if there is no option then only get into a car with families.
3. Stay Connected:
In today’s era of smartphones, ensure that you have roaming services or a local SIM card with you. Periodically, keep updating your trusted family and friends and the local hotel of your whereabouts. Let them know your expected time of return as well as your exact route, and try to stick to it.
4. Store your valuables separately:
The more you spread out your valuables like passport, cash, bank cards, and electronics, the less likely are you to lose everything if you’re robbed. Keep money in different pockets on your person and some in your wallet. Carrying a spare ‘fake’ wallet with expired cards and small bills comes in handy if you are faced with a mugger. When on the go, carry only a copy of the data page of your passport with you. Let the original always lie safely in the hotel locker.
5. Pick a Safe room:
Pick a room that is not too isolated and avoids ground floors to stay away from peeping toms. Keep your door locked, with the security chain fastened and don’t answer the door if you’re not expecting anyone. Many hotels now have floors dedicated to women travelers with additional security. If you’re from the fairer sex, you can check for this. Many backpackers and solo travelers from Bangalore visiting Nandi Hills, look for Nandi Hills resorts. A safe and reliable resort you can try is the renowned Discovery Village resort at the foot of the hill.
6. Be cautious when talking to strangers:
You meet all kinds of people, some genuine, and some who chat with you only to solicit information about you that they can use to their advantage. Do not disclose your travel plans, hotel, or where you’re heading to strangers or fellow travelers.
7. Stay Healthy:
Most tourists take it lightly, but always check if the water is safe to drink and if the bottle is sealed properly. Also, ensure that you are carrying sufficient mosquito repellent and an extra supply of prescription medications and other generic drugs that you may need. And don’t forget the hand sanitizer.
8. Watch your belongings:
Whether you are traveling solo cross country or in a foreign land, the thumb rule is to watch your belongings at all times. Keep your daypack or purse strapped on your person. Load your own bags onto a bus and watch out for pickpockets at all popular sites and attractions.
9. Have adequate travel insurance:
Last, and certainly not least, ensure that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip. It’s not just about getting reimbursed for lost luggage, but travel insurance and evacuation coverage helps you avoid the high cost of medical care anywhere.
That said, these are just a few words of caution. The mystery of the unknown is the best part of travel. With generous proportions of common sense and wit about you, set out on a solo trip. It will be a decision you will never regret.