Gaby and Bjargey

Gaby and Bjargey
Two Michigan girls, who enjoy experiencing the world. Currently based in Iceland, Toned and Traveled is the go ­to travel and lifestyle blog for women who are looking for tips and advice on traveling, health and wellness, and life.
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How I Stay Safe When Traveling Solo

I am not going to lie, I have had my iffy moments while traveling solo. I have gotten lost and had to turn on my phone data to find my way home. Been approached by a creepy Italian man, asked to dinner and then found myself 2 hours away from my hotel. I have walked around in the dark of the night and also given out my phone number to complete strangers. Why? I don’t honestly know. I was young and naïve. I don’t advise anything I did to anyone who is traveling solo. Be smart and don’t tell people your full name.

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10 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling:

I have learned a lot from traveling solo and have decided to share them with you. If you don’t want to give your mom a heart attack, follow these tips to make solo travel a piece of cake:

Always be Alert

I am one to throw on my headphones and walk around, but this is not always the best idea. It is smart to know your surroundings and be able to act if a situation arises. So turn down that funky music white boy or only wear one headphone while you explore.

 

Check in on Social Media

This can be a personal preference, but I like to post a photo on my Instagram from wherever I may be. It is a great way to tell friends and family you made it to your destination safely without the hassle of a phone call.

 

Call your Parents

Don’t forget to check in every once in awhile with your worrying momma. Let your parents know where your travel itinerary and keep them posted on when you arrive at new destinations. Even a simple text message will put your parents hearts at ease.

 

Set a Curfew

Setting a curfew is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your own safety. Exploring the streets late at night only leads to bad things and you may find yourself lost. Turn in early so you can wake up fresh and renewed in the morning.

 

Only Have ONE Drink

I love wine, like love until my teeth turn red. But it is not a great idea to be a drunken solo traveler. It is easier for people to take advantage of you once you have had a drink, so limit yourself to one drink at dinner and make sure to drink a lot of water. It is also important that you purchase your own drink. Do not accept drinks from other people and if you set your drink down, don’t pick it back up.

 

When in Doubt, Stay at a Hotel

Hostels are a great way to meet people, but sometimes they do not meet expectations. If you feel unsafe or completely grossed out, look for the nearest hotel. Your safety is the number one priority. Do not stay in a hostel that you feel may bring you danger. If you have trouble affording a hotel, look into an Airbnb or ask for the hostel to recommend another location.

 

Don’t Give Out Your Number

Plain and simple. Don’t give your number to foreigners. Maybe if it is someone from the USA and they live in your town, but if they don’t speak your language – Don’t do it. I had to learn this the hard way.

 

Take a Boxing/Self-Defense Class

Before your exploration, it may be a good idea to take a self-defense class. Before I left school, I was taking boxing classes. It is smart to know how to defend yourself just incase. I haven’t had to use my Ronda Rowsey skills yet, but I feel prepared.

 

Lock up Your Belongings

People steal. It is just a common thing. So make sure you either lock your personal belongings in your rental car, safe or ask the hostel for a locker. You don’t want to risk losing your jewelry, phone or computer. Unless you have to bring these things with you, it might be safer to leave them at home.

 

Hide Your Money and Passport

If you are walking around with a backpack, make sure you hide your money and passport in the bottom of your bag. People can easily unzip your backpack without you noticing. And NEVER keep anything in your pockets.

Traveling solo should not be a HUGE deal, as long as you are smart and prepared you will be fine. Use your common sense and don’t show any fear. If you have any more safety tips on how you travel solo, comment below.

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