How to stay safe when travelling solo

When most people plan a vacation they consider visas and vaccinations. It’s important to think about the potential dangers you can encounter while traveling. These range from being pickpocketed to natural disasters. Both have the potential to ruin your day or worse.

  • Research! Planning ahead will give you time to research the destination. Ask questions on popular forums like Quora Or Reddit and travel Facebook groups like Girls Love Travel. Read up on the weather, the appropriate dress codes, where locals hang out.
  • Check your government’s travel site where you will find information on the travel documents you require for travel as well as any warnings for your destination. Here is the link for travel alerts for South Africans
  • Register with your government. South Africans can register with ROSA (Registration of South Africans Abroad) a software program developed by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) allowing travelers to register on-line. The information travelers register on ROSA allows the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to assist South African citizens in event of an emergency. The registration is a free, voluntary service provided by Government (through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation). ROSA is only available to South African citizens who are travelling, living or working abroad.
  • Keep your passport safe. Know the location of your nearest embassy.
  • Take pictures of all your documents (passport, ID, flight details and accommodation confirmation) and save them on a locked site like Google Drive or DropBox that you can access from any computer.
  • Get travel insurance
  • Develop an emergency response or evacuation plan.
  • Put together a survival kit that consists of water, a torch, food such as energy bars.
  • Don’t publicize travel plans and details, especially on social media. Avoid posting in real time or geo-tagging your location.
  • Give someone who is not traveling with you a copy of your itinerary, in case something goes wrong or they need to get in touch with you.
  • Don’t flaunt your valuables.
  • Invest in an alarm door stop which jams a door and makes it difficult to open but also sounds an alarm when someone is trying to open it.
  • Consider learning a few phrases in the local language, it will help you blend in better and locals will appreciate the effort too.

Also read: How to protect yourself from cyber crime while traveling

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