Traveling solo to somewhere new: 10 safety tips.
There are times when we must travel out of town. Maybe it's for a job interview, business meeting, appointment, etc., in another city, state, or town. Below I'll share some safety tips that you can use when you're traveling alone to somewhere new. Kindly note that these tips are for instances where you're not planning to stay overnight.
1. Do your research.
Always research the location that you're going to. Take note of landmarks, they are useful guides in case you should get lost. Ensure that you're not going to a location with numerous reports of robberies, kidnappings, rape, and other violent crimes. Whoever you are meeting with, ensure that you're comfortable meeting up with that person. Let someone at home know that you're going to meet X person. Provide their correct name, address, phone number, and the reason for visitation. Never meet up with strangers.
If you're going for a job interview or appointment; ensure that the business is registered with a known government body. If you will be meeting up with a tour guide, please ensure that this person is affiliated with the company. Have them provide proper identification. Always stay within the confines of your destination, don't wander around.
2. Never leave home without letting someone know where you're going.
You should never leave home without letting someone know where you're going. Ensure that you provide the exact location to someone before you leave out. Let them know your mode of transportation, what you're going there to do, and the expected time of your arrival at that location. It's also wise to take a photo of yourself before leaving out.
3. Keep your cell phone on and fully charged.
Ensure that your cell phone is always on and fully charged. Turn on the location icon if you have a smartphone.
4. Dress normal
Leave all your expensive jewelry at home. Try to dress as light as possible. Don't make yourself a target for pickpockets. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry, particularly gold, especially when walking in areas with high pedestrian traffic. Ensure that you have sufficient cash, including an emergency amount. Know the preferred method of payment at the destination that you're going to.
You wouldn't want to travel with an excessive amount of cash, and you wouldn't want to be at a location that doesn't accept cards. If you must travel with cash, ensure that all your cash isn't at the same place. Don't keep it all in your purse or bag. Find another discreet location of your choice or an inside pocket on your person where you can hide some cash.
5. Be mindful of taxis.
If you must travel via taxi, ensure that the driver has proper identification that is visible. A photo ID and route number for the taxi. Please check to see if the driver's face matches what is on the photo. Do take a photo of the license number, route number, and photo ID of the driver and send that information to someone at home. Never enter unmarked taxis.
6. Take note of your surroundings.
Avoid walking in large crowds, talking to random people, and talking on your cell phone, unless it's something important. Always keep your eyes and ears on the alert. Be extremely mindful of the Snatch-And-Grab attack, this is where a person on a motorbike (either rider or passenger) grabs a phone, purse, or bag out of your hands as he rides past.
Avoid listening to music through your earphones. If you must have a conversation try to use your earphones or Bluetooth, instead of holding your cell phone in the open. Always keep your bag or purse in front of you, so that you may see it at all times. Ensure that they're secured firmly. A pickpocket could be on the move.
7. Never ask strangers for direction.
If it so happens that you feel a little lost. The best thing to do is to reach out to the person that you're going to meet. Never ask a stranger for directions. If you're not able to reach the person in time. Check to see if there are any police officers in view, or call home to let someone know what is happening.
8. Ensure that you have sufficient time to make it home before dark.
If you're not going to stay overnight. Ensure that whatever you're going to do will allow you sufficient time to get home before it's dark. The last thing you'd want to do is to be at a strange location after hours.
9. Let someone know that you've arrived.
The moment you've reached your destination. Call home to let someone know that you have arrived safely.
10. Let someone know when you're about to depart.
Remember to call home to let someone know that you're about to depart. Let them know who you are traveling with and the approximate time of your arrival. If you traveling in a taxi, take the relevant information of the driver (photo ID, license number, route number, etc.) and send it home. If you're driving in your vehicle, ensure that the safety locks are down, never stop for a stranger.
When you're traveling to a new location by yourself:
- Please conduct your research. Make sure that you're not traveling to an area that is known for violent crimes.
- Take note of landmarks, in case you get lost.
- Never take direction from strangers.
- Never travel in unmarked taxis. Ensure that the taxi is registered, the driver has visible photo identification that matches their identity. Take a photo of the license number, and route number, and send it to someone at home.
- Let someone know exactly where you're going, and the approximate time you should be at the location. Provide the correct name, phone number, and address of the person(s) you're going to meet.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Look out for pickpockets!
- Take extra cash in case of an emergency.
- Call home after arriving and departing your destination.
- Stay within the confines of your destination, don't wander about.
- If you're going for an interview. Ensure that the business is registered with a known government body.