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20 Safety Tips for the Solo Traveler

Updated: Feb 16

Whether you're counting down the days to your first solo trip or have been nervous about taking the leap and booking a solo trip, this post will help you prepare.

Let me start by saying that solo travel can be one of the most liberating and fun experiences you can have! Now don't get me wrong, it's totally normal for the first time to bring on a little (or a lot) of anxiety cause, let's face it, sh*ts weird out here. But don't let that prohibit you from going on what could be one of the best trips of your life. As a somewhat seasoned solo traveler, I hope you feel encouraged by these solo travel tips and just know that what you read here is all in the spirit of planning to be safe.

From domestic weekend trips to international travel, I've done my homework and have had enough in-field practice. Some of this may also seem scary, but once you get your feet wet, much of what I have listed will eventually become second nature. Long story short, I’d rather be "overly" cautious.

So let’s get it! 

Solo travel tips
Picture from my very first solo International trip to London, England back in 2019.
  1. Take pictures of your IDs and email them to your emergency contact and yourself.

  2. Pick a point person (or 2) to always share your location and Uber/Lyft rides with.

  3. Keep your head on a swivel. Enjoy the scene, but never be too engulfed in something that you don't notice your surroundings or who could be following you.

  4. Pepper spray. Buy it. Keep that thang on ya.

  5. Give yourself a curfew. Don't get me wrong, things can happen at any point in the day, but like Houdini said, the freaks come out at night.

  6. Never tell anyone you are traveling solo (no matter how comfortable you feel). As far as that stranger is concerned, you're meeting up with your spouse, BF, colleagues, girls or whoever #period.

  7. Do a room sweep at your hotel and/or thoroughly check your Airbnb. By sweep, I'm talking under the bed, closet, door hinges, cameras, locate the carbon monoxide detector, etc.

  8. Block your room door when sleeping, or purchase an extra security lock for your hotel door.

  9. When walking and using Google Maps, have it pre-programmed before your head to your destination so you can listen to the directions in your ear/Airpod. This will help you keep your face out of your phone and alert. 

  10. This might sound kiiiiind of mean, but hear me out. Be VERY careful about whom you stop to help. Human trafficking is really real, and folks are literally out here setting people up to run the play. Remember, the goal is to have a fantastic time and return home.

  11. Use a RFID protected wallet or sleeves to avoid high-tech pickpockets from scanning your credit and debit card. I like these and used them for my trip to Europe.

  12. Take a self-defense class. This can be a confidence booster even if you've never had to lay hands (which I pray you don't).

  13. Never overshare specific itinerary details in casual conversations. One of the fun things about solo travel is the random people you meet. But never provide specific details about your hotel, pre-booked dinners, excursions, etc.

  14. Never leave your food or drink unattended. Rule of thumb - if you plan to ingest it, you better protect it.

  15. Avoid patterns if you plan to stay somewhere for a long time. No coming and going at the exact same time every single day.

  16. Wear your crossbody bag inside of a jacket or coat. Makes it more challenging for thieves and pickpockets to snatch. 

  17. Trust your intuition. It's there for a reason! If it doesn't feel right, more than likely, it's not!

  18. Create an itinerary (or a loose one for the non-planners) and share it with your loved ones. This will help give insight into your general whereabouts. So if dinner looks like it's turning into a 4-hour thing (see # 2), then your people will know something is up.

  19. If you plan an excursion or activity in an area with poor service, you could go the extra mile and temporarily change your voicemail to state your whereabouts. If you lose service, that voicemail will be major key.

  20. Always, always, always bring a portable backup charger for your phone with you. Never be out and about with an uncharged phone.

If you found these solo travel tips to be helpful or think someone in your life will, please share this post!

Safe travels,

And That's Just Ashley

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