I have been travelling solo for the past 7 years all over the world from the Philippines to Mexico and everywhere in between. During this time, while I have experienced the absolute beauty of the world, I have also had my share of very bad experiences. These experiences have shaped me for better and has given me the wisdom to travel safer and smarter. Based on my 7 years of solo travelling, here are 7 tips i am sharing with you to make your trip a little easier and safer.
1. Orient yourself: As best as possible orient yourself in the place you are in. Being in a new place can be confusing and can result in you being lost. I suggest you look for bigger landmarks for all the places you visit. So check to see what is around your hotel/hostel. Which shops, supermarkets, temples, mosques or churches are near by or taking an organised walking tour on your first day. This will help you find the place if a map is not around and you have to ask for directions.
2. Offline Maps: Download apps like maps.me and offline maps, this is self explanatory. It will help you access maps of cities/countries without actually needing internet/sim connection.
3. Spread your cash out: I like to keep my money spread out. When i was backpacking, i would hide money in the most obscure places such as socks, in a seemingly unopened sanitary pad, in my purse, in a pocket in my bag and of course in my wallet. This helps to ensure you are never fully robbed off all your cash. Keep your cash hidden in different places, this will come in handy in the long run.
4. Carrying varied cash: So for longer trips, i would highly suggest carrying 50-100 usd worth of local cash of each of the places you visit. This way, no matter when or where you arrive, you will still have some local money to get you safely to your hotel in case everything else is shut. Plus, if someone was to nick some money from your wallet, you would have varied currencies in different parts of your bag, so you will never be stranded with no money.
6. Taxis: On the note of taxis, open the door as soon as you get to your destination and pay them when you are outside the cab, so they don’t try to scam you or extort more money from you than planned.
7. Wear a ring: If you are female (or even male) and going to places where you know people will harass you, wear a ring. It won’t stop the harassment but can help lessen it ever so slightly. I do this quiet often and pretend to be married or in a relationship. In a certain African country, I once made up an elaborate story about a boyfriend and used my friends photo to convince a creepy colleague that he needs to back off because he did not understand boundaries or the word No. Joys of being female right?
I hope this post has been useful and informative for you! If you can think of any topics you want me to write about please be sure to email me on : [email protected]. And if you like this article, please show a sister some love, head over to instagram and follow my page: @maliharoundtheworld:D
Maliha Fairooz is a 28-year-old Bangladeshi solo traveller, who has travelled to 83 countries, on a Bangladeshi passport. Through her blog www.maliharoundtheworld.com, she shares her experience of travelling as a brown, Muslim, Bangladeshi woman while simultaneously encouraging a culture of travel amongst Bangladeshi youth.