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Being a solo female traveler isnt always easy but its certainly fun. And in order to enjoy solo traveling, it is important to note down a few points. It is most advisable to pre-book your hotel, flight, train, cabs and transport for all legs of the journey. If you love backpacking, you can always pre-book your stay at a hostel. These are the common things you will hear from everyone. So, we have listed the 10 most important tips that you ought to know while hitting the road alone. Also Read - From Lebanon to Palestine, Muslims Stage Anti-France Protests as Anger Against Prophet Cartoons Rises
1. Dress comfortably, but decently: Yes, this tops the list because it is one of the most important points. As the old adage goes when in Rome, do as the Romans do, it is necessary to blend in with the crowd, or at least not look too much like a tourist, so as to avoid unnecessary attention. You can of course don anything you please, but avoid skin show and revealing clothes. PS: I have no intentions to hurt the sentiments of any feminists by listing this out, but it’s for safety’s sake! Also Read - Bigg Boss 14 October 30 Written Update: Eijaz Clears His Feelings With Pavitra, Nikki Calls Rahul 'Ghatiya Aadmi'
2. Pack light: Being a girl, it is difficult to part with that night cream, hair straightener, the LBD you bought last week and the lovely pink blush, and of course, those sexy leather boots, right? But while packing, ask yourself, if you will really use any of it, and if it is absolutely needed. If not, then leave it back home (you can thank me later for this advise)! Carrying heavy bags is an added pain and Im saying so from personal experience!
3. Be-Aware: Be aware of your surroundings and beware of the fellow travelers. If you feel someone is following, cross the road and head towards a bunch of people. Look after your belongings all the time, and dont leave them behind even if you need to use the restroom. Beware of over-friendly folks, coz not everyone who appears nice, is actually nice! Its ok to be cynical sometimes, especially while you are traveling alone, and for your own security!
4. Pepper Spray, Swiss knife and a whistle: These tiny items will barely occupy any place in your bag. Remember, prevention is better than cure. So carry this safety kit, which you may actually not have to use. But at least you know, youre prepared!
5. Daytime arrival: Try and book your tickets such that you reach the destination in the day light. This will give you a chance to explore the area around your hotel well. However, if you do arrive in the night, ask your hotel to send a cab instead of hiring any odd taxi off the road. Safety first, fellow travelers!
6. Carry hotel details around: Remember how we used to have a school badge pinned to our uniform as kids? Of course, you dont have to pin anything to your dress, but keep your hotels card handy. If you dont have the card, then note down the details of the place where you are waiting, on a piece of paper. Inform the hotel authorities where you are headed and ask them how safe it is.
7. Photocopy your documents: It is important to carry at least one photocopy of each of the documents that you are carrying. If you were to lose any of the important documents, this could be useful, while reporting to the police.
8. Relationship status Married, forever: If you want, you can flaunt a wedding band. However, it is difficult to tell whether one is married or not, especially in India, unless you apply sindoor or wear ‘mangalsutra’ around your neck. You dont have to go this extreme to fake it. But in case someone approaches you, at a bar, restaurant, bus or even trains (yes, people try and hit on you in trains too), tell them your boyfriend is on the way, or you are going to meet him later. Lie convincingly coz its for your own good!
9. Create a scene: If your lie doesnt help, and someone still bothers you, dont be shy to create a scene. Most people cower down once you make some noise, afraid of the humiliation and public response. While Indians are touted as unhelpful, someone will certainly run to your aid in a situation like this. What more, they might even beat up the eve-teaser! You just have to speak up and you will realize you are never really alone, even on a solo trip.
10. Stock enough toiletries: In India, sanitation issue is a major problem. You will get the real feel of it, once you set off on a backpacking trip. So, ensure that you carry enough sanitizer, toilet paper, tissue paper and all other sanitary products, as you may not find what you need at your travel destination.
Note: I had no intentions of scaring you, especially if you are planning your first trip alone. However, these tips are important, so thought of sharing them with every fellow solo female traveler. While these are all precautionary tips, I must tell you that solo trips are absolutely fun. stay sober so as to take care of yourself and your belongings and of course, don’t forget to carry your camera! Happy planning, packing and traveling! Adios!