I am not a professional traveler, but I have travelled a lot and in many cases- just by myself. I would say that these trips were the most interesting ones. Travelling alone in Barcelona also challenges your fears and insecurities, and it gives you the opportunity to find new friends from all over the world and it gives you an absolute freedom to choose what to do and where to go!
I started going across Europe when I was 18 years old and have made many trips after that as well. So far I haven’t faced any difficulties, normally it is rather easy because people are usually friendly and adjusted to travelers.
If you feel a bit nervous about travelling solo or as a woman…this article is for you!
I want to share with you some “golden” rules which will allow you to enjoy your journey and avoid difficult situations.
Safety is very important
- Use your common sense (don’t go somewhere with random people, drink too much at a party, walk alone at night etc.)
- Be aware of weird people and strange things in public transport.
- Protect yourself against unnecessary men’s attention: be careful with the clothes you wear, don’t look men in the face and don’t react to calls at all. Also many girls use this trick: they put a ring in their finger and pretend to be married to feel safer.
- Sometimes it can help to tell some curious people that you are travelling with your boyfriend or husband, or that you are waiting for him.
- Be confident. People make assumptions depending on your body language. You can show your confidence by keeping your head and posture straight and looking people in the eyes. You can also pretend that you have been in the area before.
- Be alert and watch what is going on around you. Often tourists are distracted to steal something from them. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, just walk away, make noise or call help. Something that many girls also forget: in cafes and bars keep an eye for your drink and food.
- Listen to other people’s stories and experiences, it will save you from mistakes. If it’s possible, ask locals which places should be visited and what should be avoided and be ready to change your plans if you hear from several people that the place where you wanted go, may be unsafe.
- If you don’t want be identified as a lonely traveler, get close to big groups. For example in the metro, sit next to groups of friends or families, maybe you can even make some new friends!
- Use only the official taxis of the city.
Taking care of money and valuable things
Before the trip, make photocopies of all documents which are necessary for you such as passport, visa, your health insurance etc. Don’t carry a lot of cash with you, and be careful with your credit card, as they are been copied more and more these days. Remember to watch attentively your purse with money, especially in public places. It is better to divide the available cash into parts, and hide it in several places. It is also better to get a suitcase with a security code or a padlock.
Pack your suitcase intelligently and keep in mind the cultural differences
Think about what kind of clothes you should take with you and do the packing carefully. Same concerns expensive jewelry. Try to seem like a true local, as tourists get robbed more easily.
When on the road, you might be challenged by unexpected factors or even be positively surprised by how well you can handle them.
In the end I want to add that if you pay attention to the safety and study the behavior and culture of a new country, you will be able to perfectly enjoy your time, get pleasure from the change of a situation, be free from worrying and problems and truly make the most of your trip!
pictures 1 and 3 are not required to have attribution