As my departure date is nearing, I've been getting more and more excited, but also nervous as well. Although I've done a ton of traveling by myself in the states, going abroad in a foreign country is going to be a whole different experience.
I've been reading up on articles solely for solo travelers regarding safety tips and making sure to keep different things in mind. Obviously, men and women are going to be targeted for stealing/any kind of assault, but women are known for being targeted more for many reasons.
Because of this, I plan on staying extra cautious but I won't let it interfere with my adventurous side as well.
Here we go, I piled up my 5 most important tips.
1. Print out all important documents and keep them at home.
Not only that, print out a full itinerary that will closely resemble where you will be and leave a copy or two with different people back home.
Since my trip is going to be somewhat flexible, I plan on trying to keep the dates as close as possible to what I will be doing. This allows my check in the family member at home to know where I am or should be, and in case I don't check in with them, they can call.
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2. Schedule a regular check-in with a person at home.
I'm making this person my sister. We haven't decided what day/time we are going to do yet. Thankfully, where I am staying is close to the time zone of where my sister is living.
You can check in with a person via phone, text, Skype, or Facetime. Luckily I live in a time where it's very easy to connect with family and friends back home.
3. Dress like a local/make sure I don't stand out.
I'm definitely going to look out of the ordinary since I am not of Peruvian descent or any kind of South American descent, but I still plan on looking like nothing out of the ordinary.
I will never be flashing any kind of jewelry on me or wearing clothing that shows too much skin. Although I never plan on wearing jewelry, I heard it helps to wear a fake wedding ring in certain situations.
4. Bring something to protect yourself.
This one I need help with. So I want to bring some kind of device that will help protect myself, but I'm not really sure what will pass the airport.
I think I might just get a whistle or something that will either make noise or help me protect myself.
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5. Take pictures of taxi drivers license plates/numbers.
I'm not sure how often I will do this, but I'm just going to go with my gut and see how I feel in certain situations. I've heard of many times when people tried to rip people off or steal from the passengers, so we will see. It's also good to snap a picture in case you leave something in the car.
6. Don't accept drinks from others.
This is by far my most important tip. Where I'll be in South America is known for people putting date-rape drugs in people's drinks. Obviously, I will NOT be accepting a drink from anyone. I don't care if this comes off as mean or rude, I simply rather look mean than take the risk. I also plan on using the ‘WE” trick.
Ex. Saying, “We are currently traveling here for a week.” Meaning, I'm with my husband or best friend. This steers people away because they know someone is with you, and most likely keeping an eye on you.
Lastly, I'm obviously going to South America to travel and experience a whole different life. I don't plan on holding back, but I want to stay safe as well. I know some people might say I'm being a little too uptight about my situation, but I rather not become a victim of something horrible that happens to many people.
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Do you follow any of the above tips? Do you have anything else I should keep in mind while I'm abroad?
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