Very recently, I booked a trip to Italy – visiting the cities of Milan, Venice, and Turin. When I first told people about my trip to Italy, everybody asked me the same question – “Who are you going with?”
I replied to all of them in one word only – “Alone.” Follow up reactions were:“Wow. That’s brave of you. How are you doing it?” “Is it safe?” “Are you kidding me, you lone reed..?” “Aren’t you scared?” and the top-most reaction being, “You independent, single girls think too much of yourselves. Consider dating someone, please. At least your safety is insured.”
As I plan my trip, I can’t stop thinking about how single girls like me who decide to travel solo can leave all these trivial reactions behind. Of course we care about our safety but – that doesn’t stop us from going to places alone.
The key to being safe in another country is to be fully equipped, most importantly to pack the right supplies and travel documents. Here are a few things you must carry:
- Scanned copies of your passport, visa, tickets, and medical/travel insurance.
- A physical map. I know it’s ancient, but you’ll appreciate it if your phone battery is dying or if your phone gets lost or stolen.
- A cheap SIM card (if you’re staying for a long time).
- Disposable underpants, a toothbrush, a t-shirt, and a few beauty essentials in case the airlines misplace your luggage.
- To avoid dehydration or a drop in blood sugar, always carry bottled water and toffees or cookies.
- Ear plugs for planes, noisy hostels, and more.
- Extra medication and sunscreen.
- Empty plastic bags, tissues, tampons, and condoms.
- A pair of scissors (though you can’t carry them onto the plane).
- If you are travelling to a slightly unsafe location, carry pepper spray.
You are your own hero when you’re traveling alone! Always be alert. Drop the earphones and learn the local language. If you use common sense, your solo traveling experience is one you’ll cherish for the rest of your life!