Travelling alone can be exhilarating, but it also requires constant vigilance. Even if you make new friends along the way, the fact remains that you don't really know anyone and therefore shouldn't feel that you can trust anyone with your personal safety. Unfortunately, not every solo traveller is quite so careful.
To help you consider how safety conscious you are when travelling by yourself we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each question with "yes" or "no" and total your answers. Match the total number of "yes" answers to the explanations at the end to find out if you are safety conscious when travelling alone.
Do you leave copies of your itinerary at home prior to travel?
Do you leave copies of your passport picture page at home prior to travel?
Do you make sure to have some cash on you at all time as you travel?
Do you bring only one emergency credit card when you travel?
Do you avoid walking alone at night when you travel?
Do you travel with the contact information of relevant embassies?
Do you check the door and window locks of your accommodations when you travel?
Do you dress more conservatively when you travel?
Do you acquaint yourself with local laws and customs before or as you travel?
Do you use only licensed transport when you travel?
Do you keep valuables in the inside pockets of your luggage or bags when you travel?
Do you check for travel warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before or during travel?
"yes" to between zero and four questions
If you answered "yes" to between zero and four questions then you are not very safety conscious when travelling alone. You must remain alert at all times regarding your personal health and safety as well as the safety of your possessions. A large part of such safety is preparing well for your travels and booking transport and accommodation that is well-respected. If you are uncertain of where to stay as you travel, ask friends for recommendations or use online travel review websites to get the real story on certain establishments and locations. When you have your itinerary sorted, be sure to leave copies at home with friends or relatives so that at least one person will know where you are - or where you should be - at all times.
"yes" to between five and eight questions
If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you are fairly safety conscious when travelling alone. It is likely that you know all that you should be doing to ensure optimum safety as you travel, but you only put some of these ideas into practice. The next time you travel alone, plan out how you will ensure your personal safety and the safety of your possessions before you travel. Look into new luggage to keep your items safe, accommodation with safes for valuables and transportation options that offer you the chance to travel in clean, well-lit and very public surroundings. If, however, you believe you don't do all that you can to keep yourself safe because it seems over the top, think about how you would feel should the worst happen and you didn't do all that you could to prevent or make the aftermath easier for yourself.
"yes" to nine or more questions
If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you are very safety conscious when travelling alone. Yet even one "no" answer means that you leave yourself vulnerable as a solo traveller, so review all such answers and work to change them before your next trip alone. Consult with others who have already travelled to the areas you plan to visit and find out all that you can about specific destinations. Research local customs, laws and expectations of tourists of a certain gender or even citizenship. The more you can do to prepare for a trip before you ever leave home, the less you will need to worry about when you arrive