When it comes to travel, women are no different from men. Traveling is one activity they too do not need a reason for. If you have a strong desire, the rest will simply fall in place and off you go for miles and miles!
May be it is an unavoidable official trip or you just want to wander away from home for a change. May be it is spiritual quest that made you a footloose or you are simply propelled by wanderlust. Whatever has prompted it, if you have decided to venture out, there’s no stopping you! Travel surely leaves the woman in you more refined and empowered.
Here are a few travel mistakes that you need to keep far away from. Why wait until you make a mistake to learn from it? Be wise enough to avoid them well in advance. After all, there is absolutely no fun in learning it all the hard way.
- Not being bold enough to say ‘NO’
Of course, nobody wants to be rude to locals. But, let them know very clearly if you are not interested in interacting with them. Most often, if you do not make yourself clear, people think you do not mind them mingling with you and might further bother you.
Getting angry and bursting out is certainly not a good idea but you must firmly tell them to leave you alone. You should know to draw the lines clearly wherever required, and that too at the right time, to avoid unnecessary trouble.
- Not understanding local ethos
You have to familiarize yourself with the cultural beliefs and traditional practices of the land you are visiting. You are sure to cut a sorry figure for yourself if you unknowingly tread upon their cultural sentiments. Also learn more about their social etiquette such as eating habits, tipping behaviors, dressing pattern, etc. before you set out. This will keep you from luring unwanted attention.
- Not taking proper care of your belongings
While travelling solo, safety needs to be your top priority. Yes, you can step out of your safety zone and have fun if you want to, but be responsible enough. After all, being a solo traveler, you cannot expect anyone else to cross check things for you.
Theft happens all around you, admit it. Beware of pickpockets. It is ideal if you move around with a cross-body bag. Keep your iPhone, camera and other unavoidable valuables in your day bag. Needless to say, ensure that your day bag is properly clasped. Avoid flashy clothing to save yourself from being a target.
- Not acquiring travel insurance
Always ensure that you get travel insurance coverage before you set out. Make sure it is a comprehensive one, which covers everything from delayed trips to medical emergencies. This is indeed a must-have for a secure journey.
- Leaving your confidence behind
If you are a woman who shudders at the very thought of traveling alone, just drop the idea at the earliest. Believe me, this is not your cup of tea. You have to be your most confident self while travelling alone. Travels always empower your soul and energize your body. Be friendly with the locals there and be prepared to imbibe new things from their culture.
- Not expecting the unexpected
Sure, you love adventure and the thrill it brings along. But, not knowing whom to call and what to do in an emergency situation – that too in a foreign country, can put you in real danger. As you are well aware, crisis situations pop out of the blue when you are least prepared for it.
Also, before you pack your bags, you should visit your doctor and be medically prepared for the trip. Depending upon where you go and how fast your skin gets sunburned, carry with you a good sunscreen to minimize skin damages.
With due respect to unlimited freedom and privacy that you long for, it is very important for solo travelers to share your travel plans with at least one friend. When you are trotting to the other side of the globe they should know where you are expected to be, in case you need to be tracked down.
If you think you cannot reveal your plan to any of your acquaintances, leave information about where you are heading to at least at your hotel front desk.
- Not loading the right apps
Traveling becomes easier and hassle-free with the right apps downloaded in your smart phone. You can have helpline numbers quite handy, and can seek help from reliable sources to tackle emergency situations. Translator apps will make your conversations with locals much easier and smoother.
Get an international package added onto to your phone so that you can text and iMessage whenever required. The good old method of jotting down a couple of emergency numbers is also not a bad option.
Why let your wish for solo travel get into your list of ‘I should haves’? You will regret it, if you let your life pass by. Shrug off your inhibitions. Free yourself, feel secure, roam around and have the time of your life.
Sunu Phililp is the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays, Cochin – a Kerala-based tour operator. She loves reading, exploring new places and trying out different cuisines!