New on Traveling Titas & Co.

Here’s Part 2 of our series on solo female travel. This time, we ask Ian Roxas, photographer, writer and intrepid traveller to share her tips on safety when traveling solo.

1. Be alert.

I find that having a bit of wariness when traveling alone is healthy. It keeps you safe, I think.

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Nagasaki Station, Japan
2. Do your research.

Do research extensively about your destinations. I am a little obsessive when planning my itinerary — I make notes about train transfers and bus routes, where to find the nearest Information office. I don’t necessarily stick to my itinerary, but in a pinch, it’s good to have the information. Research doesn’t just save you time getting around, it also lessens the time spent looking down on your mobile, researching on the spot and being less aware of your surroundings. If you do need to do some on-the-spot research, move to a secure spot first.

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Train to Nagoya Airport, Japan
Read about what other travellers have experienced.

One of things I do before going somewhere is read solo female travellers’ blogs to find out how they felt when they were there. Women travellers usually comment on whether they felt comfortable and secure in a place, or whether they felt threatened. I also frequent travel forums and ask other female travelers. I like to read up on how women are perceived in the place I am visiting — does a woman traveling alone look strange to locals? I am only guessing, but I think that in more patriarchal and maybe less progressive places, a solo female traveler might even be frowned upon, or at least invite unwanted attention. So, this is something I also ask other travelers about in travel message boards.

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Female artist in Zagreb
3. Do a virtual ocular of your destination.

I also utilize Google Maps’ street view feature just to familiarize myself with how the place looks before I get there — usually to do an ocular of sorts on the route to a guesthouse from the bus stop. I did say I was obsessive about research.

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Amsterdam hotel room

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Dubrovnik hotel room
4. Listen to your instincts.

All in all, just listen to your instincts and exercise the usual caution you would in any place. Be alert. Don’t walk down dark alleys. Don’t flash wads of cash. Keep a copy of your accommodation’s address in the local writing system (if the place you’re visiting doesn’t use the roman alphabet). Buy your own drink and keep it in view all the time. The usual safety measures. 🙂

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Lots of doodling time
All photos are the property of Ian Roxas.

For Part 1 on Traveling Solo series read it here.