|photo by Kolobsek|
Whether you are traveling just to the next town or across the country, follow these safety tips to avoid danger when traveling alone.
- Don't provide too much information, such as you are traveling alone, to strangers on a plane, in a restaurant, etc.
- When checking into a hotel, ask for two keys and don't say, "It's just me."
- Before leaving your hotel room, turn the television on, hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, and lock the door. If there is a sliding door in your room, lock that one as well.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged and has reception.
- Know the number or location of the nearest police station and hospital.
- When driving, know where you are going so you don't have to ask strangers for directions (and thus give away you are lost and alone). Don't rely on a GPS either, as it can often be outdated. Once you arrive, remember to lock your vehicle.
- Always let someone know you are on the way, your estimated time of arrival, and the route you are taking. Update the person of any changes. If you are not meeting anyone, let someone from home know where you are going and call them back once you return to your room.
- If you are driving alone at night, pull your hair back and wear a man's hat to disguise yourself as a guy.
- If you think someone is following you, go to a police/fire station or a public place with lots of people.
- Don't walk in low-lit areas. If you have to walk through a poorly lit area to get to your car, talk to a friend on your cell phone until you get to your car safely. Before making the call, get your keys ready, and be watchful during the call. Check the backseat before getting in and immediately lock the doors once inside.
adapted and expanded from "Ask Heloise," San Diego Union Tribune, January 20, 2005.