Traveling for most of us is a time of excitement and joy. Although traveling as a woman alone can understandably be nerve-wracking. Besides the packing list for clothes, beauty, and tech you create a list of safety tools should be made as well. You never travel anticipating danger but you should always stay vigilant and prepared. Here is a list of items that go with me on every trip and some that have made it into my purse for everyday life.
New: Taser- I recently bought a Taser, and it will now be accompanying me on future trips when legally doable.
2-in-1 Emergency Keychain car escape tool with a window breaker and a seatbelt cutter-When you push the button it releases a metal spike that breaks glass. I left this in my rental car while on my solo trip just so I wouldn’t have to search for it. It hasn’t left my purse yet.
Pepper Spray- Depending on location and laws, I would take two. One for your hotel room and one for your purse.
Door stop alarm-Although I never felt unsafe in my hotel, my room was on the first floor, so having this alarm along with the door lock listed below gave me peace of mind. This alarm is extremely LOUD, so be sure to take the batteries out while traveling and try not to step on it, so as to not give yourself a heart attack. Besides doors, you can place this near windows in your hotel room.
Portable door lock- This works great for stopping a door from being opened from the outside.
Birdie alarm- Since taking pepper spray to certain countries/states can be prohibited, consider a personal alarm. I went with a Birdie in a very bright yellow. While I carry mine on the outside of purses and near my hands, you may want to conceal yours.
What I bought but didn’t get in time: SABRE pepper spray 3-in-1 escape tool that includes a seatbelt cutter and a window breaker.
As I’m an A-type personality who likes to see things written down, a spreadsheet was in order. Details and contact info on where I was staying reservations, and possible locations I wanted to visit were added to this spreadsheet. It not only helped me keep all my plans in order, but it was also an easy way for my mom to get an understanding of my trip. Sharing a document of some kind with a loved one back home helps them give local authorities information, should anything happen to you.
A Note on Locations
I no longer stay in an Airbnb when paying for lodging as I’ve had a bad experience with them. I strictly stay in hotels, especially when traveling solo. Hotels for the most part guarantee that staff will recognize your face should local authorities need to look for you, and you’re generally surrounded by other people even if only in communal spaces. I purposefully look for hotels in expensive neighborhoods with a gate or some sort of security. A good tip is to turn on location notifications on your iPhone and share it with a loved one, or get some sort of tracker that is shareable with a loved one.
Bad things happen everywhere, don’t let “what if’s” stop you from traveling solo. Pack some of these safety tools to help with confidence and preparedness. The best thing you can do is prepare as much as possible and be aware of your surroundings. Let go of the worry and enjoy your solo trip.-T.S.