One of my favorite things to do is travel. I’ve traveled for both business and leisure. In many instances, I have traveled alone – both nationally and globally. However, it is important that as men we, too, understand that we’re just as vulnerable traveling as our counterparts. No matter how brave, smart, or physically strong you are, safety should always been your number one priority.
Below are ten travel tips that all men should practice in solo travel.
1) Don’t be flashy.
Many men have egos. Leave it at home! Do not go into a foreign place and try to show off. If you have to rent a car, avoid getting a high-end flashy car; try to keep it simple. Also, avoid the “bling” factor with flashy jewelry such as watches and rings. They all draw attention, so try to keep it to a minimum.
2) Don’t try to blend in.
This is an oxymoron. You do want to try to blend in to an extent. But, not to the point where the locals believe that you are trying too hard, for when you do, you can let your guard down. Letting your guard down can make you too comfortable in any environment. Contrary to popular belief, locals do know when you are trying to fit in, and it can be all too welcoming for inviting the wrong people in.
3) Walk away.
You’ve had a few drinks, or maybe you haven’t. You run into some people trying to provoke a fight – sometimes even when you are minding your own business. Walk away! Don’t let your machismo take over. Not only are you likely to get into an altercation, sometimes fatal, you may not know the laws. In some countries, even a simple argument or small brawl can have greater consequences.
4) Watch who you’re bringing back to your hotel.
This is more important than many think. When traveling solo, you may want to bring someone back to your hotel. One thing that needs to be understood is that robberies, for instance, can be more elaborate than they seem. You can be setup for a future attack because your room has been scanned already, also, you could be inviting a thief back, or just someone looking to do more harm than good.
5) Stay away from sketchy areas.
If you participate in recreational drug use, you may be urged to do so when you travel. No judgement here. If you can avoid it all together when you travel, do so. If not, try to avoid venturing into sketchy areas. You never know what happens in the area in which you are traveling to. It is more than likely done in that area for a reason.
6) Wallets go in the front pocket, not the back.
Always try to avoid putting your wallet in your back pocket. Honesty, this should be a rule of thumb in general. However, pick pocketing is not only a common practice in many foreign countries, it is very easy for those that pickpocket to do so. Having your wallet in your front pocket does make it harder.
7) Leave a stash behind.
Don’t take all of your cash and credit cards with you. Pulling out a wallet full of cash and credit cards will garner attention from the most honest person, so pulling out a wallet full of cash and credit cards will definitely attract the dishonest. Also, you do not want to be somewhere without any form of backup money.
8) Be confident.
You always want to be confident in your environment. Whether you are a shy person or a naturally out-going person, you do not want to appear as if you are timid or unaware. Doing so can make you an easy target for thieves to approach.
9) Learn travel scams.
Scams are a problem everywhere. Some scams are more common in some countries versus others. They can range from a pickpocket to luring you into a bad area to schemes to get your credit card information through a fake sales pitch. Knowing these scams makes you less likely to be victim to them.
10) Don’t share too much.
Back at home, you have a big house, a few cars, own a few businesses, etc. You have to ask yourself if you are giving a stranger too much information about yourself, or if it was really necessary to share that information at all. Do not brag. There have been many instances where people have been kidnapped for ransom because they’ve indicated or appeared to be from a well-off family.
Ultimately, safety should always be at the top of your travel list – wherever you travel to and for whatever reasons. Practicing these tips can make the difference between having a successful trip or a bad one and, more harshly, life or death.