Traveling solo is undergoing a resurgence in this hyperconnected world. Witness the success of travel memoirs such as Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and the endless blogs recording lone journeys around the world. Anyone who travels alone is aware of its singular rewards, but such rewards can be blunted if you fail to make personal safety a priority. Here are a few safety tips for solo travelers.
1. Stay connected. Those days of being without cellphone, smartphone and Skype seem almost quaint. Before you leave home, find out whether your mobile phone has roaming capabilities at your destination. If not, or if the roaming cost is prohibitive, rent a phone once you arrive (or buy international SIM cards if you have an unlocked GSM phone) so you have a lifeline. Smartphones outfitted with GPS or online maps are good options for drivers.
2. Keep others apprised of your daily itinerary. Regularly let people know where you're going — including friends and family back home and your innkeeper or hotel concierge. When traveling alone into parkland or wilderness, always let someone know when you expect to return as well as your exact route — and then stick to it.
3. Stash money, credit cards and passport in separate places. Keep some money and credit cards in your wallet or purse, and additional money and cards in a pocket or money pouch. When sightseeing, carry only a copy of your passport's data page, keeping your passport locked in your hotel safe. (It's also good to leave a copy of the data page with someone at home.) On travel days, carry your passport separately from your money and credit cards.