Travel planning can be daunting, exhilarating, and an intoxicating mix between excitement and anxiety. With so many things to plan, decide, and make happen, the mental checklists feel endless, but once the plane takes off and the leap is taken everyone can attest: it is freedom, confidence, and a strong sense of self that takes over.
Most of us are still concerned about one thing whilst travelling, though; how do you go about exploring amazing places and enjoying your freedom, whilst also feeling safe? We believe everyone deserves to live their best life and enjoy the wonders the world has to offer, so we’ve collated a few tips to make our hostel your home away from home and explore your destination like a local...
1. Make friends
If you're staying in a hostel, make sure to take advantage of the friendly atmosphere and connect with your fellow travellers. There is strength in numbers! Not only will you make new friends, you’ll also be adding an extra layer of security to your trip. If you're staying alone, you can still head over to hostel bars - many hold daily events for guests and the public where you can connect with other solo travellers.
2. Share your itinerary with people you trust
Feel like being an independent adventurer and exploring your destination alone? Be sure to let trustworthy people know of your travel plans. This way you can rest assured someone knows where you're headed - as long as you keep in contact!
3. If you are traveling solo, don’t say you are alone
This tip depends on the setting. When going out for a party in a club or pub, don’t tell strangers you are alone. Be aware of red flags: taking you away from a crowded space, drinks that taste unusually bitter or look overly fizzy (always grab those directly from the bartender/waiter) or too many questions about where you're staying and going later that night.
4. Trust your instincts
If you don’t feel comfortable, alert the staff in whatever venue you are in immediately. Always follow your gut if you think something looks suspicious - even if it turns out to be nothing, it's always better to let someone else know the situation.
5. Make sure your phone is charged
Okay - this one might seem obvious, but everyone's had their phone die at just the wrong time while travelling. Always make sure you have enough battery on your phone - if needed take a portable battery bank with you - this way you can always reach out in case of an emergency. Have useful numbers (such as the place you are staying) saved, as well as local emergency contact numbers.
Finally, if you are a woman exploring your destination alone, make sure to download SafeUP on your phone. Then you’ll have a community safety net with trained, local women available to accompany and assist you in real time.
Want more? Check out our tips on how to travel more sustainably.