It would not be natural if you don’t have fears about travelling around the world alone, but it shouldn’t put you off. It is better to be a little fearful than travel with your eyes closed. I love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt who said, that you should do something that scares you every day and while she didn’t meant participate in crazy adventures like base jumping off the highest buildings in the world, it’s good to regularly take yourself out of the comfort zone.
Often people contact me and ask what are my fears of travelling alone.
Bank cards lost or stolen
This is one of my biggest fears; the thought of using a cash machine and it swallowing up my debit card, or, worse still, having the card stolen. So, what you should do is is open up two separate bank accounts with internet banking. You can then easily move money between these accounts as and when you need to. Also purchase a pre-paid travel card, and search around for find the best deal.
Getting ill while travelling
No one likes being ill, but at least if you’re at home you can call upon your family and friends to help you out. While travelling alone I am planning to pack a small first aid kit which will include medicines for upset stomachs, diarrhoea, and paracetamols, etc. It’s also a good idea to be informed of what foods to avoid while you’re travelling and if you can drink the local water. Another idea is to eat where the locals eat, and be aware of what you’re actually eating. For more serious injuries and illnesses then make sure you purchase adequate travel insurance, should you need medical treatment, which can often me costly abroad.
Duped by Travel Scams
I would like to think that I am a pretty savvy traveller, and I can see a scam when I see one, but, there’s always one time when you let your guard down. Like a lot of the advice I offer in this blog post, it’s important to read up about the places you are visiting. For example, I know Bangkok is notorious for its travel scams, and there are lots of websites highlighting some of the more common ones. Also ask on travel forums and blogs, which often cover this topic. Be smart, think before making any decisions and go with your gut instinct when in difficult situations.
On part of my trip I will be travelling by coach and train for long periods of time, I do have a fear that I could be robbed, or, come up against unsavoury characters. I’m planning to only carry one bag, and that’ll be padlocked up. I’ve never carried a wallet, and will only have on me a small amount of money, I certainly won’t be flashing my money around! I think a lot of advice around this topic is common sense, and it’s important not to put yourself into difficult situations, like wandering the streets in the early hours under the influence of alcohol. Be aware of people around you, especially small or large groups who come up close to you while walking in a busy area. Read up about the places you’re visiting and find out where the ‘hotspots’ are for crime.
Losing my passport
I’m travelling to eight countries so the thought of losing or getting my passport stolen terrifies me. I felt a little more confident when I realised that they’re processes in place for eventualities like this. The first thing you need to do is report it to the nearest police station and they will give you a police report which you take to the nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate, from there you can apply for a emergency travel document. For me, it is problematical because you can only travel through five countries on to your journey home on this document, so, I’m going to have to be very careful.
If in your accommodation there is a secure safe, use it. Don’t leave your passport where people can easily find it, and don’t take it out with you unless you have to. I usually hide it in my socks, or, somewhere else obscure. Oh, and make sure you check at every stage of your travels that you have your passport with you. I fear one day leaving my passport in a hotel room, or, worse still in a public place where it can be used for fraud. Check to make sure that your travel insurance includes passport replacement.
Finally, I just want to say, don’t worry about every aspect of your trip, just be mindful of where you’re travelling, be respectful of the different cultures, and be friendly to people, smile, and this will help make your travels stress free. I hope this travel advice has helped if you have any fears of travelling alone.c