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How To Stay Safe When Backpacking Alone

Many people leave their friends and families at home and choose to go backpacking alone. Not only does this allow for more freedom and flexibility in travel, but it also gives the solo backpacker the opportunity to find new courage and overcome fears.
However, going it alone can also be dangerous, so if you are considering backpacking by yourself, there are some important things you should consider.

Plan ahead
Part of the fun in backpacking is the sense of adventure in exploring new places. While planning may seem counterproductive to your free spirit, you do need to be sensible.
Western tourists are not welcome in some countries, so you don’t want to step off a plane and get turned away again. You should also pack the right outfits, as some places may take offense at your fashion sense, particularly Muslim countries. Be mindful of areas of high crime, and don’t find yourself in the middle of a civil war by not researching the political climate of the country first.
When you have found somewhere safe to visit, you need to ensure you take necessary precautions. You will need the right documentation to enter certain countries, including a Visa. Your passport needs to be up to date, and if is due to run out while you are away, you should apply for a new one to avoid getting stranded.
You may have planned everything down to the final detail, but unexpected events could occur. Getting the right travel insurance is necessary, as you may lose your baggage, or fall ill on your trip. You may resent the expense, but having the protection of insurance will cover more damaging costs.
Exchange contact details
Speak to people you trust and let them know where you are likely to be on your travels. If you are heading out on an extended trip over a number of months, you should be contactable in the event of an emergency at home. In the same way, you may run into trouble while abroad, so you should take as many phone numbers as you can. Of course, you may also get lonely, so having somebody to talk to will give you comfort, no matter how many miles away you are.

Be careful what you carry
Don’t overpack your bags and only carry what you need. You may have a klia premium lounge credit card or have a bundle of money with you, but these should be kept out of sight under your clothes or in a money belt.
Never leave your backpack out of sight, especially if it contains valuable items, and always fasten it to baggage racks on buses and trains.

Safety in numbers
Backpacking is always safer with another person, but if you insist on traveling alone, you should still make an effort to be around other people. Tourists are vulnerable to pickpockets and muggers, so when possible move around in crowded places and blend in with the appropriate dress to avoid looking like a tourist.

Photo source here.

Related article: Travelling With Just Your Hand-Luggage: Is It Worth It?

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