Traveling alone is no doubt exciting and liberating. The feeling of adventure and the experience of beautiful places are overwhelming that we sometimes forget the danger we’d possible encounter when basic precautions are not taken sensibly.

3 more weeks and I am on the roads again.  These are my takes on traveling solo and I hope you can apply some of them on your travels too:

1. The map. Thank God we have Google maps too. So if you don’t have the paper, there’s a phone to guide you where to go. Always know where you are going-it’s nice to get lost sometimes but it’s nicer when we can actually find our way back to the hotel.

2. Leave a trace. Email family and friends for updates and daily itineraries. Your inner circle should know your whereabouts. Text or call them if it’s not too expensive; even if they are, this simple gesture is not only a thoughtful one but more importantly, a clever move.

3. Secure the perimeter. Always lock the hotel doors and windows especially in the evening. Never leave the door open. If this isn’t your habit at home, take a conscious effort to be more territorial when you’re away from home.

4. Be friendly but not too trusting to strangers. Personally, I don’t really trust people who smile quite often and who’d overtly offer help even when I don’t need it. Most of the time, they have their hidden agenda- they might want to sell or ask you something you can’t refuse.

5. Choose your clothes and accessories. You certainly don’t want to attract too many people by dressing up like a star so try to dress down a bit. Wearing expensive jewelries and too colorful shirts magnets the spotlight and er…the attention of the robbers.

6. Mark your property. Write your initials and address (phone number?) on your luggage. Easy spot on while waiting for it at the carrousel. Also, in case you lose your stuff, it is easier for the finder to contact you. Some people are kind enough to return your belongings when you lose them.

7. Swipe it. Try to use credit cards/ debit cards rather than cash whenever possible. I am more comfortable using my credit card when traveling so I don’t need to write down my expenses and just rely on my Statement at the end of the month. I do carry cash with me but I see to it I only have the minimum at hand.

8. Hide in herds. When partying at night, go out with a partner or a group. Don’t go dancing and drinking alone. Have fun but remember to stay safe. (This tip is not very applicable to men)

9. Learn a bit of self defense. With the technology we have now, learning basic martial arts moves may just be a matter of finding it on Youtube. A UFC fan & friend said ” Use the elbow” as it is stronger and harder than the fist.  Or just carry a pepper spray, for emergency cases.

10. Duplicate all necessary documents. You may carry copies of passport, IDs & plane tickets with you wherever you go while you leave the original documents in a safe.

Happy traveling and always remember: ‘Safety First” (“,)

Questions? Comments? More Tips? Write them below!