Are you planning a solo trip to a new destination? In our 2023 survey, 17.8% of CAA Members said they are solo travellers. However, while travelling alone can be an enriching experience, it also comes with challenges and safety concerns.
Whether it is your first solo trip or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s essential to prioritize your safety and take precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.
To help you have the best vacation, here are nine essential travel safety tips, according to our travel experts. From packing smart to staying connected, here’s what you need to know to make the most of your solo adventure while staying safe and secure.
Try not to look like a tourist
CAA Store Manager Rachel LaLonde says, “the best thing a solo traveller can do is know their destination.” When travelling solo, blending in with the locals as much as possible is important to avoid standing out as a tourist.
Before heading out, check your travel apps or guidebooks to avoid looking lost and confused in public, as it can make you a target for scammers and pickpockets. Know exactly where you’re going and how to get there and avoid constantly checking your smartphone.
Researching and following the local customs and dress codes is a good idea to avoid drawing attention. LaLadone recommends that travellers should “be aware of where they are going to be and be sure to know any customs or rules that destination may have,” LaLonde states. “For example – many countries do not allow camo wear, or some countries require you to dress modestly, such as no exposed shoulders or knees,” she adds.
Additionally, you should avoid carrying large maps or guidebooks and expensive cameras or jewelry.
Consider joining group tours
Joining group tours designed for solo travellers can provide the opportunity to make friends and explore new destinations safely. These tours are typically organized and planned, ensuring your transportation, accommodation, and activities are taken care of, allowing you to focus on enjoying your adventure.
Invest in a well-designed backpack or bag
A reliable bag is essential for keeping your belongings safe while travelling solo. LaLadone recommends packing light so that you can transport your stuff with ease.
Look for a backpack or bag with sturdy zippers and multiple compartments. Consider investing in one with anti-theft features like slash-proof material or locking zippers.
Remember to carry backup identification and store your passport in a secure, secret pocket or a safe wallet.
Pack a portable charger
Keeping your phone charged and ready to use is crucial when travelling solo. It allows you to stay connected and navigate new destinations without worrying about running out of battery. With a portable charger, you can charge your phone, laptop or tablet on the go and have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be left stranded without a means of communication or direction. For example, you never know when you will need to use Google Maps to find your way to a landmark or Google Translate to help you understand a menu in a foreign language.
Carry a first-aid kit
Accidents can happen even with careful planning. A well-stocked first aid kit can help you treat minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, and blisters. Our travel experts recommend including essentials such as pain relievers, antiseptic wipes, bandages, and gauze in your first-aid kit. Not sure what to add to your travel health kit? We’ve prepared a quick guide to help you stay safe on your journey.
Purchase travel insurance
Travelling alone can be a great way to explore new destinations and gain valuable experiences. However, it also comes with its fair share of risks and uncertainties. That’s why having CAA Travel Insurance is a must-have for solo travellers.
With CAA travel insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are covered for unexpected situations such as medical emergencies, flight cancellations, and lost or stolen luggage. This coverage can help you avoid the stress and financial burden of dealing with such situations alone. CAA Members save up to 20% on their policy.*
Being prepared is key whether you’re headed to a bustling city or a remote beach. You should always have a plan and stay connected with family or other trusted contacts while travelling. Share your travel plans or itinerary with a family member or friend before you leave, and stay in touch regularly by email, text, social media, or phone.
Having someone who knows your whereabouts and what you’re up to next can be helpful in an emergency. This way, someone would know where to find you if anything were to go wrong.
Check travel advisories
Before departing, check for any travel advisories that may be in effect. In addition, researching your destination can provide valuable information on safety concerns and potential risks you should be aware of.
To find out whether the country is safe to visit (or if things like civil unrest or health risks pose a danger), visit www.travel.gc.ca for the latest updates.
Register as a Canadian Traveling Abroad
If you are a Canadian travelling abroad, it is essential to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) services. By registering, government officials can contact and assist you in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest. Additionally, if there is an emergency back home, ROCA can notify you and advise on how to proceed. The registration process is free and easy to complete on the official website of the Government of Canada’s travel advisory service, www.travel.gc.ca. Taking a few minutes to register could make a big difference in ensuring your safety and well-being.
Need help planning your trip?
Travelling solo can be a fantastic adventure, but it’s vital to prioritize your safety and well-being. Remember always to be aware of your surroundings, pack the items listed above, and make a plan for emergencies. Go online to get a CAA Travel Insurance quote in just a few simple steps. Have more questions? Book an appointment to speak with a CAA Travel Consultant or call 1-800-267-8713.
CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.
*Applies to CAA Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by Membership expiry date). Up to twenty percent (20%) savings applies to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies. Subject to change without notice. Excludes Visitors to Canada Insurance. CAA Everyday, Classic®, and Plus® Members save 10%. CAA Premier® Members save 20% at CAA Stores or by calling 1-800-267-8713. CAA Premier Members save 10% and earn 10% in CAA Dollars® when booking online.
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