Little white lies are hard to spot, which is why they are effective when traveling alone. If you are taking a road trip for one, don't tell everyone. Pretending your "partner" is in the bathroom or ordering dinner or parking the car is much better than admitting you are on your own. Telling people you are alone leaves you more vulnerable, possibly in danger.
It isn't common for strangers to ask if individuals are alone. But if it does happen to you, it may be safest to just tell a white lie. Here are some times when pretending others are with you may come in handy.
When someone is trying to sell you something ("Oh, I have to check with my husband first, but he's back at the hotel. I'll come back later.")
When you do not feel comfortable somewhere
When at a restaurant or convenient store
When needing an excuse to not participate in activities
When you are lost
I understand you don't want to get caught in a web of lies. But this small white lie may be the difference between having an incredible vacation and getting mugged by an absolute stranger.
As a solo traveler, remember the following additional tips to ensure your safety.
Don't pack everything you own and haul it around downtown. That is asking for trouble. If you are going to walk around with a backpack, be cautious. Some locations have higher rates of stealing, so you may want to ask locals at your intended destination what they recommend.
Keep your phone hidden
Letting potential thieves see the technology you carry around or how much money you have could make you more prone to be a victim of theft. Although smart phone apps are valuable, try your best to pull your phone out as little as possible.
Learn life-saving phrases in the language
If you are traveling to a foreign country, it is especially essential to learn phrases such as "Help," or "Call the police." Only knowing how to say, "Please," "Thank you," and "Where is the restroom?" will likely not save your life.
Have a plan
When you are wandering around empty streets at night, trying to find something to do, you are putting yourself in great danger. Stay with people as much as possible and never wander at night alone.
A self-defense class would be great if you are preparing to go on a solo trip in a few months. But if you do not have all that time, consider taking a rolled-up newspaper, umbrella or walking stick with you.
Check in often
Make sure you are constantly checking in with your family or friends back at home. In case anything were to happen to you, it is important for someone to know where you are and what activities you are doing so that you have the best chance of getting immediate help.
Do you have safety tips for traveling alone? Share them with us!