Traveling Alone: A Woman's Guide
The concept of traveling to exotic places alone conjures up pictures of the lonely girl bent over her evening meal with three empty seats around the table. A long "Ohhh! How sad!" usually follows. Luckily, reality is much different than this gloomy image. A woman traveling alone has the benefit of planning her days of museum-hopping and bazaar-shopping without needing to compromise to get a trip to the newly-constructed sports stadium. She is able to talk to store owners without looking over her shoulder at the entry to determine if her companion remains nearby. With a little preparation, she can have the trip-of-a-lifetime, all of the while feeling sorry for those in groups that are as miserable as they believe she is.
When planning to travel independently, security is a priority. Whether tripping domestically or globally, there are precautions that should be followed. By way of instance, when you encounter a hotel clerk that says your room number aloud as he hands you the key, you need to go to that area and immediately call the front desk. Request a different room. Don't unpack. Do not have a glass of water. Just call and ask for a new room. You should inform the supervisor that you are changing rooms as your old room number isn't confidential. If you must remain in a less-than-secure resort, you should request a room on the top floor (or, at least not at street level). Verify that there is a phone in the room and that it works. Always get a room with dead-bolt locks and keep your space protected at all times. It is best not to travel with heirlooms or expensive jewelry however if you forgot or your aunt just gave you a present that you must carry with you throughout the trip, always ask to place it in the hotel safe. Always get a signed receipt from the hotel clerk. And never wear the jewellery when you are going sightseeing or bar-hopping.
Maintaining your passport safe is really pretty straightforward. Don't put it on your handbag or an outside pocket. Travel stores carry little pouches that are worn inside your clothes and are closed with Velcro. Invest in one of those trendy components and maintain both your passport and some other transport tickets (like a rail pass) tucked neatly inside. The same holds for travelers' checks. Never keep your tests and your receipts at precisely the exact same area; keep the receipts in your primary suitcase and take out just the checks you will need for the day. These day-checks should be kept in a protected"inside-the-clothing" pouch.
If you are traveling internationally, you will have lots of different types of currency. Clerks in foreign countries really like to give coins as change to Americans. It is easier for them and it is more challenging for you to exchange. If you do not catch onto them, you will find yourself weighed down by the heavy jingle-jangle of change and you will need a massage until you depart that adorable ancient ruin. Learn the values of money for the country you are visiting, and always request your change in paper money. Before deciding to leave the country, take out a few small bills for your scrapbook and swap the remainder into the money for the next country rather than American dollars. Your rate of exchange is going to be better and you won't pay an exchange fee twice.
As you venture into single-life traveling, know that you are among those lucky few who can actually make this selection. It is a lot of fun to chat-it-up with folks along the way, learn about their family heritage and become one of their favourite visitors. You'll discover lifelong buddies as you step aboard overseas trains or have a cocktail at the plush lounge of a metropolitan boutique hotel. Have fun with it. . .and travel safe.