So you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and wanderlust has taken over you. While booking a travel agency and hiring a tourist guide can be very convenient and takes the guesswork or the planning out of the equation, it does take a lot out of your pocket which could have been put to better use. Backpacking is a cheaper
alternative and is more practical, considering that you get to avoid all the tourist traps and go for places that are off the beaten path. However, there are risks involved in backpacking, most especially if you’re a. a woman and b. travelling alone. But don’t let unfamiliarity and fear of the unknown faze you; after all, life is one big adventure and I believe that you should try everything at least once in your life. Yes, there are a lot of horror stories out there, but with due diligence and safety precautions on your side, there is nothing that’s going to prevent you from taking that adventure of a lifetime. So here’s a couple of tips to help you out in your travels. Remember, it is better to err on the side of caution.
Don’t put all of your money in one place. Stash your money in a hidden money belt in addition to the purse you use when paying for something. Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy jewelry or carelessly using electronic gadgets out in the open.
Stay sober during a night out. Feel free to indulge in a couple of beers, but don’t leave your drink unattended and don’t order any mixed drinks. Alcohol may make you feel less alert and before you know it, somebody has spiked your drink or slipped in a drug.
Inform everyone (especially the people you’re staying with) of your whereabouts. Also, be vague about where you’re staying when in the company of people you just met. Nothing wrong with striking a friendly conversation with the locals but do not be too friendly.
Exude confidence and walk purposefully. If you appear to be lost and unsure, some unsavory characters might take advantage of the situation. Learn to blend in and not look like a tourist can help you avoid pickpockets.
Carry a safety whistle and a good set of identification. Always leave a photo copy of birth certificate, passport, drivers licence, international dr. license. and citizen ship card with a relative at home. Remember to tuck an extra copy of each in your suitcase.
Be carefree, but not careless.