Last week I wrote about things that solo travelers can do at night.
I wrote about some of the great times I've had going out in the evening and suggested 7 things solo travelers can do at night – other than staying in with a book.
As I was writing it, I realized that it may be beneficial to also write about safety at night. A lot of the same rules apply as during the day but there are a few others to consider as well. So, I give you…
15 Safety Tips for Solo Travelers Going out At Night
- Check with someone reliable first. Before going out, make sure that where you're going is safe. While everyone has a different sense of what safe is, it's helpful to have an opinion or two before you go.
- Plan for getting there and getting home. Depending on where I am and what time I'm going out, I may take public transit there but I almost always take a taxi back. Make sure that the taxi is licensed. Don't take pirate cabs. If you take public transit sit near the bus driver or choose a subway car that has many people in it.
- Leave a note and take a card. Leave a note in your room saying where you're going to in the evening and take a card from your hotel or hostel and keep it in a pocket. If you don't know the language you can simply show the card to your taxi driver.
- Don't take a purse or backpack. I suggest leaving a purse or backpack behind. It's a target for petty theft and just one more thing to worry about.
- Stash your money in more than one place. Have some money easily accessible but, just in case you lose your money (or worse), have some tucked away in a shoe, your bra, wherever works for you.
- Have fun, make friends, but… When you go out and meet people remember that they are strangers. You don't really know them so stay in a public place with them at all times.
- Gain the backup of a server. If you're in a pub or bar, befriend the server or bartender so that they'll come to your aid if someone starts hassling you.
- Be aware of your drink. Don't let someone distract you so that they can slip something into your drink. Be aware of it at all times.
- Go rested. Stay sober. It's important to have your wits about you when you're out at night so go out rested and don't drink too much.
- Men and women are equal. Sometimes people assume that women are safer than men. This isn't really the case and should not be assumed.
- Where you're staying is your business. Your accommodation is your safe haven. Don't tell people where you're staying.
- Women should dress appropriately. I hesitate to suggest that a woman could be responsible for inappropriate attention from men but the truth is that if you dress conservatively you will attract less unwanted attention. Also, wear a minimum of jewellery.
- Know how to get help if needed. If you carry a phone, learn the local emergency number. If you don't learn how to say help in the local language.
- Find help for someone who needs help. If someon appears to need your help find someone else to help as well. Your selection of someone will help ou as well.
- Be rude if necessary. If you're being bothered by someone who just doesn't get the message that you don't want their attention, be rude and noisy. They'll usually back away.