Tips for solo travellers
BANGKOK: 15 January 2013: Travel risks for solo travellers are mounting prompting New Year tips from internet bloggers and newspapers on how to stay safe while travelling alone.
Here are some of the important recommendations.
Keep your passport, visa, IDs, credit cards and tickets in your carry-on bag. This bag should not leave your arm/side at any time during your trip. Make copies of important documents and keep them in a safe place in case you lose documents or your carry bag is stolen. Better still photograph IDs and save images to your mobile phone or Ipad, so you always have a near perfect replica of documentation at hand. But keep a close eye on your phone.
If someone knocks on the door and says they work for the hotel, check their ID and if you are in any doubt call reception first before opening the door.
If you have valuable items, place them in the hotel safe in your room. Do not use box safes that are located behind the hotel reception in properties that do not have individual room safes. They are not secure.
Never, ever get drunk, or accept drinks of any kind from a stranger especially when travelling solo by bus or train.
Always keep your phone fully charged and make sure you have important telephone numbers logged on your sim card such as your embassy help line, credit card companies and the tourist police if applicable.
Never tell anyone you are travelling solo, always suggest you have a travelling companion who is about to turn up at any time soon.
Pepper sprays are great weapons if an attack is imminent, but they are illegal many Asian countries including Thailand. But plenty of female travellers in Thailand buy them when travelling overseas and carry them in their handbags as a last resort. They are particularly useful to fend off a taxi driver as they work better in a confined space. But make sure you point the nozzle in the right direction.
If you are in a city, move with the crowds, but do not let yourself be cornered or sandwiched for more than a few seconds. Always be vigilant of your surroundings and stay away from people who instinctively give you an uneasy feeling about their intentions. Elevators are a risky spot in a hotel so ask for rooms on lower floors mid-way down the hall from the elevators.
Bangkok’s skytrain and metro are considered safe, but when passengers are packed in carriages like sardines keep a watchful eye on your handbag and belongings.
In the evenings stay away from small lanes poorly lit with little traffic. Keep to popular spots and don’t flash cash. Keep most of your cash safe in your hotel room safe.
Comments on what you think, helps to reduce risks for solo travellers or first-time travellers to Thailand can be posted here.