Staying Safe When Traveling Alone
As I grow older and of course, wiser, I look back on my younger days of traveling and wonder how on earth I am still alive.
All jokes aside, I have spent a lot of time in airports all over the country and internationally and it is a place where trouble lurks and people are waiting in the wings to take advantage of those they view as vulnerable.
Among those “vulnerable” populations include, women traveling along, groups of women, single parents, the elderly and people who are clearly not “from around here”. Wherever “here” is.
I am a people watcher. Wherever I am, I enjoy watching people and how they act and interact. I am an excellent judge of character and I can tell a lot about people from the way the act. Their body language especially.
As I write this, I am spending seven hours in San Francisco International Airport following a girls trip. My friends’ flights were hours and hours before mine so I parked myself in a food court, read a book, worked and wrote some blogs.
During my time in the airport, I have been approached by several people who saw I was obviously traveling alone. One man approached me and asked if he could sit with me. To which I declined. It got me thinking about the dangers of traveling alone and some tips to keep in mind when traveling, regardless of who you are.
Always keep your luggage with you. No matter how kind or nice someone seems, you don’t know the person sitting next to you and they have no business watching over your possessions. It is a pain in the butt to take your suitcases and stuff to the restroom, but never let a stranger watch your things. You have no idea if, one, they will steal something and two, you don’t know if they will put something in your luggage that could get you into trouble.
Always know what is going on around you. I am very cognisent of what is going on in my area. I’ve seen physical altercations, people getting robbed, a drug bust and more in an airport. The amount of times I have seen people leave luggage, ID’s or purses behind is crazy. Take a moment, look around and make sure you have everything you need.
It’s tempting to start your vacation early or go out with a bang but you want to make sure you are completely in control of yourself and your actions. Before you go through security, the airport is not a secure space. Anyone can walk into an airport and hang out and because people are stressed out, lost and confused, it’s a great place for someone to take advantage of you.
Don’t get drunk at the airport. I’m not saying don’t have a drink or two but make sure you are in a good head space at all times because as I sit here and write this there are several people around me who are suspicious in my mind and I see them watching people including me. I am sitting next to a bar where several people are enjoying beverages but pace yourself and make sure you are of sound mind at all times.
Always turn your luggage tags around. You want to make sure your personal information is turned away from any prying eyes. People walking by can see all of your information and that makes you vulnerable.
Research the airport you are going to and know where you need to be. You don’t want to look lost and you want to know where you need to be and when. Print out or make notes of where you need to be before you get there so you are really prepared.
Make sure someone knows your itinerary. I always email my itinerary to my husband and my mom so there are people who know where I am supposed to be and when. Check in with people as well.
Last but not least, if you see anything suspicious tell someone. If someone makes you uncomfortable for a valid reason, tell someone. There are cops, security, volunteers and more all over the airport. If you think someone is trying to harm you let someone know.
If you have any tips for traveling we would love to hear them! Head over to our Instagram ForLoveOfMouse, and let us know what your top traveling tips are.