Bear these important tips in mind for your next trip
Local celebrity Jeanette Aw was almost pickpocketed during her recent trip in Spain. She related her experience in an Instagram post with the caption, “Almost pickpocketed.. So the story goes, I'm walking along the streets of Madrid and I felt a slight tug on my bag, turned around and caught this lady in the midst of very delicately unzipping my backpack. Well, I guess she wasn't delicate enough, and I was lucky everything's still in my bag. I think it helped that I had a scarf right on top of everything so she couldn't find what she wanted with a small opening.. Anyway, she turned and strolled off, perhaps to find another victim.. So I was warned about the pickpockets in Spain, and I'd warn anyone else heading this way.. Do be careful. #JeanetteAw”. While travelling alone can be immensely therapeutic and incredible for your personal growth and self-discovery, it can also be extremely daunting and scary. So we've put together this list of safety tips to make your solo travel experience a safer and ultimtely more satisfying one. While some of the tips might seem overly cautious, you know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Photo: Jeanette Aw/Instagram ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE It is always a good practice to register with the MFA before travelling. By doing so, you will receive information on how to reach the nearest MFA overseas mission. Also, if you are registered with the ministry, they will be able to get in touch with you quickly in times of emergency to ascertain the need for urgent assistance. You can register with MFA on their website or through the MFA@SG app. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE You might be a spontaneous traveller but when travelling solo, you should at least book your first night of accommodation before your arrival. One tip when choosing a hotel is opting for a centrally located hotel. This way, you wouldn’t stand out as much and you will also have a chance to mingle with other travellers. Also, try to time your trip in such a way that you arrive in the morning. Some female travellers also recommend packing a doorstop that will keep hotel doors from being opened when an intruder tries to enter with a key or by kicking the door. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Women have often been lauded for their ability to read body language and pick up social cues. Use this intuition to your advantage and learn to trust your gut. If you are caught in an uncomfortable situation, just pack up your bags and hit the road! Just make sure you have an alternate accommodation in mind. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Besides staying vigilant, it is also a good idea to spread your valuables into different compartments of your bag. That way, if you do fall victim to pickpocketing, your important documents are all spread out, so you won’t lose everything in one go. You can also consider making copies of your credit cards(front and back) and passport and saving it to Google Docs or Dropbox. When you are sitting down, loop the strap of your bag around your leg to prevent someone from running away with your whole bag. When walking in crowded areas, wear your backpack in front to avoid pickpockets from cutting into your belongings. Alternatively, you can pick up a slash free bag from brands like Pacsafe (available at Tangs). Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Travelling alone can get tough, especially when you find yourself lost. Always remember to remain calm and assertive at all times. You don’t want to fall prey to scams and other forms of unwanted attention because you look tense and fearful. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE While you might want to get all dolled up for your vacay, you don’t want to draw unwarranted attention to yourself. When travelling alone, try to conform to cultural norms and dress modestly in countries where it is expected. In some countries, you might want to consider wearing a wedding ring (even if you’re a single lady!). Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Even though you’re on vacay mode, you should never, and we repeat, never, get wasted when you’re travelling by yourself. Know your limits before you “go out and party”. If a stranger offers you to go out for drinks, politely decline the offer with a smile and say that you have other plans. Remember, you shouldn’t feel guilty or bad when saying no, if it means feeling safe. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: HOW TO SAY NO – AND STILL WIN IN TRICKY SITUATIONS Inform a loved one of your flight plans and itineraries. A photo upload and check-in at a new location is also a good way to keep your family and friends posted about your whereabouts. That said, be careful not to overshare. Refrain from telling strangers where you are staying and only post about hotels/hostels on social media after you’ve left. Even if you are travelling on a shoestring budget, international phone plans are worth spending money on. At least bring a few international phone cards with you if you don’t want to commit to a whole phone plan. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Before you head out, grab the business card or jot down the name, address and phone number of your accommodation. It will come in handy if you get lost or if you are unable to communicate with a driver. Another thing you should take note of is the taxi number or the license plate, just in case in run into trouble along the way. To avoid getting overcharged, you can ask the hotel front desk to give you an estimate of how much it will cost to get to your destination. Alternatively, Google Maps has a feature that will provide you with a rough estimate of the cost to get to your destination by cab. When possible, agree on the fare beforehand and have the exact change with you to prevent getting ripped off. If you have baggage with you, keep your stuff in the back seat and not in the trunk. That way, you can jump out of the cab if anything goes wrong. Photo: 123rf ALSO READ: FELICIA CHIN, JESSECA LIU & JAY CHOU: 11 LOVEY-DOVEY CELEB MOMENTS TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
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