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My 20 Best Tips for Women Traveling Alone – Stay Safe and Enjoy!

women-traveling-solo

Back in my 20s was the time of my life. (apart from marrying my beautiful wife and becoming a Dad to the best son anyone could wish for, obviously!). My biggest venture was Australia of which I called home for two years, and have in total explored Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam all within 4 years. Although I have been many other countries and experienced some totally mind blowing experiences in since, I spent them four years traveling solo.

I remember that day at Heathrow handing my ‘big coat’ over to my Mum and Dad at the departure gate, with my whole world in a rucksack. At that moment, I was scared, nervous, excited, happy, sad but most of all I total wonder of what was ahead. At that moment off to Thailand first for a couple of months before I planned to take my next leg, to Sydney.

female-in-sydney

I loved traveling alone. I could do what I wanted and see what I wanted, whenever I wanted. Saying that though, for that reason I really did build some of the best relationships and best friends I have ever had in my life.

Solo traveling, I feel really set me up for the life skills I needed in my 20s, such as confidence, social skills, leadership and self empowerment in every thing I have achieved. I loved it.

As a 6ft 4 Inch cockney lad, you would think its totally acceptable and easy for a man, men are stronger “physically”, “It’s easier for men…” blah blah. Utter rubbish. I have been in some awkward situations traveling certainly some dangerous ones. Looking back now it was down to naivety and inexperience.

On my travels I met many women traveling the world on their own, and some of them were the strongest, street wise people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Over the last 22 years in the travel industry I have had many emails and phone calls from potential female clients, asking is it safe to travel alone as a solo traveler.

MY answer is always the same, a big huge fat YES!

Here are my 20 Best Tips for Women Traveling Alone and what to look out for. Go book your flights, plan your journey and bloody enjoy yourself….It will be the best experience of your life!

1. Leave your travel itinerary with a friend or family member

Whether you are going on a package holiday, cruise, weekend away or backpacking the globe, you will pretty much in your mind have a planned itinerary. Make sure you leave your itinerary with someone you can trust. This way they will know where you are likely to be at certain legs or dates of your trip and what accommodation you are staying in. You could also make sure they have numbers of the hotels or hostels you are planning to stay at.

2. Join Solo Traveler Forums

This is a great way of getting to know people who are not only extremely experienced on traveling alone, but may be in the country you are traveling to, and you will get chatting to people that will give you the low down on what to do, where is great to visit and give you some valuable tips.

3. Do your research on the city or resort you are planning to visit

With the internet at your fingers, no doubt you will research the places you are visiting. Make sure you check out the main tourist areas, with plenty of people, shops, bars, cafes etc. On the flip side make sure you have a good idea of the areas NOT to travel to, high crime areas and places that are off the beaten track for tourists. Again, travel forums will be a good source to ask questions regarding the where to go questions.

4. Be Confident!

You are a strong independent woman. Use your confidence, walk with your head held high and show the world no one messes with you!

With anywhere you are in life, do not show vulnerability this is a sign of weakness, especially in countries or cities you are a stranger to, this makes you a target.

5. Stay in touch with those close to you

Skype, Facebook, Wassap, and snapchat and of course your smartphone are a great way to keep connected to friends back home and people you have met on your travels. If anything is bothering you, or anyone, make sure you let friends and family know, or even people you are around on your travels. This gives you peace of mind that you are not alone.

woman-on-phone

6. Pre-book your travel arrangements

From landing into a strange country and pre-booking a taxi, to arranging travel to a different city or area you are planning to travel to, try to make sure you have transport booked from the airport. When you are doing a tour, ask how many people are going on the tour, and a contact number. If you haven’t pre booked a taxi from an airport or port, try not to jump in local ‘taxis’ such as Tuk Tuk’s or rickshaws. I had a rather bad experience in Bangkok once, where the driver took me out into the suburbs after asking him to take me to a hostel on a city center road, Luckily I jumped out and caught another one back to the city center straight away. I don’t want to put you off using such vehicles, but have you wits about you, try to hitch a lift home with people you know or use meter taxis that are licensed, at least until you find your feet. It is always worth paying a little more for a taxi or train that using ‘street’ taxis to get you around.

7. Keep your wits about you

Always keep your wits about you. If your sight seeing and listening to music on head phones, leave one earphone out of your ear so you are aware of sounds around you, or even better don’t wear headphones! Wearing ear buds with your smartphone will also make would-be-muggers aware that you have a smartphone. Keep you smartphone and money safely hidden and do not flaunt it in public. When staying in hostels or hotels try to get a higher floor with and make sure there are no easy ways of entry, and always make sure there is a lock on the door.

8. Watch your drinks!

I know this is an obvious precaution, but all the same extremely important. Never take your eyes of your drinks, be it cocktails, coffee, beer or water. Don’t let them out of your sight. You never know who to trust and anything can be slipped into your drink.

9. Get to know the locals and make friends

When traveling alone whether you are male or female you will meet more people. I love solo traveling for this very reason. When you travel with friends and family you don’t tend to socialize as much as you would traveling alone. Go outside your comfort zone and chat to the locals, ask them about their culture, architecture, traditions, history and the local area. Most of the people I met that became like family over the years, are the ones staying in the hostels, hotels and bed and breakfasts. You will find talking to people and making friends will enhance your experience, as Let’s face it they all have the same interests as you. Traveling! Although the thought of traveling alone is daunting, you very rarely are alone with the people you build relationships with and become friends with.

10. Wear a wedding band!

Don’t let anyone know your are single, this will ward of unwanted attention. Wear a wedding band on your left hand.

wedding-ring

11. Learn a few phrases

Learning the language in any country will not only give you kudos and respect with the locals, but will help you in communication. You don’y need to speak fluently but learn phrases such as hello, goodbye, how are you and please and thank you. Also, it will also be worth learning security words like ‘help’ and ‘go away’, so locals will know if you are in any stressful situations.

12. Dress appropriately

When traveling try to dress to fit in with the culture and surroundings. A few countries look down on females that don’t cover up their arms and legs. I’m not saying wear a sari if you are in India for example, but keep your attire conservative. If visiting temples and places of worship, there are normally sarongs or scarfs to cover up with at your disposal.

 

13. Stash extra cash!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have a secret stash of money where no one could find it. That way if you did lose your purse/wallet/bag you will have spare cash in an emergency. If you have more than one credit or debit card, don’t carry them together. Leave one in your hotel or hostel.

 

14. Leave your ‘Do Not Disturb’ Sign on your door.

This will deter thieves when you are out and about.

15. Drink in moderation

your are venturing out alone, be mindful of the amount of alcohol you consume. Being alone and drunk can leave you in a vulnerable position. If you want a good night on the wine make sure you are with people that you can trust and will get you home safe.

16. Use the track my phone app on your smart phone

With the technology of today on smart phones you can track your phone. This not only would be a good idea for you if you lose your phone, but a good idea if you have someone you trust or a relative to track your phone they will know where you are at all times. Handy app to have!

17. Do your research on local scams

Use google to research what the local scams or things to be wary of in the respective city or resort you are traveling to. You can get a wealth of information of how local hoodlums target tourists and what their dirty underhand tricks are. Keep your luggage or bag in the back of a taxi with you in case you need a quick get out. If you feel something doesn’t feel right. Get out the taxi.

18. Make a note of the local police and hospital numbers

A good tip is to find out the local emergency number for that country, and even better, seak out the number of the local police station in case you need them in an emergency. It would also be wise to know where you local medical centers or hospitals are along with contact numbers.

19. Keep a dummy wallet on you

This is a superb idea in the event you did get mugged. You could face an aggresive mugger that can get angry if you have nothing to offer, so keeping a spare money wallet with a couple of small bills in could be a life saver. Stash you bigger bills and money safely away or in your bra/shoes for safe keeping.

20. Research Reseach Research!

Before you plan your trip as I have mentioned many times on this post, research is essential. Use google, use forums and social networking to find out exactly what are the safest places to travel to, and the places to stay away from.

Learn a little about the local culture, what is acceptable and what is not, what to wear, and the best and safest way of traveling around. Learn a few phrases and most of all keep your wits about you at all times

woman-traveling

Conclusion

Firstly, I do not want you worrying about a few of the tips in the above list. Mentioning mugging, spiking drinks etc, are alarming when metioned. This is the case anywhere in the world though even in your home town, and is extremely rare. As long as you bear this in mind and keep your wits about you, and go with your gut feeling you will be absolutely fine.

Speaking to a female friend that traveled Asia on her own, she informed me that people actually tend to look out for females traveling alone and will do the upmost to make them feel comfortable.

Traveling is the most mind broadening venture you will ever take in your life. The confidence you gain from traveling alone especially is so valuable to your outlook on life.

Book your flight, you train or whatever way you are looking to travel and go and enjoy the best experience of your life!

If you have any questions please feel to to email me at dave@supercooltravelaccessories.com or comment below 🙂

 

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What is the Best Natural Mosquito Repellent? – Bite Back the Natural Way!

mosquito-spray

On your travels the one thing you want to protect yourself from is insect bites. Especially the dreaded mosquito bite.

Female mosquitoes bite to consume blood. This results in swelling and itching and can be harmful to humans as in some cases mosquitoes can spread diseases and viruses, such as Malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and all sorts of nasty diseases. Even in this day and age there are reported 2 million people becoming infected by mosquito bites, many of which are fatal.

Why do Mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

This is normally down to blood group. People with blood group O for some mosquito-bite-remedyreason, are a lot more tasty than humans with blood group A, B, or AB blood group. So, if you are a blood group O you need to take extra precautions to avoid becoming an open buffet from all the local mozzies.

Sweating can also attract the female midge as this is really a signal to them that the buffet is open! try to keep sweat free and well protected.

Oh, and apparently, if you are a bit of a chatterbox this can attract mosquitoes as they are attracted to carbon monoxide, so too much talking can come back to bite you on the bottom, literally! (I’m surprised my wife isn’t bitten more to be honest!)

Drinking alcohol will also attract mosquitoes, for what reason is we are not sure but make sure if you drink alcohol and are prone to bites, try and stay indoors, or coat yourself from head to toe with repellent, regularly.

So long story short, If you are a tea total, sweat free mute, that isn’t a blood group O you should be fine on your vacations and travels. If not, you need to look at an extremely good repellent and protect yourself from these blood sucking bitches!

Why use natural mosquito repellent?

Apart from the fact people don’t like to smother themselves in chemicals, especially when it comes to children. DEET is a widely used chemical in mosquito repellents, and is officially deemed harmful by the Enviroment Protection Agency, especially when applied directly. Not only that, it gives off a pungent smell reminiscent of a chemical lab.

So we are going to look at some of the best home remedies to protect you and your family and some of the best natural remedies on the market today.

What are the best home remedy mosquito repellents?

When it comes to protecting yourself against these mini vampires, firstly we are going to take a look at natural remedies you could find around the home.

    1. Lemon and Eucalyptus Oil – This has been a household remedy since the 1940s and a good smothering can last up to 3 hours.
    2. Lavender – Lavender oil produces a fragrance that repels mosquitoes, and also has antiseptic, anti fungal and analgesic qualities. This means that not only does it repel you from suffering bites, it can also calm and smooth your skin.
    3. Cinnamon Oil – Not only does cinnamon contain a natural repellent to midges, it is also known to kill of mosquito eggs.
    4. Thyme Oil – Thyme is a great repellent to Malarial mosquitoes. As one animal study shows thyme oil applied to skinless mice, showed a 91% improvement in skin protection. Another great tip if you are camping and lighting up a fire, throw a bunch of thyme leaves in. This has been proved that it can keep the dreaded mozzies away for up to 80 minutes.
    5. Citronella – Is very common and effective in the working against mosquitoes. When formulated properly, research shows that citronella can be as effective as DEET in repelling insects and can protect you up to two hours.
    6. Tea Tree Oil – One of the remedies I truly believe in. Tea tree oil does not only protect your skin from biting insect, but has a huge antiseptic and anti-inflamatory presence. Tea tree oil originated from Australia to keep of midges and biting bugs in the bush regions.
    7. Peppermint – Probably the most famous of natural remedies for protecting yourself against all insects. Mosquitoes and even spiders have very keen senses and cannot abide the smell of peppermint. Strange really I love the smell!

 

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Other ways of protecting yourself naturally against Mosquito bites

have discussed the best in home remedies, and now we are going to look at other ways to keep yourself protected whilst on your travels.

There are plenty of great DEET free products on the market, from roll-ons to sprays and also alternate methods such as mosquito wrist bands.

Let us start with natural repellent that you can buy at affordable prices, that have an extremely high protection factor in the war against the mozzies.

Incognito Insect Repellent Spray  – Natural, DEET free formula

In our opinion THE best natural mosquito repellent on the market. This award winning product is has exactly the same protection effect of DEET products with out the chemicals.

Clinically proven to gove 100% protection for up to 4 hours and complete protection against Malaria, dengue fever, Zika carrying mosquitoes.

Recommended by public health and the NHS

Airport liquid restriction friendly with 100ml bottles

Perfect for Vegans

Amazing fragrence and non-greasy.

supercooltravelaccessories.com rating : 9/10

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These 100% natural anti-mosquito repellent wrist bracelets are a great way for extra protection against our mozzy friends. With up to 360 hours of protection these waterproof bands are perfect for adults and families alike.

Each capsule is made of natural plants oil including citronella oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, geranium oil, it’s non-chemical, non-toxic and smells good. Eco-friendly and skin-friendly.

Made of silicon for comfort and eco friendly, and completely waterproof. Even when swimming they still retian their effectiveness.

Comes with a money back guarantee if your your not totally satisfied.

supercooltravelaccessories.com rating: 8/10

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The Wee Midgie LAVENDER & BOG MYRTLE Candle Tin for Midges & Mozzies

The Wee Midgie Lavender and Bog Myrtle Can is really effective for keeping the mozzies at bay whether your indoors or sitting on the balcony on your jollies enjoying a glass or 3 of wine.

This repellent qualities in the  lavender and bog myrtle, makes this anti-mosquito scottish made candle a perfect repellent when lit to make that barbecue or moonlight dining experience a whole lot more comfortable and midgey free!

supercooltravelaccessories.com rating: 8/10

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We hope we have given you more on an insight into t porotecting your self from these little bloodsuckers and the dangers and discomfort they bring.

Fell free to email us at info@supercooltravelaccessories.com if you have any question and please leave a comment below

 

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