Traveling alone can be a fun and rewarding experience. Without the distractions of a group or other travelers, you are able to completely focus your energy and attention on where you are and what you are seeing, which can intensify your experience.
If you plan to travel alone, do as much advance preparation as you can. Prepare for a fun, safe trip with some of the tips below:
- Travel Plans – Leave a copy of your entire itinerary with a friend or family member. Make sure you include all flight and hotel information along with the phone number of a friend in case of an emergency at home while you are away.
- Hotel Safety –
o Request an inside room that is not near a stairwell, exit or hotel elevator. Not only will you sleep better (the room will be less noisy), others are not likely to notice you entering or exiting your room alone.
o Check your room the first time you enter and leave the door open during the process.
o Make sure that all door locks work properly and there is a lock on the window if it opens.
o Make sure the telephone is turned on, working and that you can dial 0 if you need to reach the front desk or hotel operator.
- Communication – Verify that your mobile phone operates where you are going. Call home to check in with a friend or relative at least every other day.
- Valuables - Keep your license and a card from the hotel (with address and phone number) on you at all times.
- Blend In – Try not to look like a tourist. This will protect you from being singled out for scams. Avoid looking like a tourist by:
o Storing your camera on you rather than wearing it around your neck
o Mapping out your destination in advance. Avoid carrying a large map, and try to walk in a group even though you aren’t necessarily with them.
- Learn the Language - Learn a few choice phrases in your destination country so you can communicate easier should you need assistance from a local.
Is your child traveling alone in the near future? Good communication is the main key to having your child travel safely and smoothly. Here are a few things you can do pre-flight that will make your child’s flight experience a good one:
- Discuss the trip with your child. Address concerns and answer travel safety questions. Make sure your child understands the travel itinerary and any plane changes to be made.
- Review with your child what a uniformed staff member looks like. Discuss how to locate and contact someone who can be trusted in case of separation from the flight attendant or travel guide.
- Arrange for a reliable person to meet your child at his or her destination. Nothing goes further to help your child feel safe than a familiar face at the gate waiting to greet him or her. Before departure, make sure your child’s escort has a complete copy of the itinerary and knows where to expect to meet your child at the airport..
US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)
UStiA is a national association of insurance carriers, third-party administrators, insurance agencies and related businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and travel assistance products.