Top tips for keeping safe when travelling
Safety when travelling is a major concern for most people, particularly single women travelling solo. It's vital to make sure that you have adequate travel insurance to cover you in the event of illness, injury, cancellation of your travel arrangements or loss of your luggage or personal effects.
If travelling alone, you should try not to carry all your travel money with you. Much as you would do at home, don't fill your wallet with hundreds of pounds in cash and then wander around at night in the dark. It's best to leave valuables and the majority of your cash at your hotel – most rooms nowadays have a safe installed and some hotels will have safe facilities available at the front desk. Only take out as much cash as you think you will need for the day or evening and make sure to carry your passport and travel insurance documents with you, in a secure, zipped bag.
On city breaks, theft and pick pocketing can be a real problem, particularly if travelling on the underground system in many European and American cities. Always make sure your bag is zipped shut and try to store valuables such as your mobile phone and wallet at the bottom of your bag, or in internal pockets. Keep your bag tucked under your arm, or where you can see it, when travelling in busy, crowded carriages. It's all too easy for a skilled pickpocket to dip their hand into your bag and take your phone or wallet.
Try to avoid using your phone at night in public places, for example, in the subway or whilst walking back to your accommodation. Thieves can and will target lone travellers with expensive mobile phones and there have been reports of gangs on motorbikes snatching phones out of people's hands as they ride past at speed. Always keep your phone in your bag or pockets, unless you really need to use it.
Keep an eye on your luggage, particularly if you are travelling solo. Interrailing can be a great way to cross Europe, but there have been stories of women (and men!) having their bags stolen as they sleep. If you're in a sleeper cabin, keep your bag nearby and always padlock it securely. Always try to sit near the luggage rack on the train, so that you can keep an eye on your suitcase.
Finally, think about what you're eating and drinking. Your health should be a priority when travelling, as your body won't always be used to local water or food. Try to avoid salads and food washed in local water and always ask for bottled water when drinking in restaurants. The right level of travel insurance can ensure that you are covered in the event of accident, injury or illness. With a bit of caution and common sense, you will stay safe and have a great holiday!