This article basically deals while planning for solo travelling by public transport. India is a safe destination to travel if you know a little about your basic safety too. #indiaissafe
Let me start with one important fact of travelling. Always have information handy. Information gives you well – deserved confidence too. It is the right information that gives you a choice, rest it depends on your experience with travelling too – beginners, or experienced – as solo and otherwise too.
Thorough research is the foremost thing – wherever you are planning to go; especially when the place is new. A lot of people say – go with the flow; in fact I also do that. But do it only when complete information is there and some experience of travelling in hand.
Trust your intuition. Believe your gut feeling, Intuition again is something that comes from experience, exposure and information.
Keep water bottle handy (say no to plastic) and get it refilled from wherever you can. I didn’t buy any plastic water bottle and if someone refused to refill it (which they do at most of places you visit and stay), pay for bottle but still refill your own bottle.
4. Carry a small purse – sling bag – around your neck
Keep part of your cash, ID cards, and few essentials (for security like pepper-spray) in that purse/bag. Keep the duplicate copy somewhere else.
- Confidence is foremost – your people, your country. Language can be an issue, but believe me everything works out. Solo female traveller – most of the people anyway turn to be helpful. Thats what I gained from my trip to entire south of india where I had no friends and didn’t know any language.
- Be conscious of what you are wearing – especially trains and buses. You don’t want unwanted attention of any kind, for whatsoever reason.
- If staying in a homestay – do let the owners/keepers informed about your schedule (but again use discretion). There is no thumb rule in there. But keep their contact handy. I had a nice experience in Trivandrum, when I was getting late to reach the stay and the owner kept calling me where I am. In fact they offered to pick me up from wherever I was, thinking it might be difficult for me to get vehicle back.
4. Remember to book in advance – online bookings are easy. Remember to go through all the reviews too and then make booking. If you are travelling by train, you can ask for a pickup too, incase you want to avoid haggling right after your arrival at a new destination. Also have an idea about the localities where you are planning to book. Surroundings do make a difference.
5. While taking a room in a hotel, even though pre-booked, remember to go and check it. There are times when I had booking through booking.com and didn’t find the rooms clean and safe enough to stay. So ask for a room change. The other party also understands that you are a pro-traveller 😉
6. You can also look for hostels in cities too – usually, they are nicely located.
7. If you are reaching any new destination, make sure you reach before sunset. Usually, if we need help after that, it is difficult to find people (in case reaching late).
8. When travelling in taxi/cab, be aware about your route. Even though you don’t know, be awake then. I see a lot of people putting earphones and getting lost in their own world. Use discretion here, and decide accordingly. Keep your google maps on.
9. Do keep some numbers handy on phone, like added in favourites. And keep sharing your location 24/7 with someone. Android and iPhone, both have amazing apps for the same. I used whats app share location. Earlier had used one provided by iPhone.
10. Never share where you are staying on FB, when travelling solo. Can share about the places you are visiting, but not where staying. Also, if you go somewhere and find it isolated (I faced it a lot of times), “Go Live” on social media.
11. In case you are taking any kind of intoxication (alcohol or any kind of drugs), be observant about your surroundings (people, place, etc.). The advice is not to engage in either.
12. Stay connected to social media – LOCAL NEWS especially. That keeps you updated about local happenings.
13. If beginner, and want to try hitchhiking, try it nearer – at least in place you understand the language. That is why you see most of it done in the Northern part of India or where at least English is understood.
14. Food – Be ready to experiment! When I say experiment, it means do not expect your staple to be available there. Stick to basic local food; unless it is a capital city or a good hotel.
15. And try to find out which phone network is easily accessible in the place where you are travelling. I carried airtel, Vodafone, and Jio – all. Most of the time, it was only Jio that was helpful. Vodafone was the worst in entire South India. Keep bsnl handy it works in rural areas very well.
Honestly, my plans haven’t really been the planned months in advance. But whatever time it takes, I read and try to know the place beforehand. It gives alot confidence and travel planning actually fun. To enjoy the place/sightseeing one more, again research and know about it in advance.