Are you a first-time solo traveler? No need to worry because Matatita, Asanti Astari and Sari Musdar have some tips and tricks to help you get the most of out of your trip:
• Be prepared
A well-organized itinerary helps you feel secure and safe, as well as keeping you occupied. Do as much research as you can before you pack your bags.
If you don’t find the information on the Internet or in travel books, you can ask experienced travelers on the subjects, Matatia advises.
You should also book your accommodation before you arrive at your destination.
• Be smart in choosing accommodation
Log on to some booking portals that offer budget accommodation information with rating systems to find suitable hostels or hotels during your stay. If you go on a low-budget trip, you can opt for a hostel.
Try hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com. Since there are tons of hostels on the internet, choose a hostel that has a high rating or at least the one with an 85 percent rating, Asanti suggests.
“Check out the review sections and you will see that they usually include some components like safety, location, cleanliness, facilities and so on. I usually would go for the one that has a high ranking for safety,” she adds.
You might feel comfy staying in a female-only dormitory, but if you cannot get such room, you can go for a six-bed or eight-bed mixed-dorm for safety reasons, Tita says.
Most hostels have living rooms and host communal events. “It is a great opportunity to meet other travelers and share precious moments with them. Sometimes, you may head to some places in town together,” Sari says.
If sharing a room with strangers scares you, you can always stay in a private room, which is, of course, more expensive.
• Be confident
Walking confidently, being prepared and knowing where you are going are effective ways for diverting unwanted attention, since appearing lost or confused can make you vulnerable.
Try to not to look too touristy since it may invite others to take advantage of you. Asanti suggests bringing safety devices like a small torch and whistle in a backpack.
• Dress appropriately
To avoid getting negative attention, go below the “radar” by dressing like the women you see around you. “Don’t dress up too much. Keep all your jewelry at home,” Tita says.
• Get in touch
List emergency contacts numbers and have them at hand. It is important to let people at home know your whereabouts.
“Before I went to Europe, I wrote down the addresses of Indonesian embassies of every country then downloaded and printed the maps,” Asanti says.
• Keep your documents safe
Have copies of all your documents in secure areas of your bags. Keep your passport, money and other important documents separate from your daily spending money.
“It is important to have the soft-copies of your documents and passport-size photographs. If something happens, you can go to the nearby internet café to print them,” Asanti says.