Travelling Alone & Keeping Safe

I fairly regularly go on all expenses paid trips around New Zealand, or as its more commonly known, a business trip.  Once I was even fortunate enough to be chosen to go to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney for work.  I love travelling for business.  When else can you travel  and some else foots the bill?  Sure, usually from 8am-5pm I have a to work, but that leaves 2/3rds of the day free!

Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to get a full day off in somewhere – see my previous posts about Cycling around Havelock North and the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin.

One of the main considerations for me is choosing where to stay and the location.  I am a big fan of Tripadvisor and use that to find accommodation in the general area for where I’m working which also has a good rating.  I normally read the reviews to ensure they apply to me and my preferences.

Safety wise, I usually prefer somewhere not far from where I’m working, preferably in walking distance, but not down some dimly lit backstreet.

Its important too, especially where you are unfamiliar with a new location to be smart about your personal safety.  I never carry my phone or wallet in my handbag, nor usually my room key – if I get mugged (though that is pretty rare in NZ) they can have my bag and I hope they enjoy my lip balm, hand cream, peppermints and assorted cables (I’m a geek!).

After dusk, I never walk around with my iPod on – I stay aware of my surroundings which means using my hearing as well as my sight.

I’m also make sure I know where I am going and walk briskly, with purpose.  At least these days, if you get lost you can pop out your iPhone and check the map and no one knows you aren’t just checking your messages.

For practical purposes, I also usually prefer to have breakfast in my room before work.  Usually I chosen somewhere with basic facilities so I can prepare something quick and simple before work.

I don’t require a TV or fancy amenities, I don’t want or need a fancy hotel, but I do want somewhere warm and clean.  I typically prefer a smaller room too, so at least when I put the heater on in winter, that I can warm the room up.

I love being in a city where I don’t know (or hardly know) anyone.  I love the anonymity and wandering around.  I like picking a random place to eat and taking my chances on will I or won’t I like it.  I know many women hate dining alone.  It’s never bothered me sitting in a restaurant on my own, I usually just take a book.  But more often, I will go to a foodcourt or get takeaway and take it back to where I’m staying.

However if you are travelling alone to foreign countries, you need to do your research about that place and travelling alone.  Knowledge is power and safety.



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