Solo travel is exhilarating and an incredible way to get to know yourself better, blow off some steam, start a new chapter or to simply take a step back, take a deep breath and do literally whatever you want. It’s freeing and something everyone should experience at least once in their life. However we all know that with the freedom and excitement can still come a little fear, and that’s okay. The best thing you can do is take precautions to be as safe and prepared as possible – without letting that fear stop you from taking the leap.
Here are 6 safety tips for travelers to think about while preparing for your solo Mexican Caribbean adventure!
Do Your Research
The Mexican Caribbean has what feels like a never ending list of epic things to do. Whether you’re looking to relax in one place, or hit the road and wander around from region to region – you should definitely take some time to do your research and make a bit of a plan ahead. Of course there are always going to be those spontaneous dinner dates with new friends or those last minute excursions but, having a basic understanding of the area and local customs of the community can help keep you out of potential sticky situations.
*Pro-Tip: No matter where you are travelling in the world it is respectful to learn how to communicate the best you can in the local language. Learning how to at least say Hello, Good-bye, Good morning/Good night, Please, Thank You(basic manners) is polite and goes a long way.
Use The Buddy System
Give a trusted friend or family member back home a copy of your trip itinerary and information of where you will be staying. Have a plan in place to check in with them at some point along your trip and when you are scheduled to arrive home.
There are handy apps like Life360 or Find My Friend that you can share your location, chat, send/receive emergency alerts and so on – which will give you and your family peace of mind knowing someone is checking in and able to track your location on GPS (Just in case) while you’re across the world.
Drink With Caution
It is easy to indulge in some ice cold bevys while you lounge on the beach or dance the night away – just be smart while doing so. Alcoholic or not – your drink can get spiked at the blink of an eye, so it’s good to take precautions. It’s good practice to limit your alcohol consumption when you’re out partying solo, never leave your drink unattended and it never hurts to watch your bartender make it when you can.
There are also so many different gadgets on the market these days to help you protect your drink, for example these nightcap drink covers. They look and act like a scrunchie until you unzip it and reveal its main purpose – protecting your drink!
Plan Safe Rides
There are many options of safe rides out there these days so you don’t need to flag down a random taxi on the street. In Playa del Carmen they have services like Radio Taxi which is a dispatch service for taxis that you contact via WhatsApp. They will dispatch a taxi to your location, give you the vehicle number so that you can ensure you get in the right car. As well as confirm the rate ahead of time so that you aren’t left to haggle over the price with the driver.
Or if you’re a female in Playa del Carmen you can always call Chika Taxi – you just send them a text when you need a ride and a trusted female driver should be able to get you within ten minutes.
Wherever you go there are going to be reputable ride options – take the time to have some in mind for where you will be traveling to.
Don’t Flaunt Your Valuables
Many of us work really hard to have nice things and of course we want to show it off once and a while! However, especially if you’re travelling solo, flaunting all the nice things, and stacks of cash you have could very well put a target on your back to get robbed.
Here are some things to consider:
-Make sure you have your bills sorted nicely in your wallet to avoid having to pull out a stack of cash when paying for your bill or for things at the market.
-Don’t carry all your cash in one spot. Have a couple emergency stashes tucked away somewhere other than your wallet.
-Don’t wear all of your nice big, blingy wedding rings and jewelry.
-Have a photocopy of your identification somewhere (even if it’s with your buddy system back home) just in case your ID gets lost or stolen.
-Don’t let your phone just dangle beside you in your hand.
Pack Theft Proof Clothing & Accessories
There are a ton of different options on the market these days for travel wear and theft proof clothing/accessories. You can wear garments under your clothing, have a “cut proof” and RFID blocking wallets – you can even get clothing with super sneaky stash pockets.
Check out Amazon or Clever Travel Companion for some inspiration.
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