The first time I traveled on my own I was 18-years-old, working a summer job in Madrid. The thrill of wandering around a new destination solo, getting to know its contours, is an experience that spoke to me. It was a sprawling, frenetic city, but the metro was easy to navigate, and I soon made friends and found familiar haunts. Every day, I was learning about a method of travel that felt new to me — independent, open, and without the comforts of a constant companion.
That was 10 years ago. These days, solo travel is more popular than ever. Google searches on the topic have doubled in just three years. Seasoned vagabonds and first-time backpackers alike are venturing out into the wide world on their own, no longer waiting for similarly adventurous friends. And while solo travelers still get the occasional, “Are you nuts?” when mentioning plans to train-hop around eastern Europe or wander the great expanses of Patagonia, the fact of the matter is that technology has made solo travel safer than ever. Here’s how:
You can carry a personal security system on your keychain.
Creepy and even downright dangerous people exist. They can be found from Los Angeles to Reykjavik and all points in between. Do not give them the power to dominate your mental space. Instead, consider carrying a compact, high-tech product like the Sabre keychain alarm — which is loud enough at 120 decibels to spook someone encroaching on your space and alert people nearby that something abnormal is happening.