How to stay safe when travelling alone during and post-divorce

travelling alone during and post-divorce
Photo by Atikh Bana on Unsplash
Women and Divorce
Wendi Schuller
Author of
The Global Guide to Divorce

You may have travelled as a couple while married and are hesitant to go across the country or continent on your own during or after divorce.

There are scary stories on the news and internet about tourists being robbed or killed. Perhaps you are bit by the travel bug and others are giving you dire predictions of doom if you go it alone.

There are ways to ensure you are safe and are returning with all of your possessions.  The big one is to stay alert to your surroundings. It is easy to consume extra alcohol when trying the local specialty concoctions. We let our guard down, lose a few inhibitions. We make new friends, and not everyone is what they seem to be.

Stay in a public place

Do not go off to a deserted beach for a midnight swim or to a stranger’s house. This is how rapes occur. Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders band advises women not to put themselves in questionable surroundings. Of course, “No” means no, but avoid a dicey situation in the first place. Men can be robbed if they trust new mates just met in a foreign tavern.

Hotel Rooms

Avoid a late-night break in when you are snoozing. There are special locks to put on the door from the inside to prevent an intruder from entering. This keeps a person out even if they pick a lock. Other travellers attach a string of bells to the hotel room door. They give a jingle warning when the door opens.

Safety in numbers

Wait until a group of people leave your hotel and go out with them. This discourages a thief from following you. Before you go wandering around, inquire at the hotel front desk if there are any risky areas.  The staff have pointed out on a map where to walk and the areas to avoid, when I have asked.

A way to stay safe is to see if locals are guides for walks in your local. They do this at a nominal cost or just for the tip. You get around, learn a bit and can make it personalized. Information regarding walks is online and can be arranged ahead of time. Also, your hotel will know about this service.

Consider a tour group

You get to places easily with pre-arrangements. You have companions, particularly when exploring more remote ruins, etc.  Tours do give down time to do activities on your own or with another member in your group. I have hiked glaciers, tramped around in the bush looking for lions and walked through jungles which I would not have attempted on my own.

On one trip abroad, the political climate changed almost overnight. A regular stop on the African tour became dangerous and was instantly changed to another place. The tour guides are kept informed of the latest updates. In contrast when I was not on a tour, in Sri Lanka I did not know about a riot at the American embassy and was in a shop nearby. I had to escape by running through tear gas and hoping I would make it to safety.

Tour groups are not just about sightseeing. They can be very active – climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to a relaxing retreat in India. They have special interest ones, photography, cooking, motorcycling and more.  There are tour companies for solo travellers. Some wave the single supplement or match you up with a roommate.

After my divorce, I asked friends if they would like to take a river cruise and showed them holidays from a particular company with good prices. Another divorcée took four European ones with me. Next summer, a friend whose husband does not like to travel, and I are going on one through the Netherlands. Ask around and you may be surprised who will jump at the chance to go on holiday with you.

Stay vigilant

It is easy to get distracted. When you have a bag on the floor, put the straps around your legs. Make sure handbag, rucksack, whatever, is attached to you in some way. A thief is quick to grab something from behind or underneath a chair.  I watch on airplanes when another passenger opens the overhead bin, where my stuff is stashed. I make sure they are removing something from their own bag and not mine.

A DJ on the local radio station said when he was in Rio De Janeiro, his buddy had an expensive camera equipment in his rucksack. After walking back to their hotel from Ipanema Beach, they had a shock. The bottom of the rucksack had been sliced open and the camera and his wallet were stolen. His friend did not feel anything. I personally want my possessions to be in front of me, so carry a tote bag. This goes back to be aware of your surroundings, especially of your possessions in a crowd.

The point is to have fun on holidays, but not be paranoid about looking for danger lurking around the corner. Listen to your gut instinct. If something or somebody does not seem right, then walk away. It is more important to leave a potentially dubious situation than to worry about hurting someone’s feelings.


About Wendi Schuller

Author Wendi Schuller has travelled to around seventy countries. She is a moving on coach who especially helps people getting back into dating after a break up or divorce –

She is a hypnotherapist, nurse and Neuro -Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner. She is a speaker whose goal is to inspire people to move on in their lives. She helps people transform their dating goals into reality.  She is passionate about international travel and helping wildlife thrive in their environments.

She wrote The Global Guide To Divorce and the children’s book series Jack Jack The Cat.

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