There are several occasions during a businesswoman’s life where she will find herself traveling alone. When traveling alone there are different skills and tips needed as a woman. Especially with all of the brutal stories floating around. Modern-day slavery, rape, international ransoms, it’s a wonder that women even attempt to travel by themselves. I have had (and continue to have) the pleasure of traveling many places across the US and have learned a few lessons, some harder than others. Like when I lost my car in an airport parking structure because I didn’t take a picture of my location due to rushing to get to the terminal because of course I was running late. I digress. But the panic button is not always your friend in a parking structure the acoustics are horrible and your left feeling like a gerbil on a hamster wheel. Anyway, I would like to share some tips that I have learned through all of my travels and hope that they come in handy.
Well where should I begin…. I tend to over pack as if I am preparing for Armageddon. But a good rule of thumb is to pack using a case or bag that you can handle with ease. For instance, ask yourself if you can speed walk while pulling or carrying the bag? Can you lift the bag on your own? I ask these questions because someone can use this against you to try and take advantage. “Excuse me miss do you need help?” and next thing you know your pockets are picked or your purse is stolen.
There are several items out there that can assist you with your packing. My favorite are the Nextour packing cubes set of 6.
I of course found them on Amazon. Makes packing easy and you can fit a lot into each cube. Don’t get me started on how organized you look at TSA, did you see the picture.
Think out your days and put together complete outfits before packing them. I need to stress COMPLETE, don’t forget your under garments and accessories. Now tuck and roll!! No I’m not talking about a fire drill. When packing, roll your items to make them smaller, packing cubes will make this super easy. Again, you will look super organized at TSA.
If you are truly traveling alone possibly going to meetings with clients and/or a conference, call your hotel and ask if they have a car service or a shuttle. If not, an option (other than a taxi or UBER) is Super Shuttle. Most large airports have this as an option for transportation to and from the airport. You can schedule your pick up and drop off on the app. I have found that there is usually a designated pick up spot at the airport. Some airports have actual kiosks with representatives to assist. Which makes life easier.
If you are traveling to attend a conference, ask the conference host for the attendee list. Take the list and check to see if any familiar names are on it and then use the buddy system. This works great if you see someone from your town and/or state. Funny thing is, the person you connect with may be experiencing the same anxiety and will welcome the company. Depending upon your travel options you may be able to connect at the destination airport and share a ride to the host hotel. Believe me ride sharing could be another blog topic especially on safety. I mean goodness, did you hear about the UBER driver that went on the killing spree or the guy who pretended to be a ride-sharing driver?
Okay back on track, wait let me go back to packing for one second. Pack a portable charger. Okay a few tips on checking in at your hotel. Inform the attendant at the registration desk that you are traveling alone. The attendant will now know that no one should be given a key to your room or request a key. Also, no one should be given access and/or entry into your room. Another thing, do not give out or announce your room number.
When going to your room in the evening be aware of your surroundings when getting off the elevator and opening your room door. Now just to be clear, you don’t have to break out the CSI kit or run from everyone that approaches you, just be aware. Last tip on hotels and check-in, request a non-joining room.
Now you have finished your day and have time to go out and explore. Utilize the hotel staff to find the cool places to go and places to eat. They should be able to explain which parts of town are safe and which parts you should stay away from. This is also a good way to check on discounts and transportation options. Again some hotels have a car service with little to no fee, especially if the driver is bored.
Try your best not to look like a tourist. Use earbuds and GPS to get directions when walking. Using the earbuds will keep passerby’s from knowing you are not a local and potentially lost. Oh and don’t hold your phone up to get a signal (that’s not how it works).
Eating alone does not have to be a bad thing. Download a movie, book, or podcast and belly up to the bar. This is a good tip because, while sitting at the bar people usually don’t think you are alone. They assume you are waiting on your party, a date, or possibly you are friends with the bartender. When you go to the bar, you won’t have to encounter that depressing phrase, “party for one”.
There are several reasons why you find yourself traveling by yourself. As a woman I am offering some simple tips to keep us safe and out of harms way. The most important tip in this entire post is be aware of your surroundings. Safe travels and remember to subscribe, share your thoughts, and share the article. Have a good one!