Night Safety for Solo Travelers: 15 tips

Avoid empty streets, subway cars… generally, just stay in public places.

Last week I wrote about things that solo travelers can do at night.

I wrote about some of the great times I’ve had going out in the evening and suggested 7 things solo travelers can do at night – other than staying in with a book.

As I was writing it, I realized that it may be beneficial to also write about safety at night. A lot of the same rules apply as during the day but there are a few others to consider as well. So, I give you…

There’s a whole section in my book on solo travel safety.

15 Safety Tips for Solo Travelers Going out At Night

  1. Check with someone reliable first. Before going out, make sure that where you’re going is safe. While everyone has a different sense of what safe is, it’s helpful to have an opinion or two before you go.
  2. Plan for getting there and getting home. Depending on where I am and what time I’m going out, I may take public transit there but I almost always take a taxi back. Make sure that the taxi is licensed. Don’t take pirate cabs. If you take public transit sit near the bus driver or choose a subway car that has many people in it.
  3. Leave a note and take a card. Leave a note in your room saying where you’re going to in the evening and take a card from your hotel or hostel and keep it in a pocket. If you don’t know the language you can simply show the card to your taxi driver.
  4. Don’t take a purse or backpack. I suggest leaving a purse or backpack behind. It’s a target for petty theft and just one more thing to worry about.
  5. Stash your money in more than one place. Have some money easily accessible but, just in case you lose your money (or worse), have some tucked away in a shoe, your bra, wherever works for you.
  6. Have fun, make friends, but…  When you go out and meet people remember that they are strangers. You don’t really know them so stay in a public place with them at all times.
  7. Gain the backup of a server. If you’re in a pub or bar, befriend the server or bartender so that they’ll come to your aid if someone starts hassling you.
  8. Be aware of your drink. Don’t let someone distract you so that they can slip something into your drink. Be aware of it at all times.
  9. Go rested. Stay sober. It’s important to have your wits about you when you’re out at night so go out rested and don’t drink too much.
  10. Men and women are equal. Sometimes people assume that women are safer than men. This isn’t really the case and should not be assumed.
  11. Where you’re staying is your business. Your accommodation is your safe haven. Don’t tell people where you’re staying.
  12. Women should dress appropriately. I hesitate to suggest that a woman could be responsible for inappropriate attention from men but the truth is that if you dress conservatively you will attract less unwanted attention.  Also, wear a minimum of jewellery.
  13. Know how to get help if needed. If you carry a phone, learn the local emergency number. If you don’t learn how to say help in the local language.
  14. Find help for someone who needs help. If someon appears to need your help find someone else to help as well. Your selection of someone will help ou as well.
  15. Be rude if necessary. If you’re being bothered by someone who just doesn’t get the message that you don’t want their attention, be rude and noisy. They’ll usually back away.
  • Jaryd Krause

    If you take off your coat/jacket and leave it on a chair, always leave the pockets empty. Oh an take pepper spray if your really worried haha. Great tips though, cheers

  • Karisa Blake

    Great advice! I’ve found that the I travel the more natural these safety precautions become for me.