There’s something invigorating and freeing about travelling solo. That sense of excitement you felt when you were younger before taking a trip with your family is multiplied tenfold when you’re throwing yourself out into the world on your own.
However, there is a dark side to travelling alone. Despite the horror stories we hear about backpackers, and female solo travellers in particular, the Daily Mail has reported that the numbers of young people exploring the world on their own has grown by 43% in the last 3 years, and surprisingly female travellers are leading the surge. So, if you are looking for adventure, how can you ensure that your trip will not end in disaster?
Wegoplaces has complied an online summary of where is safest to travel in 2019 and advice on how to be an independent adventurer; they’ve even made a colour-coded map showing the riskiest and safest destinations for world travel. The grading scale they use is based on their Law and Order index which is calculated from asking the population of that country how safe they feel.
“A high proportion of the population of Singapore reports to feel safe”
The safest destination on their list was *drum roll*…Singapore! This conclusion was based on their Law and Order index of 97, which meant that a high proportion of the population of Singapore reports to feel safe. Norway, Iceland and Finland were all joint second, with an index score of 93. Following in 5th and 6th place were Uzbekistan and Hong Kong and following close behind with a score of 90, in joint 7th, were Switzerland and Canada. Rounding off the top ten in the final two spots were Indonesia and Denmark. So, what any aspiring solo travellers can take from this is that the inhabitants of these countries feel relatively safe, and therefore so should any sensible backpacker.
“South Africa and Mexico were joint 6th riskiest places to visit”
On the other end of the scale, Wegoplaces scored Venezuela only 44. They deemed it a country “still in crisis,” and warned anyone considering travelling there to “exercise a high degree of caution.” Afghanistan, South Sudan, Gabon and Liberia were also in the bottom five destinations with a score of 56 as the highest between them. South Africa and Mexico were joint 6th riskiest places to visit, both scoring 58 and the Dominican Republic was only slightly safer with a score of 60. With index scores of 61, Botswana and Sierra Leone completed the ten most risky places to travel.
“You should check your phone network’s policy on international use”
However, no matter the index score of the country, Wegoplaces advises that all travellers check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website before they travel. Here you can find information about the necessary vaccinations you need for each destination and local laws that you’ll need to abide by. Also, Wegoplaces strongly advises you buy travel insurance and if you have a chronic or ongoing illness that you carry information about your condition with you at all times. They also suggest that you should check your phone network’s policy on international use and using dating apps whilst you’re abroad with caution; it should be common sense, but they warn never to give details of where you’re staying to strangers.
“For solo female travellers who want to reduce unwanted attention [the top advice] is that they wear a ring on their wedding finger”
The final pieces of Wegoplaces’ advice concern whether you’re planning on travelling to conservative countries. Many countries expect women to cover their arms and legs, are anti-PDA and have strict local customs. To avoid inadvertently causing offence, make sure you read up on your destination before you leave. Wegoplaces’ number 1 tip for solo female travellers who want to reduce unwanted attention is that they wear a ring on their wedding finger. So if you’re planning on channelling your inner Jason Derulo and ‘Ridin’ Solo,’ you can do so knowing that you’re well prepared, and therefore most likely to have an amazing trip!
You can find more info about Wegoplaces here! Their data has been sourced from the Gallup Global Law and Order Report, the Global Peace Index 2018 and the guidelines from the FCO, so you know it’s reliable info.