11 essential tips for women traveling solo

Traveling solo is a big step as it puts you outside of your comfort zone. Understandably, many women do not have the courage to travel alone; they tend to go in groups or at least with a close friend.

If you have never done it but are eager to challenge yourself, there are some things you can do to prepare, especially for overseas travel. The most important concern is, of course, safety, but there are also other things that you should add to your list of considerations.

Mentality

The most important element of preparation is mentality. You must have confidence and belief in yourself, and assure yourself that it is safe to visit your destination alone.

Start by reading articles or books about traveling solo and about the destination you want to visit. Try to get used to going out by yourself; see if you can visit restaurants or join a crowd without any company and see how you feel.

Make sure you prepare all the travel essentials to help yourself feel safe on the journey, which will help you enjoy your solo trip later. And, by the way, although you will travel by yourself, most of the time you will likely not be alone and will end up joining others you meet on the way.

Listen to your instincts

The hardest part of mental preparation is making your own decisions. You have to trust yourself and listen to your instincts because that is your best defense system.

Don’t worry about other people’s opinions or be afraid that you’ll offend someone. You only have yourself to rely on throughout the trip, so you must know yourself very well.

One step at a time

Start your solo trip by visiting a close destination, and take it further one step at a time.

It’s not wise to embark on a solo trip to a dangerous or complex country. Our suggestion is to go to a place where you have a colleague or friend. Then, once you have more confidence, you can go a level up for your next destination.

Prepare required documents

Print out copies of your identification, insurance, plane tickets, hotel bookings and emergency contacts and put them in separate places: in your suitcase and other bags. Also store the files on an online drive.

You should carry a copy of your identification with you at all times as well as a hotel address and emergency contact. Keep your passport in your hotel’s safe or, if you’re in a hostel, store it in a cabinet with your own lock.

Emergency contacts

Always have an emergency contact and update him or her whenever you move and tell them what is happening. You may not be aware that danger is near, but a friend listening to your story might be able to sense it.

Take note of the license plates of vehicles that you travel in and share them with your contact.

Extensive research

Wherever you go, always do extensive research beforehand. Learn not only about the location of your accommodation, but also the current situation of surrounding areas as well as your desired tourist sites.

Learn also about local scams and precautions.  

Emergency exits

It is very important to plan an emergency exit strategy. You must take note of your country’s embassy or consulate address as well as their telephone number.

Learn which best hospital is best in your destination and whether it will accept your health insurance or not. Also, find out about the scenario for a medical evacuation, just in case.

Extra cash

You must have a plan for extra cash, just in case you get robbed or lose your suitcase. You can ask a friend to send emergency money if needed via Western Union or MoneyGram and agree on a secret passcode.

Try to divide your cash and keep it in separate places: in your luggage, secret pockets, shoes, etc.

Safety mechanism

Plan your safety mechanisms and always bring along one thing that can be used as a weapon, for example a wooden stick. Always carry with a padlock, extra batteries for your gadgets, conventional clothes to blend in with locals and clothes with hidden pockets to hide your hotel keys and important notes.

It’s advisable to wear a ring that looks like a wedding band and say you’re married and your husband is waiting for you at your hotel if a stranger asks. It is also important to bring simple first aid supplies and medicine with you at all time.

Printed map

It may be old fashioned, but your GPS will be useless if the battery is flat. That’s when you realize that printed maps are important.

Carry less

You may want to look chic, but there’s no point packing your wedges or other unnecessary stuff. Just bring basics like T-shirts, one dress, flip flops and simple make-up.

It might be hard to find someone to help you to carry your luggage, but you can always buy cheap clothes when you arrive instead of carrying heavy bags.

Source – TJP

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Xaysana linked to alleged drug networks in South Thailand and Malaysia

EVIDENCE has been uncovered that links alleged Laotian drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha to a network suspected of selling drugs in Thailand’s South and also Malaysia.

Narcotics Control Board secretary general Sirinya Sitthichai confirmed a link had been established between the network of Bulan Tareeseub and Xaysana.

“They have had some connections,” Sirinya said. Last month, police nabbed Xaysana at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Bulan, meanwhile, was arrested alongside Jitpanu Saeheng at a safe house in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district on Thursday on drug-related charges. Cash and jewellery were found in their possession.

Bulan’s assets worth more than Bt68 million have already been confiscated pending the investigation.

According to authorities, Bulan is married to Mamarussan Darormae – who was arrested in Malaysia in 2014 on drug offences.

“Following the arrest of her husband, she has allegedly continued the drug trade,” Sirinya said.

Sirinya said that major drug suspect Kamarudin bin Awang, who is known in Thailand as Zainudeng Ma and was nabbed in Malaysia earlier this week, was a part of Xaysana’s alleged network.

Narcotics Suppression Bureau’s spokesman Pol Maj-General Sunthorn Chalermkiat, meanwhile, said his agency was now taking over the investigation into a recent big haul of illicit drugs in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district to assess its possible link to Xaysana.

 “Local police have forwarded the investigation on the drug seizure to us to facilitate the expanding probe into Xaysana’s alleged drug network in Thailand,” Sunthorn said yesterday.

On Thursday night, police found 2.67 million methamphetamine tablets, 7 kilos of crystal meth-amphetamine, 5 kilos of ketamine, and 34,000 ecstasy pills at a house in Nong Chok. Arrested at the house was Anon Laokasem, 24.

According to police, Anon has confessed that he was paid to stock and deliver the illicit drugs. He has received Bt700,000 after he completed the deliveries of the first lot of drugs during the past two months.

Police are now expanding their investigation into Xaysana’s alleged drug network. Xaysana, who had long portrayed himself as a rich and well-connected man from Laos, is believed to have had extensive connections on Thai soil.

Earlier this month, famous motorcycle racer Akarakit “Benz Racing” Worarohcharoendet became the first Thai celebrity to have surfaced in the Xaysana’s scandal.

One of Xaysana’s alleged accomplices, Nattapon Nakkam, said he had used Akarakit’s name in buying a Lamborghini and a big bike.

The two vehicles have now been seized pending further investigation alongside 10 other items of assets linked to Nattapon.

After publicly mentioning the questionable Lamborghini early this month, the NSB has received several reports of suspicious super cars from people.

“Thank you for sending information to us. We are in the process of verifying the report,” Sunthorn said.

He added that the NSB was now checking into the reports that a man in Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district had surprisingly owned more than 40 luxury cars.

“We will check if he has engaged in illicit drug trade,” Sunthorn said.

Source: TheNation