11 Smart Travel Accessories for Staying Safe on Solo Trips
But traveling without friends, family, or a significant other also means that you’ll need to be hyper-aware of your surroundings to protect yourself from unwanted crime or attention.
Related: 23 Items to Pack for Solo Travel
When packing for your first solo excursion, it’s important to take a few extra precautions to ensure your travels not only go smoothly, but safely. These 11 products are designed to help prevent or negotiate a range of compromising situations you may encounter on the road, giving you the peace of mind to savor every second of your solo journey, without worry.
For a Fashionable Way to Wear a Whistle
Your dad might have gifted you with an, ahem, unnecessary set of pepper sprays and Swiss Army knives to protect you before you head to Southeast Asia for a few months, but this upgrade to the traditional whistle is both practical and pretty. While at first glance — and to passersby — it appears to be a statement necklace, it’s actually a super-loud whistle you can use if you’re ever in a tricky situation and need assistance.
To buy: unboundbabes.com, $26
For Weathering Unexpected Downpours
Especially for when you’re trekking through South or Central America where a daily thunderstorm is not only likely but expected, you’ll need something that keeps you dry and prevents you from seeking help from strangers to escape the rain. Instead of carrying around a travel-sized umbrella that won’t do the job or a bulky rain jacket, consider this dual-function scarf. When it starts to sprinkle, pull out the hood that’s tucked away in the pocket of this water-resistant buy and continue on your way. As a bonus, it also features two concealed compartments where you can store your credit card, keys, or other valuables you want to hide.
To buy: amazon.com, $18
For When You Need to Stay Connected
Stuck at the bus station without an outlet? This hardsided spinner features an easily removable power bank to keep your tech charged no matter how long you’re passing time at the airport. It also sports a TSA-approved lock, so you can doze off while awaiting your boarding call without fretting. You also can equip the suitcase with a Tile Bluetooth tracker to be sure your checked bag made the connection with you, and you can even use your suitcase to find your phone by pressing the Tile will make it ring even if it’s set to silent mode.
For When Your Phone’s Dead and You Need Light
Your initial inclination might be to skip a flashlight since your phone likely has one and they’re bulky, but what happens if you’re out of battery and you need light to unlock your bike in Kyoto? Illuminating your path is never a bad idea, and with this light that’s the size of a pen, you won’t feel like you’re lugging around excess weight.
To buy: amazon.com, $30
For When You Feel Unsafe
Moreso than any travel guide or tour you could take, your gut will often lead you in the right direction. Even if there’s no immediate threat, if you’re in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, getting away from the area ASAP is in your best interest. That’s why this inexpensive and tiny keychain alarm is a smart idea. When you remove the black pin, a loud — and apparently, annoying — sound will blast for up to 30 minutes, turning off any unruly characters from following you or standing near you and attracting help if you need it.
To buy: amazon.com, $8
For Drinking Clean Water, Always
Considering the vast majority of the world doesn’t have tap water you can guzzle down when you get back to your Airbnb or hostel, purifying your H2O becomes an important task. Not only will you save on buying endless water bottles that leave a negative footprint on the environment, but you’ll save your stomach from upset, too. These on-the-go GoPure pods remove lead, chlorine, and chromium from water, reducing the likelihood of travel-related illnesses.
To buy: amazon.com, $20
For Staying Hydrated
How many times have you stared in awe at the number of steps you took in a single day of travel? Between scaling the length of an airport and checking off every monument, museum, and attraction in a given city, your hotel or hostel is merely used as a place to crash. In addition to stocking up on sunscreen, it’s also important to stay hydrated. The only downfall is most cross-body bags aren’t big enough to hold your trusty water bottle. The solution? This trendy new bag holds 17 ounces of water, with a straw right in the strap. Done and done.
To buy: amazon.com, $85
For Protecting Your Essentials in Crowded Areas
Leave your cutesy backpack at home this time. You won’t want to attract double-taps on Instagram at the risk of appealing to pickpockets, too. Keep your valuables protected with this pick from PacSafe, a trusted travel brand for on-the-go accessories. This 25-liter backpack has safety features like slash-proof fabric, straps that will lock onto the chair or table when you’re eating dining alfresco, and zipper pulls that discreetly hook shut. It also expands to fit everything you’d need for a long weekend getting lost in the wonder of a new city.
To buy: amazon.com, $120
For Days Spent Away From Power Outlets
When you’re jumping onto one of those fun one-day tours that take you to a remote part of a country or city, you’ll want to ensure you can snap photos all day long — and call for help if you get separated from the group. To the rescue comes this innovative battery pack that holds up to two full charges and attaches magnetically to the back of your phone like magic, hence the name.
To buy: amazon.com, $40
For Keeping a Firm Grasp On Your Phone
These days, your smartphone isn’t just a way to scroll through Instagram or check the thumbs up on your latest Facebook post; it’s your way to stay connected to your home base, no matter where you are in the world. Other than your passport, we’d argue your phone is your second biggest travel essential. Keep a firm grasp on it — no matter if you’re bouncing over the Adriatic Sea in Croatia or riding a camel in Morocco — with this simple, effective accessory that doubles as a tiny wallet. When it’s not holding your credit cards, you can slide your hand into the slot to make sure you don’t accidentally let it fall mid-selfie.
To buy: amazon.com, $25
For Low-light Runs
If your favorite way to explore a new city is on your own two feet with the wind whipping through your hair, no trip is complete without a sunrise or sunset run. Though it’s best to a get in those miles in crowded areas with plenty of light, it’s also savvy to come prepared in case you find yourself in a dicey situation. These lightweight knuckle lights wrap around the front of your hands and shine a flooding light ahead, giving you a warning of what or who you’re about to cross paths with and vice versa.
To buy: amazon.com, $40