Traveling solo abroad is a perfect opportunity for self-realization, to know the world, and meet new people. It is definitely the utmost when it comes to self-indulgence because you get to enjoy your adventure exactly the way you want without anyone bugging you to do things that you don’t want to do.
Traveling solo does not always mean you will be left completely alone. There will always be an available seat beside you, opening up the possibility of a creeper or two hitting on you the whole bus ride or a guy sitting beside you that just won’t leave you alone. Unwanted advances are quite common for solo travelers, but thankfully there are strategies for fending off creepers and avoiding nuisances that come along with them.
1. Don’t be Afraid to Say No!
When Mr. Persistent just won’t stop asking for your name or your phone number, or another lone traveler keeps on sharing his thoughts but you don’t feel like talking, be brave enough to say NO! Say it often, say it loud! Be rude if you have to be because some people just don’t know when to stop. Not everyone who wants to talk to you wants to harm you, there are people who are just naturally friendly; however, if you think that you’ve tried your best to talk to them nicely as long as you can, then it’s time to end the conversation. If you just can’t handle it anymore, say no and shift your body away from that person, or move seats if you have to.
2. Look Busy or Preoccupied
Read a book, play your favorite game app, put in your earbuds, or write about your travel experiences in a journal. Do whatever you have to do, to make yourself look busy. People will see that you are occupied and hopefully understand that you clearly don’t want to be bothered, your body language will deliver the message. This should prevent a creeper from ever starting the conversation or taking the open seat next to you. If you run out of ideas act like your sleeping or actually sleep, and save your creeper-warding energy for more useful travel experiences.
3. Cover Up What You Can
Want to truly avoid unwanted glances and advances? The first step is to not show too much skin. Don’t wear revealing clothes and never wear skimpy clothing, unless you are at the beach or by a pool. Do wear comfortable, modest clothes that cover enough to avoid drooling strangers. The less they see, the less unwanted attention they will force upon you. Covering up is also often a sign of respect in countries across the world, so it will also help you avoid cultural faux pas especially when traveling to strongly conservative countries.
4. Lie About Your Relationships Status
The “I have a boyfriend” line always comes in handy, regardless of the truth in it. Use the line with the overly-confident guy sitting beside you on a long train ride, you can even add that he is waiting for you at the next stop. If someone is bothering you at a bus stop late at night, you can go as far as to say your bodybuilding, jealous husband is on his way to get you. Be creative, make up stories, creeper situations are situations where honesty is not always a virtue. A little lie can help you out big time.
5. Recruit Help
Some people will respect your request for personal space, but others won’t. If someone keeps bothering you and it makes you exceedingly uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to get some help. Approach a local police officer, store, airline, or restaurant employees, or even another passenger. Those around you will most likely have picked up on the creeper vibe already, and in seeing that you are traveling solo will be apt to help you out. Don’t just stand around, hoping the creeper will leave you alone, when all you tactics aren’t working recruit help and if all else fails remove yourself from the situation completely.
6. Make Your Boundaries Known
Take a step back, turn your body away, move to another seat. Physically make your boundaries known and if that doesn’t work verbally state them. Tell the creeper to stop moving closer to you, or to please stop following you. Be polite at first, but if being nice doesn’t work don’t let the creep walk all over you. Stand your ground and maintain the personal space you desire.
With preparations and lots of common sense, traveling solo abroad is an experience everyone can enjoy. Remember these tips and be cautious, so you won’t be taken advantage of or become a creeper’s prey!
Check out these tips for traveling alone for more useful advice you can use on your next solo trip abroad!