Traveling solo? Here are 5 things to say to strangers

Traveling solo can be an exhilarating way to see the world, but only if you're cautious. Here are a few phrases that might deter predators.

Black woman traveling
Photo: AdobeStock
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Traveling solo is a courageous act. It takes curiosity, will, freedom, security, faith, and bravery to embark on such a journey. Whether you are a man or a woman who decides to take a solo trip is neither here nor there; in this situation, the number one factor is safety. 

Black woman traveling
Photo: AdobeStock

Generally speaking, men tend to travel solo at a higher percentage than women, with about 22 percent of men down to take solo trips this year as opposed to 20 percent of women. Typically, female solo travelers prefer to journey to places in tour groups or to locales where they are sure to find others like them and link up. While on one hand, linking up with other solo travelers and groups can be cool, there are instances where predators target these areas for this very reason. 

A number one tip in traveling is to trust your intuition on who you can trust and connect with while leaving others in the dust. Along with that, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are not looking forward to continuing a conversation or linking up with a stranger who may have just approached, try these phrases below. 

“I come here often.”

While you don’t have to use this exact phrase, letting it be known that you are on your way, know where you are headed, and are not to be messed with is the vibe you want to give off when approached with unwanted attention as a solo traveler. 

“I’m on my way to a meeting.”

Mentioning the word “meeting” gives others the impression you are doing business, as it isn’t unusual for people to travel solo for business conferences and meetings around the world. This phrase can also convey the idea that others may be expecting you for something very important and business-related so it suggests you will be missed if you are delayed or missing. 

“I am meeting my significant other.”

Significant others are never too far behind. Whether it is a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé or spouse, it’s common for S.O.s to constantly check in on each other’s whereabouts, leaving little time for outsiders to intrude on the vibe. Stating that your significant other is on the way gives a clear warning that you are not interested and are expecting someone. Better yet, someone is expecting you. 

“I am not staying close by.”

“I am not staying close by” is a simple way of saying there is no need to follow me to my car, hotel, or Airbnb because I am not staying in the area—and if you do begin to follow me after this statement, it is cause for alarm and I know to alert security next. 

“My friend is in the restroom/restaurant.”

Friends always come through in a clutch to rescue you from an annoying situation—even when they’re not there. Mentioning that your friend is in the restroom or a nearby restaurant and is anticipating you is a sure way to ditch yourself out of the stranger’s view and make a run for it. Chances are you can meet people in the bathroom or eatery who are willing to help you get out of a not-so-nice situation as well.

Noel Cymone Walker

Noel Cymone Walker is an NYC-based writer specializing in beauty, fashion, music, travel, and cultural anthropology. She has written and produced visuals for several notable publications such as The Recording Academy/ The Grammys, The Fader, Billboard, OkayPlayer, Marie Claire, Glamour, Allure, Essence, Ebony, and more.

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