1. Keep In Touch: Check in regularly: Before your trip, make arrangements to regularly contact someone you trust: a significant other, friend, or family member. Give your contact a copy of your schedule, especially contact numbers for hotels, and agree to check in on non-travel days, be it via text message, a quick email, or a phone call.
2. If you are traveling internationally, register for STEP with the U.S. Department of State. The online process is really quick and easy, and if something newsworthy happens, the State Department will contact you.
3. Protect your privacy. Be discrete about discussing your travel plans. Don’t disclose where you’re staying or give specifics on your itinerary or schedule. Always choose a hotel with one primary entrance and rooms that are located off an internal hallway versus outside walkways (like many motels).
4. Stay on a higher floor in hotels.
5. Use your deadbolts, locks and the in-room safe.
6. Introduce yourself to the concierge, and even the housekeeping staff. Not only is it great to make friends with hotel personnel for great tips and an extra shampoo but having someone who recognizes you is important to keeping you safe.
7. I love walking around NYC by myself at night but I always am aware of my surroundings. Don’t dawdle too long in any one place, walk with a purpose and stay in well-lit areas.
8. Keep your cell phone in your pocket along with the numbers for a local taxi company or the hotel shuttle.
9. When taking a taxi by yourself, be sure to know the exact route you would like the driver to take BEFORE you get in the cab. Once in the cab, call someone on your cell phone and let him/he know where you are, where you are headed, and when you expect to arrive. Call that person back when you arrive at your destination.
10. Being out at night is enjoyable but be cautious. Schedule your taxis to take and pick you up. Also, look for evening tours that will provide a social opportunity as well as a cultural one. I enjoy the candlelight ghost tours in Savannah, GA. If you are a woman traveling solo, be aware of parts of the world that may frown upon women out after a certain time (dusk).