Of course with every piece of advice, there are exceptions. I understand that there is sometimes a fine line between enjoying the special moments that make traveling amazing, and avoiding certain activities or places because they may be unsafe. So, this is a general guideline of practices to consider when making decisions. Here are the top ten dos and don’ts when traveling at night.
Walking At Night
1. Walk in pairs or groups at night. If you are traveling solo, choose to walk in well populated places. If you are uncomfortable, walk close to a group, like you are with them.
2. Stay in well lit areas. It may not be a great idea to hang out on a desolate beach, forest trail, or other area that is dark and isolated at night. While tempting, assess the risk versus the reward.
3. Do have a cell phone or a safety whistle to be able to call out for help if needed. A mobile phone does not always work. Have a back up device.
Avoid These Behaviors At Night (And In General)
4. Do not accept rides from strangers, even if you have been hanging out with them all night. People can change after having alcohol. Sometimes someone seems perfectly nice, but their motive may be unclear to you.
5. Do not get intoxicated and lose control of yourself or pass out. Many of us have been in this position at some time in our lives, but it is never safe to not have your awareness.
Traveling By Public Transport At Night
6. Lock the cabin of your train at night. Use a door alarm to wake you in the event someone enters. Secure your belongings in a way that they are safe while you are traveling, especially if you are sleeping. This applies on any public transport.
One way to accomplish this is by locking the zippers of your bag together, preventing it from being opened. For extra security, put your ankle or leg through the strap, or over the handle of your luggage. Alternatively, a bike lock can be used to attach your bag to a pole or handle.
7. Keep important belongings in a concealed place such as a front pocket, a travel money belt, or keep your hand over the top of your bag, protecting the opening.
8. Always be aware of, and present to your surroundings. Notice who is seated or standing around you. Put your baggage toward the inside, not on the street side while walking, and not in front of a door on public transport. It is less easy for someone to grab your belongings as they are passing you, or as the door is closing.
Accommodations At Night
9. Lock your hotel front and balcony doors and close windows without safety hinges when sleeping or not in your room.
10. Do not give out your room number, or invite anyone over, unless you are 100% sure that you’d like them as an evening guest.
Ultimately, if your gut tells you that you are in potential danger, trust your instinct. Taking unnecessary safety risks are usually not worth it.
See Also Jenny in Wanderland article on the 4 Things to Do Before Traveling Abroad