More on Travel Solo

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I omitted some important advice in my story on being careful in traveling solo. Some of it goes for all travelers, i.e. couples, groups, people on organized tours, even on a cruise.

First, of course, do not go alone at night in a dark place. Alone or not, keep your passport on you at all times; there is no reason to leave it in the hotel safe. Guard it with your life. When in a foreign country, let your embassy or consulate know you’re there. Give your family a copy of your itinerary, along with which hotel you’ll be at in a given city. Get a hotmail account, and let your near and dear know when you’ve arrive safely at your destination. Use internet/cyber cafes instead of the hotel internet computer, unless it’s free. When I travel, alone, of course, I email my sister as soon as I know my hotel room number, she calls me there every evening, taking the time difference into account. She has a plan whereby she pays only about 5 to 8 cents per minute for calls from Canada to Europe. Give a copy of your travel insurance document to your next of kin or your estate executor, so that he or she will know who to contact if, heaven forbid, your plane should crash or your train derail. Should you have any kind of accident, let your family know, if possible. You may be hit by a car, in a coma, or otherwise unable to let anyone know who you are. Keep your travel insurance document on you as well. For everyone, of course, do not forget your medication or your glasses at home!

P.S. There are drawbacks to having email, such as your daughter will send you a request to buy her favorite French perfume, which she can no longer find in Canada! I should know, she emailed me when I happened to be in Amsterdam. Like the idiot that I am, I bought her perfume at the dutyfree at Schiphol airport, at the cost of $100 for a very tiny bottle of “eau de parfum,” not even the real perfume, instead of waiting until I got back to Paris! Or your son sends you an email in London, asking that you buy him a London taxi, when you have already bought a London double-decker bus. So you buy the taxi …

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