Tips for Traveling Alone: Part I

There is a Social Intelligence and Empathy that is gained through visiting other cultures.  The unending patience that comes with hours of negotiating on everything from meetings to the price of your food.  And most importantly the sense of humor that is gained when you get food poisoning in Ecuador and how you decide to mentally handle it.  Traveling alone is sure to show you the big picture and what life is all about and I am excited to share some of my tips on how to experience it all safely when alone!   

When I tell people I am going to be taking a trip alone, their reactions are normally very similar. “Wow, that is very brave of you!” “Aren’t you scared?” “Will it be safe?” “Alone? I could never do that.” I think most woman are afraid of looking lonely, of being scared and looking like they don’t have anyone that wanted to be there.  This is meant to help you feel like you not only can survive, but thrive, and have the time of your life while doing it.
Valuables & What To Have On Hand

Anything to do to draw less attention to myself while I am traveling alone is a plus!  This includes everything to do with jewelry and money.  If I am traveling out the country, I usually leave my ring at home and just wear a simple band. Think simple even down to your purse and luggage.  Nothing needs to be flashy unless we are going to speak on trends!

For overseas travel I only leave the hotel with enough money for that day.  I’ve have a friend with a great story of still being alive but losing a few hundred when his money was taken by some woman none the less…The full story is HILARIOUS but Ill let him tell you!  I chose to learn from his lesson. 

Also I always pack a 2nd copy of my passport while I travel outside of the States just in case it gets stolen I can show I am who I say I am.  If I am traveling to a 3rd World country, I will actually pack a 2nd copy of my passport picture as well.  

I never leave the hotel room without a full charge on my phone and my portable Battery Pack that will charge my phone twice.  If I drain both of them then I go back to the room and charge them up.

ADVENTURE STORY: The first time I landed in Bangladesh I was met right when I walked off the plane by a Bangladeshi military individual who said give me your passport and follow me.  I just knew I was going to be taken into a small room in which my passport would be taken away.  I am seriously Claustrophobic!  Do anything to me but don’t take me to a small room!!!  Good news I got my passport back and survived. But just in case have a back up!

Don’t Tell Others You Meet Where You Are Staying

After a long day of meetings and negotiations or you are traveling for pleasure you may be ready to relax.  Just be wary of new friends unless introduced by a friend or colleague.  I don’t care how nice they seem NEVER let anyone know where you are staying while you are traveling!  I send my itinerary out to my family and Rebekah before I leave and those are the only people that need to know.

They may seem like the sweetest person you have ever met and possibly your new bff but the truth is you know nothing about their background or what their motives are.  Better not to risk it till you can Google stalk them. Its not rude to be cautious!

ADVENTURE STORY: I was stuck due to an aircraft malfunction in NYC for 3 hours on the ground, 2 hours on the tarmac and 3.5 hours on the plane.  Thankfully the man that I was sitting next to was in fashion and we hit it off immediately. He knew I was doing a Road trip to our Top Retail Doors around the country and although he was wrapping up one of his own and headed home he genuinely was worried that I was alone.   He had asked where I was staying and I nicely answered in the city so I didn't have to go into more detail.  He had told me on the plane he was really worried about me taking a cab in the middle of the night but I assured him I have been in much shadier cities alone.  I let him have plenty of time to leave because I foresaw him wanting to help (although I was EXHAUSTED and just wanted to be in the hotel bed).  What do I see when I exit the airport for the cab line…him…in an Uber looking at me with a worried puppy face …it then gets better…he gets the driver to stop and yells out the window at me.  I yell back no I am fine go ahead I have a car.  He tells the driver and asks if he thinks it is safe for me to be out at 2am in the city.  The driver starts agreeing and tells me just to get in.  I agreed only if we dropped him off first and then I would tell the driver where I was going on a separate account.  They agreed and after dropping the guy off at the most stunning mansion I have ever seen (I guess he wasn’t as worried about me kidnapping him)…I got kidnapped by the DRIVER!!!  Well pretty much anyway- we were driving till 2am because he was LOST.  Seriously almost jumped out of the car. 

Choose Your Hotel Wisely & Create Hotel Family If You Travel Often

- When traveling I will always pick a hotel that is near the location that I will be having meetings or events and that has good reviews.  If it is a city that I travel to a frequently I stay at the same place each time to create a sense of community.  In NYC and Germany, I have become like family in the hotels I frequent. Everyone from the Doormen, Managers and Room Service think of me like their little sister and are very protective which I love!  

ADVENTURE STORY: At the hotel I stay at in NYC I got a call from the Manager who we will call Felipe around 10pm one night.  Felipe said “Hey Darbie there is a guy here that came in asking about you and said that you told him to come up”  …UMMMM no...I told him I have no idea who that is and asked what his name was wondering if it was a buyer or a editor I might be friends with… I could here him say my name is Josh and Darbie Angell called me.  Woah …he knew my first and last name…I told Felipe the only guy I know named Josh is from my childhood and he isn’t here so don’t let him up.  Felipe called back and said he knew I didn’t have guys up and they had asked “Josh” to leave the hotel.  Anywhere else the guy might have been able to convince them to let him up if he knew all of the right information.  Since then they have become even more protective not letting me get into a car that they don’t know the driver if I am leaving the city for a bit. The last time they thought it would be funny to put me in a stretch limo…with strobe lights…showing up to a meeting like that is something to start conversation out with!

Well those are my beginning tips! Stay tuned for more tips for traveling the world on your own!
XOXO -Darbie

Darbie Angell

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