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Advice for Men Travelling Alone

By: Jonathan Hedley - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Men Travelling Alone Advice Men

Travelling alone is most certainly on the rise and it's a fact that, despite a much sharper increase in the number of women doing solo trips, the majority of lone travellers are still men. Traditionally, men have always travelled - hoboes, explorers, soldiers, even early man hunted while early woman stayed at home - so it's commonly assumed that men already have some kind of independence gene or inherent knowledge about the world - that they don't need any advice.

Obviously, men do not have a knowledge of the world divinely bestowed upon them any more than women do, yet while the internet is bursting at the seams with advice for women travelling alone, there is very little literature simply aimed at lone, straight, male travellers. Indeed, even the search phrase "men travelling alone" brings back a wealth of information for - you guessed it - women!

Physical Danger

According to statistics, most women who travel alone do not do so out of choice, they simply have no natural travel partner such as a husband or close friend, and one of their prime concerns is security. However, men are ill-advised to be less concerned about security than women; statistically they are just as likely to be robbed and much more likely to find themselves in physical danger.

The generally accepted social norm that dictates that a man should not hit a woman does in fact extend into the realm of muggers, thieves and other unscrupulous types to a certain degree, while on higher levels of social interaction, women are in far less danger of ever getting into a fight or being threatened physically in a unpremeditated situation.

Hints & Advice

Eye Contact - Lasting eye contact between males is an aggressive gesture anywhere in the world. You don't need us to tell you that. Having said that, you may well get the impression that people stare at you more than you'd like. Always try to be tolerant, patient and open minded.

Flirting - What is considered appropriate varies around the world, but the British version tends to be a little too forward for most tastes, especially outside Europe and North America. Dabbling with the possibility of a little holiday romance is fine, as long as you're respectful and not invasive or crude.

Sex Traps - Single males will invariably be propositioned in big cities by those who have services to provide, so be aware that this can be a seedy business to get into that can end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for, both in terms of cash and your health. Certain lap dancing clubs, for example, force clients to pay extortionate sums of money for 'services' that they never requested or even realised were 'services'.

Fighting - If you've been known to get into the occasional scrap when tempers flare, bear in mind that in other cultures shouting angrily doesn't necessarily escalate into violent confrontation like it does in Anglo-Saxon cultures. Don't be the one to throw the first punch - you may find to your surprise that you're branded the aggressor.

Crime - Police the world over will always take the easy option, which means taking a local's word over yours. Added to this, they are under pressure to appear vigilant and will happily make an example out of foreigners caught committing crimes. This mentality also continues right up through the judicial system, and therefore sentencing, so try not to give them any excuses.

On the whole, men do tend to be more independent lone travellers, but that's not to say they're averse to meeting people and making new friends. While many women have security issues travelling without a man, likewise men tend to feel less approachable or welcome.

On the bright side, all solo travellers are much more approachable than couples or groups, and despite the primeval instinct of males to be wary of one another, it's human nature to socialise. A relaxed and confident male with a happy-go-lucky, unaggressive air about him is far less threatening to the strangers around him than one who is nervous, edgy and on his guard. They say one of the earliest ever forms of prehistoric human communication was a smile - a signal of non-aggression between males.

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As a woman who travels alone (out of choice) I find this interesting. If you're female and travel by yourself you get quite a few people freaking out over your safety - but is it really that much safer for men, or do we just assume this is the case? Not all men are 6ft4 bodybuilders, after all. If something does happen, obviously it's more likely that a man could defend himself - but the real trick is using your common sense to avoid trouble in the first place - and that's not necessarily easier/harder for either sex, even if specific situations might vary. Seems to me like society is overprotective of women travelling alone, but ignores issues that might face the guys.
Anna - 9-Jul-11 @ 12:11 PM
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