Play it safe

Solo travellers, particularly women, have been warned that they need to take precautions and avoid dangerous situations, travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports.

The Knowledge Academy, a training business based in the UK, has offered up some tips to stay safe while travelling alone. But most of them apply to anyone travelling.

Key tips
1. Always carry your accommodation address with you
It is best to be prepared for any uncertainties that may arise while travelling alone. Many rely on their phone for essential information nowadays, but what if your phone dies when you are exploring and your accommodation details are on it? Bring a card that provides details of and directions to your accommodation so you can return safely. This is particularly helpful in countries where your language is not commonly spoken.

2. Share your location with loved ones 
By sharing your GPS location with loved ones whilst you are away, they can easily keep track of your whereabouts to ensure you are safe. You can set this up via platforms such as Google Maps or Facebook Messenger.

3. Fake your travel status
It is especially important to make sure nobody you meet while travelling knows that you are alone. Whenever you meet someone new, pretend that you are meeting up with a friend in a few hours or that you have someone staying with you. A useful tip is to buy a pair of men’s shoes and leave them outside of your door, especially if staying in rented accommodation. This tricks people into thinking that there will be someone with you at all times and may help prevent unwelcome overtures.

4. Perfect that grimace!
Being too polite and friendly to strangers can make you more of a target for pickpockets and other criminals. Instead, practice looking ‘mean.’ This should deter people from taking your kindness as a weakness. It is also important to try and blend in as much as possible with locals. Struggling to find your way around? Try to keep calm and do not highlight that you are lost.

5. Spend extra money on staying safe
Spending a little more than expected to guarantee safety is important. For example, if it costs more to fly to your chosen destination during the day rather than at night, pay it. Consider investing in a transfer that will drop you off at your accommodation too, rather than in the centre of the city.


A taste of Singapore
Inner westies can head to Circular Quay for a little slice of Singapore next month. September 7-8 are the dates to sample a slice of Singapore nightlife without leaving town.

The event will be called The Singaportal and is a joint venture between travel and experiences portal Klook, and the Singapore Tourism Board.

The PR blurb says Sydneysiders will have the chance to immerse themselves “in the vibrant, pulsating, and colourful world of Singaporean nightlife”.

Among the highlights will be:

  • Giant SuperTree Grove, Merlion re-creation and Haji Lane walk-through. – Raffles Long Bar experience: A recreation of Raffles Long Bar, where guests can sip on the famous Singapore Slings in partnership with Raffles and Long Bar Singapore.
  • Satay Street: An opportunity to experience the signature food of Singapore in a Hawker street food ambience.
  • A DJ set by some of Australia and Singapore’s leading DJs.
  • Brass Lion Distillery and Tiger Beer will be the alcohol partners.

There will be only 2,000 tickets available and The Singaportal will feature two sessions per night to cater to different audiences.

The first session, from 6-8:30pm will provide a family-friendly and relaxed atmosphere, while the second session, from 9pm- midnight will be more adult focused.

At each session, a lucky guest’s PortalBand will light up and the wearer will win return tickets to Singapore courtesy of airline Scoot with a free stay at Raffle’s Hotel and all their Singapore activities sponsored by Klook.

For more information and ticket sales visit

Vietnam tourism region acts against plastics

The hotel industry in Vietnam’s idyllic Cam Ranh region is tackling the scourge of plastic waste head on, working together with the aim of establishing a local plant that will upcycle all types of plastic waste.

The “End Plastic Soup in Cam Ranh” campaign, spearheaded by Alma Resort, The Anam Cam Ranh (top image) and Movenpick Cam Ranh and supported by 10 other resorts on the Cam Ranh peninsula, kicked off with an extensive two-day clean-up of Long Beach In July.

The weekend beach clean attracted around 300 volunteers from participating hotels, Vietnam’s Rotary clubs, and local schools, and roughly 1.5 tonnes of plastic were collected from the 15-kilometre Long Beach to be upcycled. 

A welcome dinner for volunteers and the community was held at Alma – which looks a lovely spot – to mark the start of the initiative. 

Alma managing director Herbert Laubichler-Pichler said Cam Ranh’s hospitality industry would collaborate with Rotary Club Saigon International to support the Rotary initiative End Plastic Soup to establish a recycling plant in Cam Ranh. 

“Alma and the local hospitality industry know it is crucial to do our bit to raise awareness about the damage plastic is doing to our stunning oceans, direct harmful plastics to upcycling efforts, and fundraise to help contribute to establish a plant here in Cam Ranh that will help the environment and the local community,” Laubichler-Pichler said.

World Bank figures show Vietnam has become a major source of plastic waste in the world, with an estimated 3.1 million tons of plastic waste dumped on land and between 0.28 and 0.73 million tons dumped into the ocean each year. 

See more of Winsor’s travel tips at