Stephanie Holmes has some advice on how to keep yourself out of trouble when you're globetrotting alone.
1. Register your trip at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's SafeTravel website
In an emergency, MFAT will be able to check on your wellbeing, or send important information about how to get home. It will also give your friends and family better peace of mind.
2. Arrange a regular check-in with someone back home
Book in a time to call, Skype, or send a text to someone reliable at home. If you miss this appointment, they know they need to check you're okay. Yes, it might just be you're having such a good time you forgot all about the real world, but it pays to have a safety net.
3. Don't drink too much
Enjoy a couple of glasses of beautiful wine or a delicious cocktail, sure. But getting wasted while travelling alone could put you in seriously compromising situations. Keep your wits about you and — as you would in a bar at home — be wary of accepting drinks from strangers. Make sure you see the drink being poured and don't leave it unattended at any time.
4. Dress to blend in
Do some research on cultural dress standards and make sure you follow them, unless you want to attract unwanted attention. It's also a good idea to try to look as little like a tourist as possible. Brand new backpacks covered in padlocks scream: "I'm a tourist, please rob me of all my valuable possessions." Try a vintage satchel for days around town instead ... you won't look like a local, but you'll perhaps pass as a street-savvy expat.
5. Use Uber
Taxi and ride-sharing app Uber is in six continents, 81 countries and 581 cities and, if you have an account in New Zealand, you can use it anywhere the service is available. Great because it allows you to have a record of the driver, star-rating and number plate; it also gives you the option to share your ETA with a friend so they can follow your route. If Uber isn't available, choose an official taxi company and make a note of the company name and contact number before you travel, as well as your driver's registration and number plate.
6. Know the emergency number of the country you're in
111, 112, 911, 999 ... it would be really useful if there was a universal number to call in an emergency, whatever country you're in. But until that day, make sure you know what number to call if you're in trouble. Hopefully you'll never need to use it but, like your mum always said, better safe than sorry.