5 Tips For Travelling Solo—How To Stay Safe In Montreal

October 14, 2014

Travelling alone can be as much (if not more!) fun and adventure than travelling with a partner or friend. For one, you don’t have to compromise on your itinerary plans as much; and two, you’ll find yourself seeking out new friendships along the way. That being said, travelling solo requires a few things to make it safe and enjoyable. We’ll set down a few guidelines in this article for travelling solo safely.

1. Know Your Destination

This is crucial for enjoying and staying safe in your travels. Do enough research on your chosen travel destination to understand any risks, cultural differences or problem areas/issues before you arrive. Women in particular need to make due diligence here; and while many places are welcoming to all types of travellers, some are still resistant or offended by certain types of dress or activities. Be sensitive to the local culture and know the limits. As far as Montreal goes, you’ll find it to be a very open and welcoming city, to all types of travellers. It’s also a safe city to walk around, day or night, and lists among the top safest cities in North America.1 There are generally lots of people out and about at all times, so feel free to venture out and be yourself.

2. Book Safe and Appropriate Lodgings

While it may be fun and exciting to just wing it on where you’ll spend your nights, we recommend booking safe and reputable lodgings in advance, to ensure you have a place to stay where you and your belongings are secure. Keep in mind local festivals or events that could fill up rooms quickly, and make sure you’re travelling at a time when the activities/events fit your interests best. Consider booking an extended stay suite or a hotel with a kitchenette. This will save you money, as well as open up the possibility of cooking for yourself occasionally. There are some great hotel suites downtown Montreal that make it very easy to access your favorite attractions while staying in the heart of the city’s action.

3. Stick to Your Budget

Let’s face it, it can be easy to spend more than you expected when travelling alone. Sometimes a travel partner can help you stick to the plan more so than when you’re alone. Make a point of doing the math before you leave on your travels and do your best to stick to it. Booking budget hotels in Montreal is a great way to shave off some extra cash to put towards other activities you’d like to do. If you find that your budget falls short of reality, keep in mind your financial situation and adjust accordingly.

4. Know Where to Find Help

No one wants to plan for an emergency, but should you find yourself in that type of situation, knowing whom to call is imperative. Throughout the Island of Montreal, 911 is the standard number to call for most emergencies. Find out in advance where your local embassy or representative is located, and have a list of numbers to call if you run in to a problem. Also be sure to carry on your person your ID and some contact numbers that emergency responders can contact if you are injured. Also check with your local bank before leaving to ensure that your financial arrangements are appropriate and ready to be accessed from abroad. Lastly, keep in touch with several people who are close to you. In the event that something happens, they can sound the alarm for you.

5. Make Friends!

Travelling alone often results in the chance to make new friends. Be friendly and open to meeting new people. Ask questions, talk with your hotel concierge daily, take a group tour or hang out at the local pub/café for a bit. Of course, exercise common sense, be aware of your surroundings and don’t rush headlong into sketchy situations. Enjoy your travels!

1Mercer's Quality of Living Index 2011



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