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View Full Version : To those who travel solo - am I paranoid or do you do this too?


MaryT
08-10-2001, 11:07 PM
I travel solo a lot - both for pleasure and business. I often wonder about whether other people worry about the same goofy things I do. For example - when you are travelling alone -

Do you always make sure someone knows the hotel you will be staying at?
Do you call and 'check in' with someone from time to time during your trip?
Do you worry you will fall off the face of the earth and they will be tracing your movements by your credit card purchases?

In all seriousness, I do worry about those things. When travelling to Disney, I often don't know what hotel I'll be staying at (I stay offsite and make a lot of 'spur of the moment' trips), but I try to call and let someone know where I am once I do know.

I also tell someone (a friend or my mom or sister) that I will call while away, and then check in every few days (depending on how long I'm away).

Am I just paranoid, or is everyone like this?

BobBrazeal
08-10-2001, 11:13 PM
Whether traveling to WDW or other places, I always let someone in my family back in Alabama know where I am, when I'm traveling and I'll usually call them when I get there to let them know my room number and resort phone number. I'm not really paranoid about falling off the face of the earth or anything really happening to me but I do like for my family to know where I'll be if I'm not going to be at home. I rarely call during my vacation. I know from calling them when I get there that they will call if they need me. Other than that, I'm on vacation!!

RichMay
08-10-2001, 11:24 PM
That's a smart idea Bob, I never thought of that .... I will be sure to let my parents in Connecticut know when and where I am staying when at WDW next month ....

Margie J
08-11-2001, 12:31 AM
I always leave an itinerary at home with my Mom and Aunt, especially since my Mom is not in the best of health. It's more for them to get in touch with me in case of an emergency. I'll call when I'm finally settled the first night to ease their minds.

I also leave a phone number at work just in case the lab blows up and there's nothing to return too. :crazy:

villainwdw
08-11-2001, 05:26 AM
I also write up a hole plan for my family.......then I always carry my cell,and am on it aleast once a day(my parents are keeping my daughter with them) so I have to hear all the ":stuff" that is going on!! then I remeber WHY I am away!! hee hee....but I can alwys be reached!!

nativetxn
08-11-2001, 11:53 AM
I always let my family know where I am and where I'm staying. I do this more because my mother is 73 and my husbands mother is 76 than from paranoia. Just in case something happens, I want them to know where I am.

My <b><i>paranoia</b></i>, however, comes into play when I stay in a hotel that has outside entrances to the rooms. Before I retire for the night, I pull the table and chairs right in front of the door. I know it won't stop anyone from coming in, but at least I'll have some warning ;) Now, <b>that's</b> paranoid ;)

Katholyn

MdmMim
08-11-2001, 12:21 PM
I prepare an itinerary with train #'s, hotel name, and phone numbers. I email this to my DD at college (she MIGHT need me!) and leave a copy with DH. I do this not really for my protection, but in case they should have to contact me. I do phone home once in awhile.

I don't really worry about the hotel room-I do make sure every lock and bolt is in place when I'm in the room.

In the parks, I use common sense. During enights, sections of the park are very dark--I avoid these places when alone.

RussH
08-11-2001, 02:06 PM
The family info is easy I just leave the resort phone number. Call once upon arrival that's all.
However there is the work thing. I plan most my trips 6+ months in advance and get the OK's in writing so they forget. I don't bring it up again or do anything to tip my hand until late in the afternoon the day before I go. Several times in the past upper management always had a new emergency and can I move it back a week or month or quarter. No problem just call CRO "will you please just move my res back a week". So I carry my cell turned off in my bag and NO pager and call the office once a day.
RussH

BetsyAnn
08-11-2001, 08:28 PM
Just like those above - I let my family know where I am - resort phone number & name- I leave a list with my best friend in case of emergency - and a list at work with the instructions - "I am 600- 1000 miles away - there is proably nothing I can do to help you - Keep the children safe, if anyone asks for you to change the rules - say no and if you just don't know what to do - think what would Betsy do if she were here then do it. You all are the best and can handle anything! See you when I get back " Then I buy my small staff a present from Disney!

TSI_Fan
08-12-2001, 01:23 AM
I do that! Before my trip I e-mail my mom and brother to let them know the phone # to the resort I will be at, and I carry a pre-paid calling card so I call my parents and my best friend when I get there to let them know I got there okay. :) Yes, I am like that too. Just a safety precaution.

RaySharpton
08-12-2001, 05:35 AM
Hi Mary T.!

I don't think that you're paranoid. I think that you're acting in a safe, responsible manner. Family and/or friends should know how to contact you in an emergency. And if you are alone, why not call a friend if you want too.

Ray :)

wdw1972
08-12-2001, 07:55 PM
Oops - I admit I don't even think about leaving an itinerary or any information with anyone. I do let my son's dad know that I'm at wdw (or wherever).

I do carry a beeper, so people can get ahold of me that way. Work uses the beeper to reach me, or email, since I travel with the laptop. Also by posting the trip reports nightly lots of people know where I am (pretty much), so it is really easy to reach me.

Kermit
08-12-2001, 11:56 PM
I travel with my DH, but I still let my mom and sister know where I am. It's just as much so they can get hold of me as for our sake. We always have DH's best friend house sit for us, so I guess he'd do something if we just didn't come home.

NancyIL
08-13-2001, 12:57 PM
Whether I'm traveling solo or with husband and kids, I always give someone a phone number where we can be reached. We took a 3-week trip to Europe last fall, and I printed out several copies of our itinerary, including flight numbers and hotel names and numbers, to give to our parents. I also gave a photocopy of our passports and list of credit card numbers to our neighbor who was watching our house - in case they were lost or stolen.

MaryT
08-13-2001, 01:18 PM
Thanks guys - now I know I'm not the only one! Nativetxn - I had to laugh - I had a 'personal rule' for years never to stay alone in hotel/motels that had a door opening to the outside! I've relaxed that rule now, but I put a chair under the door too!

TDC Nala
08-13-2001, 08:58 PM
I make sure that my parents know which resort I'm in and how to reach me. I write the name and phone number of the resort on their kitchen calendar, so they can always find it. My office needs to know how to reach me, too, but it would have to be a real work emergency before they'll call me. I bring a phone card, but I don't check in with anyone daily. I will call my parents if my flight home is late. And always carry a health insurance card if you have one!

It is a good idea to always be aware of your surroundings when you're walking alone. If anything seems suspicious, try to get to a place where there will be other people.

Belle1962
08-14-2001, 07:57 AM
I'm a "paranoid" traveler too!!! I frequently travel ( by car) by myself to go home and visit relatives and friends.

I usually:

Leave my hotel list with phone numbers near the phone in the kitchen or on the refrigerator (I KNOW DS & DH will be using that)

Tell my DH and someone at the end of my trip (my Dad usually) which route I will take (there are 2 ways to get from my house back to MD).

Use pay at the pump with my credit card (it's faster PLUS there's a record of my whereabouts and time)

Call friends or family from the road (with my cell carrier I do not pay extra for long distance or roaming).

Keep the car doors locked at all times.

I always pull up to the pumps right in front of the windows at the gas stations--not the ones off to the side.

I never stay at a hotel with exterior corridors (except at Disney).

I try to stay at the same hotel on each trip. (If you're a creature of habit it's easier to track your steps).

If I make any detours (like sightseeing I call someone and let them know...Oh I'm stopping off at Natural Bridge for about an hour). Then call that same person when I am back on the road.

By the way, when I say someone--it's usally DH or Dad or Sister. I try to always call the same person so they don't have to poll EVERYONE you know in then event something happens.

I NEVER stop at rest areas unless it is a dire emergency and then I call and let someone know. I try to stop at fast food type places--they are well lit, you can usually park by the door and not have to walk far to get into the building, there are usually other people around plus you can get another drink or snack while you are there.

Umm...let's see I ask for rooms without connecting doors if possible. If not, I put a chair or my luggage in front of the door. I also try to put something in front of the room door.

Deadbolt the hotel door always.

Carry very little cash. Charge and debit cards (and then there's that paper trail on you again).

Avoid dark places alone.

Listen to my instinct. Sometimes I'll get off the road and just not like the look of the neighborhood. I'll get back in the road and stop a few more exits up.

Oh yeah---if you get any type of ticket (speeding for instance) then there's another record of your time & whereabouts :D :D

KristinU
08-14-2001, 09:30 PM
I travel solo for business and I also follow the "no exterior corridor" rule. One thing I do that no one has mentioned yet is check for fire exits when I get my room assignment. A woman at work forwarded something on hotel fire safety written by a fire chief (I'll check my archives at work and post it here if I can find it). Basically, imagine yourself trying to get out and find an exit while you are crawling on the floor with thick black smoke overhead. He suggested counting doors and corners so that you can count them off if you are blinded by smoke.

I also do something that is probably not too safe to my belongings, but helps with my paranoia: I leave my suitcase in the door (propping it open) while I go in and open the drapes and turn on the lights (of course I make sure there is no one behind the curtains or under the bed or in the shower...one too many horror movies I guess!).

Oh yeah, I also avoid street level if I can.

30 days and counting!!! BWV here we come!

Kristin

Belle1962
08-15-2001, 01:48 PM
Regarding fire: I never stay higher than the 5th floor (I want to be sure the fire trucks can reach me!!!!) HOWEVER on this trip (Aug 18 - 25) I am going to try to request the top floor so I can see the fireworks at PI & EPCOT. I'm VERY nervous about this but I'm willing to try. Now I'm memorizing all of the tips on what to do if trapped inside your hotel room: wet towels at the base of the door, wet towels over your mouth, don't break the window, go out on your balcony if you have one, hang a towel in your window or balcony to let them know where you're at, inside the closet is usually the weakest point in the wall and so easier to break thru and into another room if you need to, etc...

AFter talking to myself I think I might chicken out on that upper level room...

CarolA
08-15-2001, 05:36 PM
You all make me feel irresponsible.

I went to WDW this weekend and told NO ONE! I do have my cell phone with me, but the reception is pretty bad at Disney.

My boyfriend and friends think that my Disney habits are just plain weird so I figure what they don't know won't hurt them. Since I travel a lot on business my family is used to not being able to reach me. They know the message drill!

Oh well! I doubt I will change!

Disney Doll
08-16-2001, 12:56 PM
To those of you who move chairs or tables in front of the door when travelling alione and staying in an "outside entrance" room...I get a travel accessory catalog called Magellan's that has all kinds of safety items for travellers, one of which is a wedge type door stop which you place under your door on the inside when you're in there, which sounds a loud, pioercing alarm if anyone tries to move or open the door.

I imagine you can go to www.magellan.com to get a copy of the catalog, or check out the website.

KristinU
08-16-2001, 06:04 PM
I couldn't find the e-mail in my archive on the fire safety tips, but I did print a hard copy for myself. I can scan it and send it to anyone that's interested. Just let me know!

Kristin

ballgame
08-19-2001, 02:21 AM
I always leave a travel itinerary (flight #'s, etc) with my mother before a trip. Once I am there (although it may be a few days later, I will call my mother and let her know my room number and phone number. My coworkers usually know where I am going on my vacation, but that's it. I am able to check my voicemail using an 800#, so if there was a disaster at work (which has happened the past two years :( ), they leave me a message and I check them when in the parks. I must have looked pretty funny arguing with a client over the phone in the middle of Fantasyland.

As for security, I normally just lock the bolts on the door and make sure all the windows are locked.