For many years I have been travelling alone. I rent with a kitchen, so I can cook my own meals, is much healthier and less expensive.When arriving in a certain country, be it in North America, Central America, or anywhere in Europe, the next day after arrival I find the local grocery stores with the best prices. For late arrival bring some (next morning) coffee and dry foods for breakfast with you. By the way, last trip Sayulita, Mex. I did arrrive in dark with a cab driver – was totally safe.
Even in St. Petersburg, Russia, – in that case I took a group travel, with a guide – we stayed in the largest hotel, the Moskwa – it’s as big as a small city. Next door was a huge underground grocery store, where you could buy groceries and water for your evening suppers. Cheap. And St. Petersburg is one of the more expensive cities.
Luggage. I take two small carry-on suit cases, one as cabin baggage, one for checkout. Easier to handle when moving, no need for renting cars or cabs. In fact, I try to never rent a taxi. Because as a woman alone, it is not safe in some locales. One looses control. And misses a lot of wonderful sights when stuffed inside a taxi cab. Then again, as much as I can I speak the local language.
Public transportation: I always before leaving my home research very thoroughly the public transportation system of the country to which I travel. Starting with a map of the airport (arrival), where to go to find the nearest bus station after arrival. Funny example: Spain, Alicante. I had all the information necessary to get out and get onto the bus. Upon arrival, hundreds of European travellers hanging out in the arrivals hall, trying to rent a car (expensive). The local bus was only €3 to get to Alicante, to my hotel. And fast, in couple of minutes I was out and on the bus.Being alone I also avoid to go out after dark. In all those years I had never experienced an attack in a city, no matter where, or anything stolen. Except when it was my own fault.
Usually I choose a town or city as a base, from where to make trips. Mostly using the local bus system, or of course the trains (especially in Europe). Or a boat. Whatever. Mostly I walk. Most importantly: I mix with the locals, using their language. With 4 to 5 languages, I never had a problem to get along. This cannot be emphasized enough. Everything costs you less if you can communicate in the local language.
I avoid tourist spots. And of course large gatherings of people. There were times I found myself in dangerous situations – as far as terrorist activity. [using Firefox v.19]