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Safe sex and solo travel: 6 things to remember


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Being a part of the travelling community means you can find yourself changing countries more than you change your underwear. However, when the chips are down, many travel bloggers are hesitant to touch on one taboo topic, despite it being such an important one in the travelling world: sex!

Image credit: Bru-nO (Pixaby)

Here's my backpacker’s guide to safe sex on the road. More specifically, safe sex for the solo traveller. Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy write.

1. First and foremost, use protection!

This may be common sense for most of you, but many lovebirds skip over this step in the heat of the moment. Even if you or your partner are taking a form of birth control, condoms not only prevent the chances of unwanted conception, but protect you from STIs too.

With the likes of ‘super gonorrhoea’ on the rise, stock up on condoms (because antibiotics won’t work!) You may not be able to obtain them abroad either, due to language barriers or differing sexual education and customs - therefore remember to take a supply with you on your travels.

2. Consent, always

Do not feel pressured to engage in sexual activity if you do not feel 100% comfortable in doing so. Saying no is your prerogative and consent is compulsory, no matter the situation. Look out for yourself, nomad! Head to the FCO site for more important information on consent.

3. Respect the local culture

You’ve seen the headlines: ‘Banged Up Abroad’ - so steer clear of having sex in public. Although this kind of behaviour may seem ‘adventurous’ whilst on the road, these situations have landed a proportion of travellers in threatening situations due to offending local customs and breaking local laws. So as well as practicing ‘I’m really, really sorry’ in the local language, make yourself aware of the laws and cultural customs of every country you visit, and be respectful towards others’ beliefs.

4. Know your sextiquette

RESPECT your fellow dorm buddies. Hanging a towel or your ‘gap yah’ sarong over your bunk bed does not equate to a private room for two. Your roommates can sometimes still see you, and will definitely still hear you! Spend the extra £3 and splash out on a private room. Please. 

5. Make sure someone knows where you are

As a solo traveller you won’t have a built-in travel friend from home to share your location with when you run off into the sunset with a hot surfer dude… so tell someone you trust where you are, such as a fellow traveller you’ve met in your hostel and/or a friend/family member via text/phone. You might be embarrassed (or maybe proud?) but having someone check in on you, or waiting up for you to return, increases your safety and their awareness of potentially risky situations.

6. Last but certainly not least, enjoy yourself!

Travelling broadens your horizon and provides you with an open environment to explore. Although you should always remain safe and aware by using my tips as a guide, take advantage of the opportunities thrown your way. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. 

Lead image credit: Bru-nO (Pixaby)

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