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As often as my schedule allowed, I made it a point to email my mother to let her know I had made it back to my bungalow alive and happy. That leads me to the Do’s and Don’ts of solo traveling, especially for women. Rule number one: Share your written travel itinerary with family. Include dates, flight numbers, hotels, and phone numbers. Contact loved ones often during your trip to help them keep track of your movements. Also, make sure your cell phone tracker is turned on and family members have access to it. Just in case you disappear, they will know where to start the search. That’s real talk! Rule number two: Never go out at night.That means club hopping is off limits. Don’t share your travel status with anyone who doesn’t need to know. Never invite strangers back to your hotel. During a recent trip to Germany, I met a fellow tourist who invited me back to his hotel. Whether it’s his place or mine the answer was still ‘no.’ I’ll share that story next month. Rule number three: If you plan to fly anywhere and have hours-long layovers at airports between flights, confirm the perks of your credit card(s). Some of them include discounts for car rentals, hotels, and access to priority lounges. Private lounges will help you relax, refresh, and recharge your devices in a private setting. Print out the information you’ll need in case your phone isn’t charged up or you need access and aren’t able to access your phone. Rule number four: If you use credit cards, determine which ones offer airline miles in exchange for usage. Then cash in those miles to help pay for your travel. The hardest part of my trip was maneuvering through airport security. Be sure to arrive at the airport at least two and a half hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. That should allow for any security delays, as well as leaving time for airport shopping, visiting that priority lounge, and finding your way to your gate. Of course, you always want to look like the queen that you are, not stressed or frazzled, but confident and classy!

Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TCBStef. Her book, The Do’s And Don’ts Of Flying: A Flight Attendant’s Guide To Airline Travel Secrets, is available at Amazon and other online retail bookstores.