Traveling solo can seem daunting from the comfort of home. But going solo means you have a chance to embrace the freedom you don’t enjoy when you travel with a group. Traveling alone gives you the chance to indulge yourself fully. You can choose when and where to go without taking into consideration your travel buddies’ preferences. You can rest when you want, and you can go when you’re ready. Your mistakes are your own, and your triumphs all the more exciting.
Traveling solo is a chance to really take in your surroundings and meet locals and travelers alike along the way. You will be faced with decisions you need to make, fears you need to overcome and discover your true self and how much you are capable of. It is a chance to be content to be by yourself and find that confidence within you because the world is yours for the taking. Here are some important tips on traveling solo:
Do Your Research
Before you travel solo, research about the place, about the people, the food, the cost of living and the things you can do to maximize the fun and adventure. Also take note of the laws of the place, including the culture and tradition being observed so you won’t end up with trouble while traveling solo.
Make sure all of your essentials are in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost. Your carry-on should contain you IDs, travel documents such as passport and visa, travel itinerary, money and credit cards, essential personal belongings, medications, essential devices like your smartphone and camera. You may also put a complete change of clothes.
Know Your Strengths
If you travel solo, you must rely on yourself at all times especially in difficult situations. It is important to know not just your strengths but also your weaknesses because you might face various problems along the way, make decisions and even take some risk on your own. Traveling solo will challenge your ability and stretch your limits to cope with travel obstacles and in turn, this will make you a stronger, braver, and a more self-reliant person.
Learn A Little About the Local Language
Making the effort to learn a few words and phrases before you travel solo can be a game changer. Locals love to know you’re making an effort and doing your best to interact. Knowing how to say hello, or say thank you or ask for directions, or just knowing how to introduce yourself and start a basic conversation using the local language will make a great difference to your trip.
Stay Safe When Traveling Solo
Traveling solo can be very rewarding, but you must always be mindful of safety concerns. Without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable to criminals and scam artists. Take care in large cities especially at night, be aware of any local scams, keep a close eye on your valuables, and watch your food and drinks. Also, a solo traveler can blend in more easily than a group. Not drawing attention to yourself as a tourist is one way to stay secure. Don’t walk around with your face in a guidebook and don’t wear touristy shirts. Don’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. And when asking directions, don’t let on that you are alone.
Stay On Budget
When you travel on your own it is easier to keep up with your budget because you are the one who decides where and what to eat, where to shop and etc. Don’t go overboard with buying souvenirs and extra non-essential things. Always have some emergency cash on you. Remember that you are on your own and running out of cash with no one to rely on can change your fun trip into a devastating one. Split up your cash and credit cards into different spots so if you lose one set, you still have another.
Stay in touch regularly via phone, text, video chat or email and leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member at home. Regularly connect with loved ones about your whereabouts and ongoing itinerary. This way, you can be sure that if something happens, they know where to find you because they know where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to.
One of the most common reasons why some people choose to travel alone is to experience adventure. You can do the things you always wanted to try and learn new things you thought never existed. Be bold and courageous. As the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Traveling solo does not mean being alone all the time. The essence of your solo travel is that you can get outside of your comfort zone and gain enough confidence to meet and discover about new people that you will come across along the way. You will be surprised to build a friendship with other people around the world who has various stories to tell and experiences to share.
Photos are the best souvenirs from a trip. You can share it with friends and family from home so they also get to see your experiences and adventures. Also, you take pictures, you have something to look back to when you feel like being sentimental about life and growing up. Photos are the best containers of memories.