Sadly, there is a stigma about traveling alone that just isn’t right. Traveling solo can be liberating, and freeing and it puts you in charge of your experiences. You can explore new places at your own pace and you never have to wait on travel companions. How cool is that? While the thought of traveling alone may bring some nervousness at first, you would be surprised how many tourists are experiencing the joy of traveling alone. With these tips, you will be ready to enjoy the freedom of solo traveling too.
Traveling solo doesn’t mean just disappearing. You should let someone back home know your travel itinerary, travel information, hotel reservation info, etc. It is also wise to check in with someone periodically during your stay. If you are going out by yourself, let the hotel staff know where you are headed and when you expect to return.
If you are traveling overseas, be sure to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy. This program allows you to receive important information about safety concerns and will contact you in case of an emergency, like a natural disaster, civil unrest or even a family emergency.
You may attract some unwanted attention by traveling solo, but learning a few words and phrases can be beneficial. “No, thank you” is a good one to know. “Absolutely not” is also good to memorize. Once they get the hint, most will leave you alone.
Most vacationers stay up late and get up late. Instead, try getting an early start, when the crowds are still asleep. Turning in early tends to get you a better night’s sleep and is safer too.
Free walking tours are available in many cities and it’s a wonderful way to meet fellow travelers and learn about the area.
By keeping your options open, you can remain flexible and go with the flow. It allows you to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and spend more time with people you meet along the way.
Be sure to explore the local cuisine. Your eyes and ears will be experiencing new things, make sure your taste buds get in on the act. Exploring a new culture through their food is a great way to experience how the locals live.
The world gets a lot more dangerous when you aren’t paying attention. Don’t wear headphones and avoid staring at your phone. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Being alert helps keep you safe.
It won’t take up much space, but a mini first aid kit is a travel must. Things like bandages, pain relievers, allergy meds, antibacterial creams, medication for indigestion and diarrhea, etc. will come in handy at some point. It’s no fun getting sick in a foreign country, especially when you are by yourself.
If you’re a female traveling alone and don’t want to get hit on, consider buying a cheap ring and wearing it as a wedding ring. It may not stop all unwanted advances, but it will discourage many.
After their first solo trip, most travelers say they would do it again. Being prepared and taking a few precautions can be the deciding factor in making a solo trip enjoyable. So if you are on the fence about traveling alone, just do it. Chances are, more solo trips will be in your future.