Instead of staying home because you fear traveling solo, give it a chance to indulge yourself fully. People who have never traveled alone often describe their first experience as an unforgettable moment. Here are 10 tips on how to travel solo successfully and give you the confidence boost you might be looking for.
1. While Traveling Solo, Be Aware of Safety
Learn about your travel company and your destination’s safest neighborhoods. Check out if there are any areas you should avoid. Also, take into account the safest routes to take and the best forms of public transportation. Understanding more about the area you’re visiting and checking the place reviews into apps such as Tripadvisor, can help you choose lodgings with good safety ratings.
When possible, reserve a room above the ground floor but not too far from the lobby and hotel amenities. Once you’ve checked in, keep your door locked with the security chain fastened when in the room, and don’t answer the door if you are not expecting hotel staff or visitors.
In addition, remember to:
- Don’t drink too much and keep your drinks in your line of sight.
- Avoid going anywhere alone with a stranger.
- Pay attention to those around you when you are walking, hiking, or driving.
- If you feel uncomfortable, walk into a public place like a restaurant or catch up with a large group of people.
- If someone asks if you are traveling alone, say you are on your way to meet a spouse, relative, or friend.
Always know your hotel address.
2. Protect Your Documents, Cards, and Cash
Keep your passport and other important documents and valuables secure in the safe box of your hotel. Bring only what you need when you go out, like your phone, a credit card, some cash, an ID, and a copy of your passport. Don’t put bags with these items down or out of your line of sight. Store extra money, jewelry, your actual passport, and other important documents in the hotel.
A very useful tip, in case of an emergency, is to have a photocopy of your passport in case the original gets lost or stolen. Keep the copy in a safe and separate place from where you are storing your actual passport. Consider leaving a copy with a friend or family member back home, too. It’s also important to stay alert and keep your belongings close when riding trains, buses, or other forms of transportation.
3. Leave a Copy of Your Travel Itinerary With Friends and Family
Send your travel itinerary, hotel reservation information, and details of any planned activities to a family member or a friend back home. Also, before any solo excursions, let the hotel staff know where you’re headed and when you expect to return and research some basic information about the trip you are heading to.
Besides, try to stay connected during your solo travels. Check with your smartphone provider to determine what capabilities you’ll need at your travel destination. Checking in by email or through social media works too when you have Wi-Fi access.
4. Make a List of Your Emergency Contacts
Include the names, phone numbers, and emails of your emergency contacts back home. Make sure they are aware that they are your contact. The last thing you want is them not picking up the phone because they don’t recognize the number that is calling or they are out of the country while you are. If they don’t know they are your contact they may not be able or prepared to help you in an emergency. Moreover, some people may be uncomfortable with this type of responsibility so make sure the people you pick as your emergency contacts are okay with it.
You might also add the toll-free number for your credit card company in case your card is stolen. Apart from this, the list can include your own personal contact information with your current medical conditions, including medications and allergies.
5. Travel Solo With an Open Mind
Do something you normally wouldn’t do with others. When traveling solo, you might be hesitant to try new things in case they don’t go as expected and you don’t have someone by your side. Instead, this can be a time to try something others in your normal travel party will not do.
And remember, it is impossible to travel without any expectations, however, the less you fix those expectations, the more open you can be to all the travel possibilities and the freer you will be to enjoy the moment.
6. Meet Other Travelers and Locals
Another way to break up the monotony of solo travel is to meet other travelers and locals. Be confident enough to introduce yourself to people when you want to be sociable. Starting conversations with strangers can be a challenge, especially when you are in a different city or country. However, these conversations can be life-changing.
Regardless of where you stay when you travel, you can also use find local events and activities that are happening in town. You might be able to hang out at a certain cafe or even attend a local festival and meet other travelers! Ask a traveler about the best thing they’ve done so far or a local for the best-hidden treasures tours in the area. The people you meet and the advice they offer will enrich your experience.
7. Remember That Every Traveling Solo Experience Has Its Value
Sometimes things go right, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they are somewhere in between. Whatever the case is, know that everything that happens when you travel is an interesting experience. It may offer practical knowledge to make future travel easier. These insights might expand your worldview or simply be a great story to share.
8. Relax While you Eat
Yes, you can start a conversation with the waiter or bartender, but your food can also be a good time to sit and relax. Maybe you will use the time to plan the rest of your day or read a book.
On the other hand, there is nothing like exploring the local cuisine. It gives you a new way into your destination’s culture, history, and geography. There is always a reason for a specific cuisine that can be explored through your taste buds and your mind.
9. Start Your Day Early
There are plenty of opportunities to sightsee alone and be completely safe if start your day early in the morning and take advantage of the natural light. Waking up at sunrise makes it easier to avoid the crowds at popular attractions and it also means no lines, beautiful morning light, and the chance to see a place almost all to yourself!
10. Don’t Be Afraid of Traveling Solo
Sometimes the constant feeling of traveling alone can wear you down. Don’t be afraid to back off your ambitious itinerary, slow the pace and kick back for a bit. You can’t move quickly all the time or you might feel exhausted really quick. Take the time to absorb the experience.
Your next solo traveling adventure could really be one of the most enjoyable experiences you ever had. It’s fun to make memories with your friends and family, but solo travelers have plenty of fun too. You just need to have a positive attitude and an open mind, plus, consider that technology has made the world a lot smaller than ever before. Enjoy exploring yourself and the world!
When you’re exploring a new place, one of the easiest ways to get immersed is to find a professional guide. Guides are excellent ways to learn about any place’s history, culinary traditions, events, and more. If you are interested in a tour through Ecuador, Peru, or Colombia, do not hesitate to contact us.
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