There is something genuinely joyful about traveling by yourself. It isn’t something that everyone is comfortable with initially, though. You only have yourself to rely on while you are out there in the world, having countless adventures.
Being away from friends, family, and your home town is fantastic and a little daunting sometimes too. To help you relax and enjoy your solo travels a little bit more, here are a range of tips to help you with planning, and avoiding those tricky situations while you’re away.
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain
It doesn’t matter if you are heading to one destination or multiple you need to put in the research time. You have to make sure that where you are going is safe for solo travelers. The last thing that you want to do is arrive somewhere that isn’t known for being the most friendly.
Spend some time researching online, and it won’t be long before you find a range of information from the locals. Tripadvisor is a great place to start. But you can also try and find bloggers from the local area too. They will have insight into where it is safe and where you should avoid it.
Learn the rules of the road too. Not every country has well put together roads, and you might be at risk of an accident. Knowing a personal injury lawyer can help put your mind at ease, but you’ll still need to watch out.
Arriving somewhere and then not knowing how to get from where you are to where you need to be can be a nightmare. For many places, you can pre-order travel cards so that you can hop on the trains or metros. In some places, it is a better idea to catch a taxi until you are more familiar with your surroundings.
Some countries have a set where you can catch a taxi from, and outside of that area, they aren’t regulated, so you risk spending a lot of money getting ripped off. Make sure you know where those designated spaces are.
Remember to factor in any time difference when traveling, if you are arriving somewhere at 2am, you might find that there are no public transport options available.
Before you jet off ensure you give your friends or family (maybe both) a rundown of where you will be and when. This means your flight details, hotel details, and any activities that you have booked. As well as checking in with them each day to let them know how you are getting on. Not only is this wise for your safety, but it is nice to check in with your friends and family while you are away.
Book your travel insurance the moment you book your flights and hotel. This will give you the protection you need if anything happens with the bookings. And you never know what might happen while you are traveling. In some countries, you will be liable for extremely high medical bills, and they will need to be paid.
If you aren’t sure what type of insurance you need, then talk to your travel agent, and then a travel insurance company.
When you travel, you carry a lot of essential documents on yours. If you happen to lose one, then it can have disastrous effects. While you can’t use your copies, they can help you solve some problems. Give a set to your friends and family, so if you get in a jam, you can have your details emailed to your or photo sent.
It is often the case that tourists are easy to spot. Which means they become easy prey for would-be pick-pockets. During your time researching the area, have a look at the style of clothing that people tend to wear. This is more important if you are there for a more extended period of time. There are some places where modesty is the order of the day. For example, in Dubai, you are required to cover your entire body no matter the weather. And you can have a much more enjoyable trip if you feel comfortable and work with the culture there.
During the day, almost everywhere is pretty safe. People are in shops, cafes, and museums. And even into the balmy evening, it can be an excellent time to walk around alone. There are some destinations that nighttime can be an issue. You can solve this by arranging taxis to and from the venues, arranging to meet other travelers while you are there, or skip the evenings altogether. Have a chat with the staff at the reception of the hotel, and they will be able to tell you where it is fine to go and where it isn’t.
“Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” — Jacqueline Boone
Our natural gut instincts usually tell us if we are heading into a situation that might not be the best for us. That might be meeting up with other travels, the hotel that you had initially chosen, attending significant events in the area, or even sightseeing in specific locations. If you feel like something isn’t right, then take action to get out of the situation and to safety.
Creating an in-depth travel plan using the tips above will mean that you are more likely to stay safe, and if anything should happen, you are covered by your insurance and the documents and check-ins that you have with people at home.
“Adventure should be part of everyone’s life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.” – Holly Morris