Many modern explorers today are taking vacations by themselves. As the thought of solo travel increases, we decided to highlight some of the preparations of taking a trip on your own.
Venturing a new place on your own is incomparable – taking it all in without anyone but yourself. Solo travel gives you a chance. Solo travel also gives you the chance to indulge yourself. Those who have done it can also tell you the endless benefits of solo travel.
However, doing solo travel has its peril too – such as loneliness, safety concerns, and the dreaded single supplement. But good planning and common sense can save you money and pass through the rough spots.
In this post, I will share with you everything you need to know about solo travel.
1. Do Your Homework Before You Arrive
Determine how long it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to your hotel or the city center. Before riding a taxi, ask first the driver for the estimated fare before you leave. If you think the cost is different from what you know, take a different cab or have rideshare instead to save costs.
2. Choose the Right Accommodations
Book in a hotel with a 24-hour front desk. That way, you can inform the staff in case you’ll be arriving late.
3. Trust Yourself
Carry IDs in more than one place. If you wear a money belt, use it for storage and not as a purse. Reaching under your shirt consistently for money draws attention to it and defeats the purpose. Instead, keep your extra cash, passport, and other documents tucked away. Use a theft-resistant purse or bag for carrying daily spending money.
4. Exude Confidence
Wherever you go, always walk confidently and with direction. This is an effective technique for deterring unwanted attention. Appearing confused or lost can make you vulnerable to thieves and the like. If you are lost, walking into a restaurant or shop and ask directions there.
Another way to mask being a tourist is to wear a Disney T-shirt and don’t walk around with your face looking new to the place. Avoid wearing flashy clothes or jewels. When asking for directions, don’t let them know that you are alone. For example, you can ask like “Can you direct me to the park? I have to meet a friend.”
Before leaving your hotel/rental car/train/tourist office, check your maps and transportation schedules, check your maps and transportation schedules first. A solo traveler who is too absorbed in the phone can be a mark of unsavory types.
Leave an itinerary copy with a friend or family member at home, and stay in touch regularly via text, call, video chat, or email.
5. Arrive on Day Time
Some areas around bus and train stations can be deserted or scary, and small towns tend to shut down early. Veteran solo traveler Mara Rothman of San Francisco notes that several beautiful towns can appear strange at night, and locals who are trying to help may appear unnecessary eerie. Arriving during the day can lead you to find a place to stay and get your bearings before dark.
6. Be Cautious About Trusting People Around
Meeting new people is one of the best reasons to travel alone. However, this also makes you more vulnerable. It is okay to hang out, travel, and share with new friends, but you might not want them to trust your money. Scammers can often be the most charming people you will find; you want to be open-minded, but keep your guard enough to ensure your safety.
7. Solo Dining Tips
Some solo travelers hate dining by themselves as they feel worried that they appear worn-out of the road. Here are some tips that can help you overcome the unpleasant aspect of solo dining.
- Chat with the service people. Some of the best locals you can find are the waiters and waitresses.
- Choose the right eatery. Café dining is often attractive to single travelers; sitting along with a book in a café isn’t unusual as a table for one at restaurants. You can also opt for a seat at the bar or a counter seat.
- Bring reading material. If you feel uneasy sitting alone or staring down at your food, you can read a magazine or whip out your phone.
- Eat-in. If you don’t want another public meal alone, you can order take out from a restaurant nearby.
- Eat well. Not because you are alone would mean you should not take time for sit-down meals, a decadent dessert, or a leisurely cup of coffee.
8. Solo Dining Tips
The constant solo travel can wear you down. If you feel your body is flagging, it is okay to back off your itinerary, kick back for a bit, and slow the pace.
When traveling to other countries, seek an ex-pat bar – locals often know where these are – where you can hang out and talk with some fellow travelers and expatriates. When traveling in more familiar locals, a hot shower and a night in front of the tube in a nice hotel room can give you enough of a reprieve to boost your mood the next morning.