Traveling solo can be one of the most intimidating things you could do. Yet, all those who have conquered traveling alone said their trips turned out to be one of the most exciting encounters they had, allowing them to reflect on themselves, get boundless freedom, and give way to new experiences.
So, don’t let any fear prevent you from relishing all that fun. Go ahead and travel to new places without considering the taste, preferences, or prejudices of any travel companion. Here are the top tips on solo traveling that will help you indulge yourself fully.
Safety is one of the major concerns when embarking on solo travel, given that your friends and family are not there to protect or support you. Yet, it should not stop you from going on a solo adventure. One thing you could do is to choose the right destination. While every location has its beauty, certain spots are relatively safer for solo travelers. It can make a huge difference, as there are fewer risks, such as theft or natural hazards, to worry about. Don’t let your guard down, though. From simple city strolling to hiking, backpacking, or camping, it always pays to be cautious on every trip.
Research about your desired destination.
After deciding on a destination, do your homework and research more about different aspects of your travel even before you arrive. Start from knowing the fares, travel time from the airport to the city center or your hotel, or where to get local currency. That way, it’s easier to set your expectations and avoid any scams that solo travelers are common targets of.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with your family and friends.
Though you’re traveling alone, your family and friends must still know about your trip. Don’t ever wander the world without doing so! Provide them a copy of your itinerary, which includes your travel destination, departure date, accommodations, the activities you plan to do, and your expected day of arrival. Through that, they will know where and when to look for you should any mishap come around.
One of the common mistakes of many travelers is overpacking, not considering they have to carry all your stuff on their own. Pack smart and bring only your travel essentials. If you’re going on a beach vacation in Asia, never bring your entire closet! Just fill your bag with a few summer wear and just plan on mixing and matching the pieces to save space.
If you’re camping or hiking instead with your backpack, only pack the food, water, clothing, footwear, tools, and equipment you’ll truly ever need. Don’t forget to insert first-aid supplies and hand sanitizers for backpackers, so you won’t compromise your safety and personal hygiene on your solo trip.
Opt for shared housing options.
Single-occupancy hotel rooms and accommodation can be pretty expensive and impractical. Not to mention that loneliness may strike at any time. Try to search for shared housing options like hostels, campsites, or Airbnbs. Just be sure to check out the ratings and reviews, so you will have an idea about what to expect from the said accommodation. What’s great is that you also get to meet new people who might have the same passion as yours. Plus, it simply feels warm to be welcomed back by the host and your fellow guests after a long day of exploring.
Talk to the locals.
It’s undeniably fun to witness the majestic landscapes of the country you’re visiting. From spectacular beaches, striking mountains, awe-inspiring waterfalls, to verdant forests, there is always something distinct a location has to offer. Yet, often overlooked is its equally beautiful people. Don’t miss out on meeting locals and get immersed closer to their language and culture. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from them. They are great storytellers, providing facts and accounts you might not see on any guidebook or the Internet. So, interact with the bartender, the driver, or storekeepers you see around, it can make your solo trip more fulfilling.
Get up early.
Some of the best travel experiences happen early in the day. For instance, wildlife is most active in the morning, giving you a better chance of spotting your favorite animal. On the other hand, the crowd usually comes later in the day, giving you better chances to enjoy museums, parks, and other popular attractions. Not to mention that early birds also enjoy all the good stuff on the breakfast buffets. Get up early and experience all the great things the mornings have to offer.
Take photos as much as you can, be it the symbolic monuments, the beautiful nature, the bustling city market, the delicious food you ate or even small things you notice in a place. These photos will hold the stories of your trip, which you can share with others as you get home. Moreover, the snapshots you take serve as a reminder of what you have achieved alone, fueling you to go on more solo adventures.
Taste local food.
As a solo traveler, it might be intimidating to visit restaurants and taste the delicacies and signature dishes, confining you to eating fast food meals alone. However, part of any great travel experience is tasting all the local food. Don’t be afraid to go inside establishments. Mention that you’re a solo traveler and ask for recommendations. Waiters would be happy to assist you. Same with the street food alleys, ask the locals for the best food to taste and they will be glad to direct you to their iconic and mouthwatering food items.
Enjoy the freedom.
Perhaps, the biggest perk of solo traveling is the liberty it can give you. It’s the perfect time to do the things you want, without worrying about others and their decisions. If you suddenly changed your mind and want to visit the beach instead of going to the local concert, there’s nothing stopping you.
It’s also an ideal time to engage in activities that you also won’t normally do when you’re with friends and family. If you can’t trek certain trails because they’re unsafe for your kids, you can now explore them to your heart’s content. If you’re too shy to sing along to tour an art museum because your travel party prefers to hang out on beaches, go ahead and visit them. You have full freedom so enjoy it as much as you can.
Traveling alone never has to be a daunting task. Though everything can be hard and dreadful at first, you’ll soon figure it out and see all the benefits and fun of solo traveling. Follow these and add a positive attitude, you’ll surely turn it into one of your most enjoyable experiences.