Solo travel can be a great adventure. When you travel alone, it allows you to get to know yourself better, you can make your own choices and follow your own schedule. If you haven’t tried it yet, these tips will make it easier for you to head out alone. Here are some tips for how to deal with three of the most common concerns about travelling by yourself.
Protect Your Safety
Your own security is an important concern for any traveller. Travelling by yourself may make you feel concerned that you will be more vulnerable. Take some basic safety precautions to reduce your risks.
Blend in with the locals, looking like a tourist may leave you vulnerable. Walk with confidence and step inside a hotel to check your map.
Stay alert and observe what’s going on around you. Ask your hotel to advise you about where it’s safe to walk. If you’re near an unsafe area, avoid unnecessary risks by taking a cab to your destination.
Watch your money, you may want to wear a shoulder bag strapped across your body or under a coat. Consider using a money belt or clip. Solo travellers are often the perfect target for pickpockets.
Assess your fluency, language skills also matter. Ask yourself if you can communicate clearly in case of a medical emergency.
Gather your documents and put a copy of your identification and health insurance in your pocket. Leave a second copy with loved ones at home.
Remember to check in at home. Speaking of home, give your full itinerary to at least one person. Call or text them every few days to let them know you’re okay. There have been way too many instances of travellers disappearing on a trip and nobody realised it for quite some time.
Pack light and leave your valuables at home. Travelling with minimal baggage increases your comfort and your ability to move quickly.
Keep to Your Budget
For any holiday you take, good budgeting will help you to be in the best possible position you can be. Save up in advance and put money aside gradually. Small amounts will add up over time and give you more disposable cash for your trip.
You may run into what’s called ‘single supplements’ on cruises and tours. This is when the venue charges single travellers extra to try and make up for the lack of a second customer. Still, there are plenty of ways to vacation affordably on your own.
Be flexible about the timing of your trip. You’ll tend to find the best deals at the last minute or several months before your departure. Be open to travelling during the off-season for further savings.
Look for special bargains, check discount travel sites and look for deals. Some venues may even be willing to waive the single supplement.
Consider accepting roommates on your trip. Contact travel companies who specialise in solo travel. Ask to be paired up with another single traveller who is headed to your same destination.
Loneliness and Boredom
You may wonder about whether you’ll get lonely if you travel alone. The truth is that learning to enjoy your own company makes solitude rewarding. On the other hand, you can surely find companions if you feel like mingling.
Engage fully in the moment. Be mindful of your surroundings. Getting caught up in new experiences as you travel will leave little time for boredom.
Take a tour, a day tour is ideal for meeting new acquaintances. It’s easy to strike up a conversation when you share the same interests with others and you’re away from your usual routine.
Dine out, look for places with communal tables or ask your hotel to recommend them. Eat at the bar if you feel conspicuous at a table.
Why not stay at a bed and breakfast? The owners of a bed and breakfast may be happy to talk about local attractions. Hostels are another good choice. There will likely be other guests and maybe even other solo travellers at these types of places.
Try to frequent local businesses. Visiting the same fruit stall every day will quickly turn you into a regular. Exchange greetings and let them know you appreciate any advice on what to see.
Talk with new people. Approach your fellow travellers or locals who seem friendly and helpful. Trains and coffee shops are two good places to start.
Do some volunteer work. Sign up with a non-profit organization and perform group volunteer work. For example, travel to exciting places while building new homes through Habitat for Humanity.
Pursue solitary activities. Visit an art museum or lie on the beach with a good book. Enjoy the peace and relaxation you get from being alone.
Whether you want to spend a whole week at a flower festival or browse the Louvre at your own pace, avoid being intimidated by the thought of travelling alone. Personalise your trip and achieve those travel goals. Solo travel creates memories you’ll treasure for life.