Traveling solo can be a spiritual experience and an opportunity to know yourself. Many people prefer solo travel, as their plans and judgment do not get clouded by the opinions of a companion. You get to do and experience things you desire rather than fulfilling the expectations of someone else. However, the idea of traveling alone can intimidate a person who has never done it before. It is understandable to be concerned about one’s safety in a foreign place and feeling lonely; having no one to depend on or share troubles with on unfamiliar territory can be incredibly overwhelming.
If you choose to travel solo or need to do so for some reason, follow these tips to guarantee the best time of your life:
1 | Do your homework
Ample research before visiting a new place is the key to preventing anomalies. You should be aware of the business timings of all your stops and discover all transport options. Using public transport is recommended as opposed to calling a private taxi. Local cab drivers will know that you are an outsider and attempt to overcharge you. You must look up the expected fares for getting around, and look for a hotel/hostel having excellent reviews. Learning a couple of common words and sentences of the local language is also quite helpful. Educating yourself with local culture and customs beforehand is a plus to prevent all sorts of grievances.
2 | Start your day early
Most tourist destinations open up early and shut down by sunset; the crowds flow in around noon. Get a head start by accomplishing sightseeing in the morning and rest at night. This way, you are less likely to get lost or robbed. Passing through isolated streets and alleys after dark may pose a threat. If you are attending an evening or late night event, never wander off alone. Stick to busy public places and be cautious while socializing with strangers.
3 | Blend in
It never hurts to blend in with locals with a change of clothes. Changing up your look to fit in your new surroundings should be a fun experience, and it allows you to truly connect with the place. Avoid wearing anything too flashy or valuable, as it may attract the wrong kind of attention. Nobody shall bother you if you look like one of them.
4 | Trust your gut
If a person or place makes you feel uncomfortable, do not ignore your instincts. When your body is telling you to flee or walk away, obey. Do not care about coming across as ungrateful or insolent because your safety comes first.
5 | Be confident and astute
No one will dare take advantage of you if you look smart and fearless. Do not be afraid to make eye contact, say ‘no,’ or raise your voice where necessary. If you let your insecurities show and become careless, you make yourself an easy target.
6 | Keep an extra stash of cash on you
At times accidents and mishaps happen even when you are extremely careful. You may get deceived by a pickpocket, drop your wallet, or lose your purse. Being penniless on foreign land puts one in a scary situation. If you don’t want to end up begging money from strangers, always prepare a backup plan. Hide some extra cash in a safe part of your clothing, footwear, or other wearable items for a bad day.
7 | Befriend locals
The primary principle of traveling solo is to trust nobody, though you won’t survive without interacting with people nearby. Be friendly and try to have a good time with locals, but just don’t get carried away. Do not reveal your weaknesses, even if you have to lie a little.
8 | Stay at a place with good Wi-Fi
You cannot spend all your time wandering. Thus, Wi-Fi is something you’ll need to keep yourself entertained and connected to people back home. Good Wi-Fi at your hotel/hostel can save you from several potential emergencies.
9 | Keep in touch with your loved ones
You should keep your loved ones up to date with your activities and whereabouts. Calling them every day and sharing photos/videos will keep them in the loop. They won’t have to worry about your wellbeing, and it will be easier for them to reach you if a problem arises.
10 | Don’t get drunk
If you get intoxicated on a solo trip, you may immerse yourself in very dire circumstances. Stay sober at all costs and avoid suspicious food/drinks. Not only are you susceptible to harm, but you could also get into trouble with the law. Requesting bail or a DUI defense attorney in a foreign place can be complicated.
John Adams is a lifestyle and travel blogger who loves sharing his personal opinions and experiences. He is a true foodie, reserving a special place for desserts in his heart. He encourages readers to take risks and live the life of their dreams.