Travelling solo is an exciting and liberating experience of our lives. It opens new doors to understand ourselves, our strengths, and our weaknesses better. It enables us to learn about new cultures and people, and how we can experience them in our own way. However, it’s equally daunting, if we haven’t travelled alone before.
Although enjoying a vacation with your family and friends is marvellous, enjoying it on your own is a special experience. When you travel solo, you learn more about yourself, while you make new friends on your way.
Why Travel Solo?
Solo travel is the essence of self-indulgence. You are independent on the trip and can engage in activities that fancy you, eat what you like, sleep when you want, and learn from the mistakes that you make on your trip. It’s an exhilarating experience that you cherish for a lifetime. The freedom and confidence that you gain by travelling solo are simply amazing. However, you need to take safety measures especially if you are a woman. Keep your family, friends, and embassy notified of the locations you are travelling to, and ask for help from local police if you find yourself in danger.
10 Essential Tips to Travel Solo
1. Learn the Local Language
Make an effort to learn a few phrases in the local language or carry a dictionary for better communication with the natives. Learn to say “Hello, excuse me, thank you, please and sorry” in the native language and you would get immediate assistance from the locals, as it indicates to them that you are genuinely interested in their culture and country.
2. Plan Ahead
Planning your solo vacation can save you tremendously from last-minute headaches. Hence, pre-booking your accommodation, sightseeing activities, and local SIM card for enhanced connectivity back home is essential. Also, preparing your medical kit for emergencies is also advised.
3. Learn to Say NO
Inhospitable and foreigner-fascinated cultures, you tend to gain more attention, and hence learning to say “no” is important for your safety. It’s advised to store the local police phone number in case of an emergency.
4. Be Confident
Looking like you are lost attracts attention, making you an easy target for muggers and tricksters. Hence, always maintain a confident face. In fact, hiding your solo traveller status from everyone will save you from mishaps.
5. Calculate Cost per Day
Transportation and accommodation are the money guzzlers and hence you should be aware of these expenses for the location you are travelling to. An expensive location will consume your lodging expenses within a few days as compared to a cheaper location where you can survive easily for a few weeks. Don’t be fooled by cheaper airfare for an expensive location, do your research before embarking on your solo trip or else it may turn sour.
To calculate a cost estimate for a daily stay simply add all your expected trip costs and divide it by the number of your vacation days.
6. Safety First
Being cautious on your solo trip is important. Enjoy your unique experience with great safety. Select the right destination since some locations are good for individuals while others are safer for groups. Always carry your travel documents and insurance. Keep your family and friends informed about your location. Inform the embassy if you are travelling to a remote location, check for advisories issued by the consulate, note down emergency contact numbers and medical allergies that you may encounter at that location, and carry relevant medicines.
7. Carry Proper Identification
Use a money belt to store your passport and ID, and use an anti-theft bag to store and protect your money. If you store money in the money belt you need to constantly pull your clothes up to extract money and that would gain attention and you may get mugged. Also, carry less cash and more traveller’s cheques.
8. Buy Travel Insurance
Insurance is important when travelling to a new country to safeguard your health and belongings in case of emergencies. Hence, ensure that when you get your tickets booked, you have the insurance handy too.
9. Keep Someone Updated on Your Itinerary
Solo travel equates to independence. However, it’s always wise to keep your friends or relatives informed about your travel itinerary and current location. In case of an emergency, your people can reach out to the embassy for help.
10. Embrace Total Freedom
Solo travel introduces you to your strengths and weaknesses that you hadn’t thought about earlier. For instance, it allows you to be free in a country where people don’t know you. Thus, you create new bonds with people, learn a new culture, and eat authentic cuisine. This uninhibited experience leads to joy.
With this guide, you can enjoy a safe and experiential solo trip to any corner of the globe. Happy globetrotting!