Solo traveling is a challenge everyone should try at least once in their lives. What it does is test how comfortable you are with yourself. So, it may or may not be for you. But, wouldn’t it be something worth exploring?
Isn’t it lonely to travel by yourself? Is it safe? Tons of questions arise whenever someone is challenged to fly by themselves, which hampers them from exploring the world alone. Since you are alone pretty much when you go solo, others think it can be lonely. But, if you look around, the world is huge and full of interesting people and destinations. When you are on your own, you tend to step outside your comfort zone and reach out to people around you. Thus, allowing you to meet new people and friends along the way. Mingling with the locals opens your eyes to understand and appreciate their culture. The question of safety depends on your destination and how vulnerable you are to danger.
Here are some travel solo tips to make the most out of your adventure.
Plan ahead of time
People might ask, does it not remove the adventure or fun when you plan too much? Remember, you are traveling solo, which is an adventure by itself. Planning involves research of your destination, where to stay, what to eat, how to go from one place to another, and
another interesting subject that’s unique to the place. With knowledge, you gain more confidence shuffling around alone.
Respect the culture in the country you are traveling to
The last thing you want is to do something that might offend a local and get caught up in a situation. The do and don’t in the community or country you are traveling to. Familiarizing yourself with the currency (and exchange rate), mode of transportation, and cultural norms. Such as in Bhutan and North Korea, where you cannot travel by yourself without a tour guide.
Don’t jam-pack your schedule
Before booking any tours or reserving tickets ahead of time, check the distance of your destinations. You wouldn’t want to waste your time on the road all the time to visit all the places in your recommendation. Make it simple and choose destinations that speak to you. After all, traveling is all about making fun and new discoveries, and not counting the most number of locations or destinations you have visited.
Don’t run out of cash
Before splurging all your money, consider the number of days you have left to travel around. Save the shopping for the last day when you have scoured the place for good finds.
Get a local sim
Whether you are calling your hotel or taxi, getting a local sim will save you tons of headaches. Aside from this, it will ensure that you have access to the internet, where you can find pretty much everything.
Download apps that can help you while traveling
- Some apps that can do wonders to your travel, solo or not are the following:
- Google Map – download an offline version of the vicinity you are traveling to.
- Currency – an app that instantly converts the money to four different currencies of your choice.
- Rome2rio is an app that will help you navigate from one place to the next.
- Google translate – familiarizing, let alone, memorizing the language of the country you are visiting is a hassle. Save some of the words or phrases you will regularly need to communicate freely with the locals.
Don’t be the target
Especially when traveling to a foreign country, you can easily be a target for a pickpocket or thief. Here are some quick ways to blend in casually with the locals:
- Walk like you know where you are headed. Instead of taking out your smartphone or going through a physical map, use a headset. While on foot, you can still hear the instruction of Waze or Google Maps.
- Wear a fake wedding band. Especially for women, this can be an excellent way to escape any unwanted advancement from a male. And, if by chance, a thief approached you, hand over the ring which they can do away without too much cost.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or outfit. You don’t want to attract attention and be the next target of thieves.
- Don’t get intoxicated. Drinking too much is a big No-No when you are alone in a foreign place. Drink moderately.
- Use sling bags or belt bags where you can put your purse. As much as possible, don’t bring all your cash all at once and spread them in different pouches.
One important thing about traveling solo is to pack light. These are travel essentials that be present in your bag.
- Passport holder/organizer. It is easier to have your essential documents in one place to make it easier to locate. Photocopy your relevant documents and keep them in your bag for emergency reasons.
- Travel pillow/blanket. Make use of convertible items, which can be a pillow or blanket at the same time. Blankets are bulky and heavy, using a convertible one will save you space.
- First aid kit. It is always better prepared than sorry. Packed some medicine like antacid, analgesic and for diarrhea, as additional back up.
- Universal adapter. When traveling to a new country, make sure to bring an adapter so your chargers will work.
- Powerbank. Enough said.
Where to stay
Admittedly, flying solo can be expensive when booking accommodations. However, this should not restrict you from checking in a place that makes you comfortable and safe. Hostels are great money-savers and allow you to network with various travelers. On the other hand, hotels and Airbnb accommodations are fantastic alternatives for the private, relaxed, and secure environment. Regardless of where you stay, the best option is to find a place that is near the airport or near the city center that’ll allow you to move conveniently.
Traveling solo is an opportunity to exercise your freedom to do whatever pleases you. With nobody to hamper or dictate your schedule, you have everything under your control. Let loose and break free. Traveling allows you to discover new things, gain a fresh perspective, and appreciate life. Doing it yourself will challenge your limit and belief. In a lot of ways, it can change your life. Thus, solo traveling does make you alone but never lonely.
About the Author
Since the age of 16, Tim, a writer at SMK Blog, has enjoyed Traveling and enjoy the world. Although he loves seeing new attractions, he enjoys reading and exploring new things.