One of the biggest challenges of traveling solo is actually making the decision to go- to book your flight and pack your bag. The reality of solo travel is very different to what most people think, and can be completely different than even you thought!
As we did, many people will find solo travel to be empowering, rewarding and a life-changing experience. For whatever reason you’re choosing to take a solo trip, we can promise it will be a game-changer!
1. Have Confidence
You’re on your own for the first time, daunting as it is exciting. Look approachable to the right people, but not an easy target for the wrong people. Open posture, confident and huge smile! Let’s do this!
2. Blend in!
Standing out too much as a foreigner can attract distasteful looks or even scams. Blend in as a local and you’ll be able to observe so much more of your host country. Here is a tip, dress local, talk at an appropriate level, listen to those around you.
3. Have a Backup Plan!
My biggest tip is to make sure you keep the address to your hotel somewhere on your person, in case you get lost, need directions or need a taxi to bring you back.
Carry your passport in a well-concealed place when you’re traveling between destinations. I always keep an extra $50-100 somewhere safe in my luggage or on me when I’m exploring for the day. Your shoe or bra are great hiding places!
4. Check before you leave!
Check maps and transport schedules before you leave your hotel or tourist office just to be sure you’re heading in the right direction. If you know where you’re going generally, you’ll be much more focused on your surroundings than on a piece of paper, and enjoy more of the scenery!
5. Let people know
Leaving your itinerary or outline of destinations with someone back home, as well as a photocopy of your passport is essential.
6. Book in advance
Book your accommodation and airport transportation in advance and see if a shuttle service is available from the airport.
Keep the hotel’s number and address with you, in case you need to call them when you land or let the driver know where to go.
7. Dont overpack- take only what you need
Before you go, lay out everything you think you need, then take half! When you’re traveling or our for the day, keep your expensive gadgets well-concealed and in pockets or bags that are not easily accessible to pickpockets.
Make sure your valuables are never together in one bag, and always keep your cash and cards in different places on your body, as well as your passport.
8. Talk to people, anybody and everybody! Dont be shy
Don’t stay cooped up in your hotel, online or on Skype. Get out there! You’re here to see the world—go wander the streets, walk down alleyways, check out a market, hike to a park, hop on trolleys and trains, get a bit lost.
It can be a bit scary to travel on your own, and even lonely at sometimes, but the best way to get past the initial loneliness is to put yourself out there. Whether it is in the hostel common room, on a walking tour, or at a local restaurant, it never hurts to strike up a conversation.
10. Relax and enjoy each moment