Going it Alone? 6 Tips for Traveling Solo
More and more travelers see the personal journey of solo travel as an experience they should try at least once in their lifetime. Whether it’s a close-to-home weekend escape or an around-the-world adventure, heading out on a solo adventure can prove to be a rewarding experience. However, going it alone requires some thought and planning that many may not consider when traveling with a companion. Here are some tips and guidelines if you’re planning to a solo adventure this season:
- Have a solid game plan: While traveling solo gives you the freedom to do exactly what you want on your own time, it also leaves you without anyone else to rely on to think about the important details. Make sure you have all of the travel essentials planned in advance of your arrival in a destination — notably transportation and lodging. Being alone in a foreign destination and not being able to find an affordable hotel room can be an unhinging thought.
- Collect and share the right information: Play it safe and give a friend or family member back home a detailed itinerary before you leave, including dates of travel, flight, hotel and train information. Also, research and carry with you details of the nearest U.S. embassy and local tourist emergency information in all of the destinations you plan to visit. And remember, it’s always a good idea to email yourself documentation of any important information as well as a photocopy of your passport, giving you ready access on the road should you lose or have items stolen.
- Choose your accommodations wisely: As a solo traveler, the thought of checking in for a week-long stay at a beautiful beach resort, only to realize it’s a property geared toward couples, is likely less than ideal. Make sure to do your research — including reading plenty of customer reviews — to find the properties that will suit what you are looking for in a solo experience.
- Avoid looking like a tourist: While this goes for all international travelers, it’s even more important when you’re alone and don’t have that extra set of eyes to watch your back. Taking simple precautions like not carrying your camera around your neck and not having a map or guide book out in crowded places will make you less obvious to scam artists and pick-pockets. And remember, nothing screams tourist more than a backpack. Consider a larger satchel-style carry-all that you can securely sling across your body.
- Book an organized tour: Though you may love the idea of being a solo adventurer, after a few days site-seeing on your own, you may be craving some interaction and conversation. Booking some guided group tours of the local sites can be a great way to meet other travelers, and a safe and comfortable way to venture around a new destination.
- Indulge: Whether it’s gelato in the afternoons or stopping in every boutique you pass, traveling solo means it’s your vacation, so remember to take every opportunity to make the most of the time you have for yourself!