Traveling on your own is probably one of the most fulfilling and exciting things you can do. Sure, doing it for the first time can get scary; you’re somewhere you’ve never been to and you don’t have someone with you in case you get lost. Once you’ve done it, however, you’ll never forget the high you’ll get for doing something so brave. If you want to do some “soul searching” or you’re planning your next adventure, going on a solo trip can be a refreshing alternative. To help you get started, here are some tips:
Choosing your destination
If it’s your first time to go on a solo adventure, you’re probably excited to check out the places you’ve heard from your friends who’ve already caught the solo travel bug. When choosing a place to visit, do your homework first and read about your dream destination. Whether it’s a month-long trip across South East Asia or a two-weekend solo holiday in Australia’s outback, you need to choose a destination that’ll satisfy your wanderlust. There are no hard rules when selecting a destination, but avoid high-risk countries or places that present obvious hazards to tourists. If you want to take it easy, explore a city that has plenty of budget hostels and bed-and-breakfast inns for solo travellers, as well as an efficient and easy-to-understand public transportation system. Check out this list of top solo travel destinations for some suggestions.
Preparing your itinerary and travel documents
Just like when you’re traveling with friends or family, you need to print out a copy of your itinerary. It should include your flight details and the contact information for your accommodation, booked transportation arrangements (i.e.: car rental), and numbers to call in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to scan or photocopy your passport and travel documents. Bring copies for yourself and leave another set of copies to a relative or friend. Never go on a solo trip without letting anyone know where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. In case something goes wrong, your friends and relatives will know when and who to call.
Keeping yourself healthy and safe during the trip
Travelling alone means you don’t have someone else to take care of you if you get injured or sick. So make sure you watch what you eat and drink, and that you’ve got all your medications with you. As for your safety, it’s best to book a room that’s near the elevator or concierge. Avoid booking rooms on the ground floor because unwanted people can easily get inside. When someone knocks on your door don’t answer it right away, especially if you’re not expecting a visitor. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the beautiful surroundings and let your guard down when strolling the city streets. Clueless tourists who are on their own are easy targets for pickpockets.
Stay connected with your friends and families
Always stay connected with your friends and family back home. You don’t need to spend the entire day looking at your phone or laptop. After all, you’re on a holiday to get away from it all. However, FB status updates and tweets every now and then can inform people back home that you’ve arrived safely at your destination and generally let them know that you’re doing OK. An occasional phone call or email can also help keep your folks informed of your current status.
Driving away boredom and loneliness
Travelling alone for months can sometimes get a bit lonely. Be more social and chat up the locals to drive away the blues. You’ll never know who you’re going to meet when you open up to locals and other travellers. Plus, you’re sure to get more tips on the best places to check out. One of the many good things you’ll learn from travelling alone is how to improve your social skills and be confident enough to chat with someone you don’t know.
Going on a solo trip can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t be able to wait before planning your next adventure. Since you’re on your own, you have the freedom to do what you want, whenever you want. So get out of your comfort zone and start planning your first-ever solo trip today.