Traveling in itself is a liberating feeling. Not to sound cheesy or anything, but it does make you feel more alive. I don’t know what it is about traveling that keeps most of us invigorated, but it’s definitely an effective way to un-glue our bodies from our desks and day to day activities.
Meanwhile, solo traveling is a whole different level of freedom. For some of us, it might be a better way to see the world, and there’s no arguing about that. It’s one of those moments in your life that allows you to be more yourself than any of the days you’re in your comfort zone.
I can’t stress anymore how life-changing it is to try at least to wander alone once in your lifetime to see for yourself the magic.
In case you’ve been charmed into trying to go solo on your next trip, here are some essential tips to make this adventure a success.
Opt for travel insurance
Whether you’re traveling locally or internationally, there are certain uncontrollable situations that we are exposed to when traveling, no matter how much we try to avoid them.
This is where travel insurance comes in. It could really be disheartening to be faced with problems during the trip like losing your baggage or totally having your flight canceled when all you are looking forward to is a fun and carefree time. That’s exactly why getting insurance is the solution to these woes.
While the percentage of having to face these problems similar to none, it’s still best to get yourself covered in case they happen. Most travel insurance policies are fairly priced so that’s not going to be a huge dent on your travel fund.
Don’t pack more than you can carry
Take pity on your muscles, my traveling friends. Although they may look like they’re made for carrying all your life’s baggage, it’s definitely going to be worn out and that’s not a very nice feeling when you’re traveling.
A piece of advice: carry only the necessities. Remember that you’ll be carrying them around from your house to the airport, from the airport to the plane and from the moment you land to the hotel you are staying at.
Make sure that your carry-on dimensions match your capacity to pull it around. It’s best that you’re comfortable with the bag you are bringing as it will be pretty much your companion the whole trip.
Look for shared housing options
Be open to the idea that you traveling alone gives you the opportunity to make friends with other travelers and locals. A shared house is one of those great ways to meet and mingle with kindred spirits.
Besides, it’s also a cheaper accommodation option, so technically, it’s a win-win situation, unless you don’t want to be bothered during this solo trip.
Regardless, a shared housing option is still a great way to make the best memories during this trip.
Learn the local language
And since you are traveling all on your own, you have to be able to converse with the locals for any inquiries and questions during the trip.
Some of them might not be able to comprehend English well enough to strike a proper conversation, so as a foreigner, you better arm yourself with the basic phrases that may come in handy. Not to mention it could also be an opportunity for you to learn a new language!
Talk to the locals
Talking to the locals is one surefire way to discover the best spots in the area while avoiding large throngs of the crowd in touristy places. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to learn more about their culture and their history that you won’t find in any of the Google searches you’ve been doing.
Whether it’s your cab driver or the grocery guy, small talks lead to great conversations so it’s best to muster up that courage to strike up a dialogue with the locals.
Always carry cash
Your cash will be your lifeline when you’re out in a foreign country alone. While your cards may be a good option to pay for stuff, there are establishments (depending on the country you are visiting) that don’t accept them.
Make sure to properly segregate your money, because putting it in one place is a risk I cannot imagine putting myself into. The horror of losing your purse with all of your travel funds in it is a nightmare.
Keeping them in different places is the way to go, and the safest one at that. Just don’t forget where you put it!
What could be the most important thing to do when you travel alone than to stay safe as much as possible?
It’s not only a phrase we live with to tell our loved ones when they step out of the house, but these are actual words that we need to live by.
We’re not here to try to scare you because the possibility of putting yourself in harm’s way is like a little speck of dust but there’s nothing wrong in taking extra precautions, especially when you’re alone.
Man, you gotta be your own superhero with a little help from the U.S. State Department’s travel site, which you could use to your advantage when it comes to double-checking your safety.
Join a tour group
If you don’t mind being mixed with other travelers, joining a tour group is one fun way to discover new places and try new activities. There are more and more travel agents that are emerging now that traveling has become a global trend.
You can look for a tour group that matches your interests and can accommodate single travelers.
Keep a travel journal
And of course, document every part of the trip. It’s not every day that you get to go on an adventure on your own, so it’s best to have something to remind you of this one in a million trip!
All your photos, your notes and your realizations about a certain place should be kept in one journal so that you’ll have something to look back on when you’re feeling a little sentimental.
Honestly, if I can advocate one thing in this world, it is to encourage everyone to go on a solo trip once in a while for a change in perspective. It’s more than just the traveling itself, but it’s more about learning more about yourself and finding your truth without the influence of other people’s opinion.