Solo travel is a great way to take time for yourself, test your limits, explore the world at your own pace, and connect with other travelers and locals. It’s also quite popular.
About a quarter of millennials have already travelled solo. Online searches for “solo travel” have surged in recent years, too: a 2018 analysis from a prominent UK research group found that in the past seven years, the number of people traveling alone has doubled. And a Booking.com study of some 20,000 travelers found that more than a third loved their first solo trip and already hoped for another.
As fantastic as solo travel can be, planning your first trip can feel daunting as you consider how to stay safe and finance a trip on your own in a new place. You might even be questioning if it’s truly going to be fun!
Not to worry. With just a bit of planning, you can care for your emotional, logistical, and safety needs while you explore alone.
Why should you travel solo?
Solo travel is literally the epitome of self-indulgence. You can do whatever you want during a trip, go wherever you want, do whatever you want, pick your own challenges and activities, make your own mistakes, learn from them and basically, triumph through all with a feeling of exhilaration. Moreover, while you do go for a solo trip, the one thing that you would relish would be freedom. The sentiment is incomparable, and you would be glad that you took a solo trip. Of course, safety tips for women at solo trips are always an essential knowledge.
In this blog, we have put together some solo travel tips for first-timers. Read on and get yourself ready to go solo!
1. Decide on the Destination
First things first – the destination! All seasoned travelers agree that in solo trips, the experience of exploring places alone is more important than the destination itself. That said, it is indeed better that you choose a place that makes you feel at ease since traveling solo is already an overwhelming experience. Is there a place that you always dreamt of traveling to? A place that you always felt attracted to? Do you like cities bubbling with activities or are you more of a nature lover who enjoys quiet and picturesque places? Ask yourself and accordingly plan.
Those who are feeling a little panicky about traveling alone can start with familiar places while hard-core adventure seekers can even consider places abroad. Either way, it should be a place that motivates you and keeps you excited.
Suggestions: A place with good tourist infrastructure, that is closer to your hometown or where they speak a language you are familiar with are sure to earn some extra brownie points with first-timers.
2.Read up well about the destination
As part of your planning process, it is very important for you to know more about the place you plan to visit. This includes learning about every nook and cranny of the locality. To safeguard yourself from being conned by the locals, it would be great if you would find out all the essential details regarding the place, their food, the mode of transport, the cost for specific destinations from where you’re staying and much more. Invest some time here to save yourself during the trip.
3.Visualize the trip you want.
Start thinking about the opportunities that are present when you travel alone long before you leave. Is it down time you really want? Build that into the plan. Are you after a creative travel experience? Research the opportunities before you go and then dream on them until you get there.
5.Pick the right accommodation
One of the most pertinent travel safety tips for solo travellers that many would recommend would be to pick the right accommodation. Be very certain of where you are booking and whether the said property has a 24-hour front desk. The last thing you want is to be stuck outside the hotel or hostel, waiting for them to open gates for you. It is also an unsafe option. Further, check for the amenities that they provide and whether these meet with your needs.
6.Connect with your surroundings, not with your phone
7.Blend in the crowd
The best way to avoid the attention of purveyors and crooks is by blending in. It comes as a perk to blend in and seem like a local. Do thorough research on the place, its neighborhood, what kind of clothes people wear in the area, how can you not look like a tourist. It is not that hard, and you will be able to pull it off.
8.Carry proper identification documents
If you’re choosing to carry a money belt with you, make sure to store your identification documents instead of money in it. You can use a regular anti-theft bag to safeguard your money. Constantly pulling your shirt up to remove money would certainly attract attention and is something you do not want. Instead, use the money belt to store your passport, ID proof and other such documents. Also, while we’re on the subject, avoid carrying a lot of money with you.
9.Explore the city at different levels.
In London, it’s natural to take the Tube. However, riding on the top of a double-decker bus gives you another perspective on the city. But you still wouldn’t want to miss the Tube as it’s an experience unto itself. My point is, explore the city in as many ways as possible: on foot, by bicycle, via public transit. Take a taxi and talk to the driver. Rent a car and learn what it’s like to park or drive on the opposite side of the road. Every mode of movement offers new perspectives.
10. Make friends
11.Ensure to keep someone updated on your itinerary
It is understandable that you’re making a solo trip and want to feel the fresh breath of independence. However, it would be ideal to keep at least one person informed about your whereabouts and your travel itinerary. This practice will help alert your person of contact to reach out to the embassy or the hostel, should something bad happen to you.
12.Leave the comfort zone
13. Take photos
Making photography a mission, even if it’s just snapping odd little details you notice about a place, gives structure to your day. Your friends back home will appreciate your perspective and the stories behind the pics. It’s also a great way to reminisce after your solo travel adventure and remember what you’ve achieved.
If you fancy upping your Insta game, you could investigate taking an Insta-oriented tour.
14.Eating out alone
Eating out can be a daunting prospect for some people travelling alone, especially in the evening, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. If you’re feeling self-conscious, aim for restaurants with communal tables or bars, as they often have a more sociable atmosphere. Tables next to the window or on the terrace offer plenty of people-watching opportunities. Wherever you go, chat with the waiters – and take a good book.
15.Do Something You Normally Wouldn’t Do With Others
When traveling solo, you might be hesitant to try new things in case they don’t go as expected and you don’t have someone by your side. Instead, this can be a time to try something others in your normal travel party will not do. For example, you can spend all day touring an art museum when they would rather hang out on the beach, or vice versa. Maybe there’s something you can do alone that you can’t do if you bring the kids along.
This trip can also be an excellent opportunity to cross an item off your bucket list.
16. Make a List of Your Emergency Contact Information
This final tip is a good idea for every traveler. Make a list of your emergency contact information that is readily accessible. The list can include your own personal contact information, the name of an emergency contact back home, and any other pertinent phone numbers you might need. For example, you might include the toll-free number for your credit card company in case your card is stolen or you have to activate the travel protection benefits if your plans are interrupted.
You should also take a picture of your stove. It can be easy to forget to turn off your stove, coffee maker, or iron before you head to the airport as you are making sure you didn’t forget to pack anything. Once you arrive at the airport, look at the picture of your stove dials to ensure everything is turned off. If not, call a friend or landlord to turn it off for you and that’ll be one less worry on your mind while you are away.
Solo travel is not just another vacation. It can be a thrilling, fun-filled, empowering experience. With solo travel, you get to do things your way, mingle with the locals and make unforgettable memories. This solo traveller guide should help you start your journey with the right do’s and don’ts.
Solo travel is a chance for you to get to know yourself and the world better.