People who have never traveled alone frequently describe their first solo journey as nearly holy. It may be liberating to see new places without the traveling partner’s biases, interests, or preferences. Solo travel allows you to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. On the other hand, traveling alone has drawbacks, like safety issues, loneliness, and the dreaded single supplement. However, a little planning and common sense may help you save money and get through the tough times.
That is the topic of this article. This article will cover the fundamentals of a first solo journey. It will also direct you to articles that go into further detail on some aspects of solo travel. Check out this solo travel article if you’re in your twenties or thirties. My goal is to assist individuals who are new to solo travel in locating the information they require to travel with confidence.
Why Should You Travel Alone?
Solo travel may be the ultimate in self-indulgence; you can take it easy when you want to and push yourself when you want to. Another advantage is that your errors are your own, making your victories all the more thrilling. There’s no need to be concerned if your insistence on traveling across town to a closed museum wrecked your partner’s day; it’s your day to salvage or chalk up to a learning experience.
You can also do whatever you want, whenever you want. Have you ever wanted to try surfing? Sign up for a class and go for it; no one will be bored while you are having the time of your life on the beach. You don’t want to see Niagara Falls? Drive right past.
The Benefits of Solo Travel
This is a common question asked of first-time solo travelers. If you’re a first-time solo traveler, your family and friends are likely to wonder why. Why do you believe traveling alone is such a good idea? You may have very specific reasons, but it’s also possible that at this point, it’s just a gut feeling that it’ll be beneficial to you. And you’re absolutely correct. Here are a few of the advantages of traveling alone.
- Only bring your personal belongings with you.
When you travel alone, you don’t have to lug the gear or another person’s problems on your journey, both figurative and literal.
- Do what you want when you want
Nothing is more frustrating than wasting time on things you don’t want to accomplish. Visiting a museum when you’d rather be at the beach or the other way around. Traveling with a morning person if you’re a night owl or the other way around. Many travel horror stories have led to people traveling alone and feeling safe.
- Discover who you are when no one’s looking.
Whether you’re taking a gap year or a baby boomer trying to avoid obligations, you live to some extent according to others’ expectations. Allow yourself to uncover who you truly are and what your actual hobbies and interests are.
Tips & Tricks for How to Travel Alone Safely
“Is solo travel safe?” is arguably the most common question of the lone or single traveler. ” If you don’t have someone to keep an eye on you, you’re more exposed to thieves and con artists, as well as simple health concerns. However, the adage “safety in numbers” isn’t always true: a single traveler might blend in better than a group, and avoiding calling attention to oneself as a tourist is one method to keep your identity hidden. Here are some safety tips for solo travelers:
- Do your homework before you arrive
Learn how long it takes to go from the airport to your hotel or the city center, as well as how much it costs. If you’re traveling alone, you’re more likely to be “taken for a ride,” so get an estimate from the taxi driver before you depart. Take a different taxi if it differs significantly from what you already know to be true.
- Choose the right place to live
If you’ll be arriving late, book a hotel with a 24-hour front desk to avoid sleeping in your car or worse.
- Trust your gut
Don’t do something if it doesn’t seem right.
- Carry Proper Identification
Use a money belt for storage rather than a handbag if you wish to wear one at a number of locations. Reaching beneath your shirt for money all the time attracts attention and defeats the objective. Instead, keep your passport, additional cash, and other essential papers hidden, and carry daily spending money in a theft-resistant bag or handbag.
- Do not trust anyone
Meeting new people is one of the finest reasons to travel alone, but it also puts you more exposed. It’s fine to get out with new friends, travel with them, and share, but you shouldn’t expect them to keep your money. You want to be open-minded, but keep your guard up enough to guarantee your safety. Scam artists may sometimes be the most fascinating friends you’ll encounter; you want to be open-minded, but keep your guard up enough to protect your safety.
- Arrive in the daylight
Small towns tend to close down early, and areas near bus and train stations might be dangerous and desolate. Many lovely cities may look scary at night, and residents who are sincerely trying to help you might appear unduly frightening, according to veteran solo traveler Mara Rothman of San Francisco. You’ll be able to locate a place to stay and get your bearings if you arrive during the day.
- Check your maps and travel schedules
Before leaving your hotel, rail, rental vehicle, or tourist information center. Unsavory sorts may target a single traveler who is overly engrossed in her phone.
Some Additional Tips
- Carry a game, such as a backgammon set, chess, or a deck of cards, with you. A simple game can bring people from all around the world together!
- When you have the opportunity, take part in free walking excursions. It’s a fantastic way to get to know the city, learn about its history, and meet other travelers.
- Give yourself the gift of strangers by asking questions, exchanging impressions, and obtaining directions. For continual conversation and learning, friend or follow people on Facebook or Twitter.
- While you’re on the road, go to the market. Cultural, gastronomic, agricultural, linguistic, and family composition distinctions will be highlighted as a result of the encounter. People are always eager to teach you something new and make you friends with a stranger who knows many things. This was my first encounter with it in Aruba. I saw very little that I was familiar with at the market, but I left with knowledge and friends.
- Take note of how people interact and how things operate. While waiting in line, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, on a park seat, or just passing the time.
Where Should You Go on a First Solo Trip
The location you choose for your first solo vacation is crucial. It can be the difference between a good, confidence-building first trip and many more solo travels in the future or a trip with mixed outcomes. I recommend that your initial visits be to places where you can easily locate people who speak your language. You’ll find it simpler to travel, feel safer, and meet more people if you speak your native language.
You may certainly travel within your own nation. There’s always something new to see close to home. If you wish to go to another nation, consider Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, as many new travelers do.
The Essential Things to Consider When Planning a Solo Trip
It’s time to start planning now that you’ve decided on your location. The first decision you must make is whether to go with a tour operator or on your own. Both have advantages and disadvantages. There are also various planning concerns for each.
Planning Your First Solo Trip
Group trips are ideal if you’re worried about being alone, for your safety, or don’t have the time to organize your trip. You want to visit a challenging place or want to take a rest from a lengthy journey. If you’re going to be alone for a month or longer, you might want to add a tour so you can rest while someone else takes care of the details.
Not every tour company is the same. When selecting a trip, there are several factors to consider. Read How to Pick a Tour: Top Tips for Solo Travelers for more information. You should also have a look at our Deals page. The only list we are aware of includes a wide range of tour operators that provide trips with no or cheap single extras.
Plan for Social Time
Traveling alone does not have to be a lonely experience. Many solo travelers have discovered that they meet more individuals by traveling alone than when traveling with others. After all, you’re not looking for a partner. Individuals feel at ease approaching you since you are open to meeting new people.
How to Prepare for an Independent Solo Trip
I start thinking about where I want to go. I conduct research to determine what I would want to see. Also, I don’t, however, over-plan for this. I prefer to set aside a lot of free time to accomplish activities that I discover by accident. These are the hidden gems of a place that are rarely mentioned on the internet. However, there is still work to be done in terms of planning.
- Create a budget plan. Know how much you can spend so you can budget for transportation and lodging, the two most expensive parts of a vacation.
- Understand the basics. Before you go, double-check that you understand the visa requirements and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the currency conversion. Check that your passport is valid for at least three months after your trip since some countries have a three-month minimum requirement for visitors.
- Make your flight/train reservations. Yes, you must first verify your passport and visa requirements before booking your tickets. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and book a flight to find out later that you have to pay a charge to alter it. Also, plan your travel so that you reach before sunset.
- Make your hotel reservations. It may be frustrating to arrive in a new city, not understand how things work, and locate a place to stay. Plus, you may wind up spending more than your budget because you have to get a location. Before leaving, make a reservation for at least your first night’s stay.
- Examine a map. I am a huge fan of maps. They provide you a bird’s-eye view of a new location. They offer you an idea of the distance between sites and, as a result, what you can achieve in a day. You’ll also get a feel of where the locations are that you shouldn’t go for your own protection.
- Make a list of vital phone numbers. Use free Wi-Fi to find helpful apps for your phone and download them. Request assistance from the front desk personnel at your hotel in adding key local numbers to your phone, such as the one for your hotel. Also, even if you don’t want to be linked to home, keep these numbers on your phone.
- Arrive early at the airport, train station, or bus terminal. Many factors may delay you down when attempting to catch a flight, whether it’s traffic or a long wait at the airport.
- For your first day, don’t make any detailed plans. Take your time to settle in and learn about the city’s operations. Is there a line for the bus? What is the quality of the street food, and where are the busiest stands? What’s close enough to walk to your hotel?
Top Destinations to Travel Solo
If you are planning to travel solo, then the following are some of the best places that you should definitely visit:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
Traveling alone might exhaust you due to the continual sensory input and attentiveness. If you notice that your attention or body is waning, don’t be afraid to take a break from your ambitious schedule, calm down, and relax for a while.