Over the years, solo travel has emerged as the most compelling way of exploring the world. More and more people are opting for this mode of travel as it forces travelers to come out of their comfort zone and find solace in the unknown.
Well it can sound daunting but not impossible! There are various nuances associated with solo travel but trust me the joy of taking your first solo travel will overshadow all. You get to do what you want, when you want.
You can connect with new people and step out of your comfort zone.
But that said, your first solo trip can still be a little intimidating. Here are some tips to help you travel alone and conquer some of your fears!
Research your place
Understanding your destination and learning more about the place is vital to planning a successful trip. You can read about tons of blogs or watch youtube videos for the location you pick. Knowing the typical tourist scams of a particular destination is also important to look into.
Choose the right accomodation
Selecting the right accommodation is the second most important aspect of travelling solo. Always book your accommodation in advance to avoid any last minute hiccups. If you are starting out, I would recommend booking hostels as you will find like minded people!
Blend with the place
Another useful tip would be to blend in with the place. Its wise not to wear anything flashy that will draw attention. Avoiding outfits that scream “TOURIST”.
If you visit a place where the women dress conservatively, do the same, as this will help you to avoid being singled out!
Learn a few words in the local language
Getting well versed with a few words in the local language can be a game changer. Such an effort is appreciated and is often returned with an effort to communicate in your language. This is a pro tip if you are travelling to a country where English isn’t widely spoken.
On most occasions you will end up over stuffing your luggage and in turn over packing. Most of these items will end up not being used. Avoid overpacking with the following tips –
- Make a checklist of things
- Carry basic pieces which can be mixed and matched
- Pack two-three good pair of shoes such as a pair of comfortable sneakers, flats and athletic shoes.
Take care of your possessions
If you are travelling with a lot of gadgets such as mobile, cameras etc. take good care of them. I will not recommend traveling with expensive pieces of jewelry as it can attract unnecessary attention.
Also if you are travelling to an international country make sure you carry extra copies of all your documents such as visa, passport etc.
Whether you’re in your city/home or miles away, walking confidently is an effective technique for averting unwanted attention. Appearing lost or confused can make you look vulnerable. If you are lost, walk in to a café or restaurant and seek directions from them.
Download offline google maps
This is a tip which is applicable for both solo or group travels. You might choose a destination which might not have good network connection at times. The best way to get around in such situations would be to download offline google maps. Trust me they can be such a savior!
Let someone know
I highly recommend leaving your itinerary with someone back home as well as a photocopy of your passport. Its a good idea to leave details of your accommodation too. Keep in constant touch with your family or friends over messages to let them know about your whereabouts.
Another crazy and probably bizarre idea would be post on social media in the form of an Instagram story. People love checking these out and that can act as a tracker too!
Smile and Enjoy
Solo travel can be liberating! It gives you as much as you give it. So don’t overthink. Be confident and smart. Be safe and assertive, keep your valuables close and hidden.
Be warm to people, talk to locals. A smile can take you places and help you in connecting with like minded people.
Hope you find the above tips helpful and useful. If you haven’t been on a solo trip yet, I would highly recommend trying it out.