While it’s wonderful to make new memories and share new experiences with friends, a partner, or family, there’s just something adventurous about travelling alone from time to time. Solo travel can work for anyone, whether or not you’re single, an introvert or an extrovert. However, it is vital to know the ins & outs of staying safe, especially since you are all by yourself. Here are some tips on what to and not to do on your solo trip:
- Plan, plan & plan!
When traveling solo you want to make sure that you’re always keeping busy. Have a plan A, B, and C just in case. This will be extremely helpful with time management and will keep you busy all day, everyday. The internet is a great source of information for all types of activities and prices.
- Inform your family & friends
Ensure that you have a working phone on your trip. Call your service provider before your trip and set up international roaming, or buy a sim card overseas (sometimes, this is the cheaper option). Keep in touch with at least one person and let them know your whereabouts – just in case you’re stuck in a situation that requires help to get out of.
This may sound strange, but it is okay to lie when travelling alone. Take your time to trust the new friends you’ve made, and do not be too eager to share too much about yourself.
- Read & write
If you plan well, it is not likely that you will feel lonely. However, if you do need a break or to have a slow-day, find a nice spot and write about your trip. Pen down details of your favourite restaurant, or if you are in a foreign country, new words that you’ve learnt. If writing’s not your thing, an interesting book can help take you to wonderful places and help the potential feeling of loneliness.
- Don’t get yourself into sticky situations
You don’t want to put yourself or your belongings in danger, so don’t venture into dodgy neighbourhoods or wander the streets alone at night. Remember to keep an eye on your bags and hold your valuables close to you, especially if you feel yourself drifting off on public transport, as there’ll be nobody to watch them for you.
- Don’t be ignorant
Make the effort to research and learn about the common practices & etiquette of the place you’re visiting. What may seem normal to you can be seen as disrespectful in other cultures. Likewise, prep some essential local language skills and know how to ask for things such as directions, and basic needs. Not knowing how to say simple things can put you at an extreme disadvantage when you’re in a foreign country.
- Don’t exchange money
It is important to have cash on you at all times for emergency situations, but it is best that you do so before your trip. Exchanging money can be dangerous in other countries. Airports & trusted names such as Western Union charge really high fees for money exchange.