Nothing Beats a Solo Trip!
It’s risky. You’re afraid that as an individual, you’re easier to target so someone or something may endanger your safety. If you get lost, you’re on your own. You don’t have someone to split expenses with, so this trip may turn out to be more expensive. You don’t have a travel buddy to share impressions with, so you might get lonely.
But at the same time, you get to follow your dreams and create a schedule that no one interferes with. You’ll visit all the places you want to visit. You won’t have to make excuses about the way you decide to spend your time or money. You’ll get all the time in the world for self-reflections. If you open up to opportunities, you’ll meet the most amazing people ever.
But if this is your first time traveling alone, you need realistic tips that will make this experience more exciting for you. We hear you. Here are 10 indispensable tips that every solo traveler should consider:
Organized Tours and a GPS Device Help You Stay Safe
If safety is your major concern, maybe you won’t be ready to hitchhike across an unknown mountain all by yourself. But it’s okay; you can always find organized tours that offer you to see the major attractions of the location. You’ll get a chance to meet other people, and you’ll feel comfortable knowing that a guide has your back. The best part about organized tours is that they are usually quite affordable.
Just ask around and the locals, other tourists, or your accommodation providers will give you the information you need. As for your fear of getting lost while exploring the destination on your own, you need to invest in a good GPS device. An advanced running watch will not only inform you about the miles you cross and the calories you lose, but about the correct location as well.
Plan Your Budget
The budget is the most significant concern that most solo travelers have. You have to pay a higher price for accommodation, since rooms for one and rooms for two are usually the same price. This can mean only one thing: you have to plan your budget to the tiniest detail, and make sure to bring more money than you think you need. How much will you spend on accommodation? How much will you spend on food each day? How much do you need for commuting around the area? It’s important to get all this information before you head off.
If you really get stuck and you need extra cash, there’s a solution. How about an online job? If you’re a graphic designer, photographer, programmer, writer, or editor, you can always find work opportunities no matter where you are.
Agnes Horowitz, a writer for a cheap paper writing service, shares her experience: “I travel alone all the time. My first experience was great, mainly because I was well-informed and I had a job I could do from anywhere. When you have your finances sorted out and you set your mind on something like this, the possibilities are endless. I’ve traveled across South America and Eastern Europe and it was amazing. Now, I’m preparing for a year in Costa Rica.”
How about it? Do you have a skill that can bring you money regardless of your location? Start exploring the freelance industry and see how much money you can make. From there on, it will be easier to plan the finances of your trip.
Explore Remote Locations
Let’s say you rent a car and decide to see the south of France. You’ll plan to visit Aix en Provence, Nice, Monte Carlo, Monaco, and all other important cities. That’s great. But if you just take the highway to effortlessly move from one location to another, you’ll miss seeing a lot.
The real vibe of Southern France is in its villages. In between these cities, you’ll find magnificent locations that convey the uniqueness and charm of this country. Wherever you are, there will be less popular locations to see. Don’t focus on big cities and commercial tourist destinations. Explore the area like a local would.
But Don’t Avoid the Big Cities
This is another extreme that many solo travelers are guilty of. They only visit remote locations. They focus on mountains and villages, while completely avoiding big cities. That hippie traveling lifestyle is cool. But don’t you want to get the most out of this trip?
What’s France without Paris and Nice? If you want to explore American culture, can you really say you know about it without experiencing New York?
Include the biggest and most important cities of the destination in your plan. They might not offer what Nature does, but they definitely offer fun and excitement.
Eat All the Local Food You Can Eat
Many people’s idea of saving money during vacations is eating at McDonald’s. Their idea of avoiding food poisoning? They don’t try anything they haven’t tried before, so it’s McDonald’s again. Oh; come on! You can’t be that conservative. You decided to travel alone, after all, so you’re up for adventures. The food adventure is one of the most important aspects of a trip.
Get informed about the foodie scene of the destination. No; you’re not required to go to the most expensive restaurants. If you can’t afford a Michelin-star restaurant, that doesn’t mean you should splurge that one time and eat bread and butter for the rest of the trip. You can surely afford an average-priced restaurant.
Ask the locals where they eat. Ask them for recommendations about meals you shouldn’t skip while being there. Make your list and try those specialties one by one. You’ll end up remembering the place by the food you ate there.
The saddest part about traveling alone is that you don’t have anybody to share impressions with.
- “Hey; look at that building! The detail is amazing!”
- “This place makes me feel enlightened.”
You’ll be saying these things to yourself. But are you doomed to loneliness? Of course not! You can meet new people there. Even if you’re completely alone and see something truly amazing, you can still share it. What’s Instagram for, anyway?
Better yet, you should start a travel blog. It will serve as a daily journal of your adventures. Your parents and friends can see it, and the entire world can see it.
Open Up to New Friendships
But if you completely close yourself to new friendships, you’ll waste tons of opportunities. Most people are nice if you allow them to be. Keep your radar on and don’t get too close, but allow yourself to have casual conversations with strangers at the restaurant. Some of these talks may be surprisingly deep.
Follow Your Bucket List
You always wanted to try skydiving but you didn’t have a partner brave enough to accompany you? Well now that you’re traveling alone, there’s no one stopping you from doing whatever you want to do.
Be brave and try something new! Adventures will turn this trip into an experience of a lifetime. You’re independent. Benefit from that luxury!
Stay Connected and Know the Emergency Contact Numbers
When we’re writing a travel guide for solo travelers, safety tips are inevitable. The most important one is to stay connected at all times. Charge your phone, so you won’t put yourself at risk of being cut off. If it’s too expensive for you to use your provider, get a local SIM card. That should save you a lot of money.
In the event of emergency, it’s important to have all numbers you need. Memorize the number of the local police station and hospital. You could also use the numbers of your embassy, as well as the bank that could assist with any shady financial transactions.
Of course you need to make plans. You want to see different places, try different foods, and experience different things. But does this mean you need a detailed plan to follow at all cost? No! Make the plan, but make it flexible.
If someone nice asks you for a cup of tea, be spontaneous enough to say yes. If the local guide suggests a different, more exciting tour than the one you planned, be free to make that sudden decision.
Remember: the best adventures are the ones that happen when you least expect them.
This Is the Best Decision You’ve Ever Made!
You’ll feel like that by the end of the trip. When you’re brave enough to pack lightly and head off into the world all by yourself, great things will happen. Just stay safe! Make a good plan and be positive. It will be great!