Solo travel is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and explore the country on your own terms. Although a lot of people would not consider traveling alone, it is a worthwhile experience that is gaining popularity.
It is a way to make the trip your own. Still, it’s important to keep safe especially because there is no one to look out for you but yourself. With these tips, you should be able to have a trip of a lifetime, and more importantly, stay safe.
1. Plan where to stay
It is very important that you plan where you are going to stay at least for the first night at your destination. Think about what kind of accommodation is best suited for your needs. Whether it is a fancy hotel or hostel, make sure that you have made your bookings before traveling to your destination. Also find out if they are open late at night in case you arrive on an overnight flight.
2. Have a plan of action
After securing your accommodation, you need to have a personal itinerary for each day. Include visiting famous landmarks, relaxation time and other activities that you are interested in. With a plan of action, you will be able to experience everything you wanted in a short time. Of course this is only a guideline. The advantage of traveling alone is that you can deviate from your program with no one to answer to; some spontaneity on holiday is a must!
3. Buy a dictionary
A dictionary could save you a lot of trouble in your host country. Although you won’t be able to learn the language in its entirety, a few choice phrases could make your life a lot easier. Phrases such as “hello”, “thank you” and “please” are extremely important. Even when the execution is not perfect owing to your accent, the locals will be happy with the effort you are making.
4. Get your finances in order
You must have a realistic idea of how much your trip is going to cost you. Aside from the airline tickets and accommodation, think about what you intend on doing and how much that may cost.
Cash should be your primary mode of payment. It is also important to carry your credit card in case you run out of cash or are unable to pay with cash for whatever reason. In fact, you should never keep all your cash, or cards, in the same place.
5. Protect yourself from financial problems
Additionally, you should consider getting travel insurance. There is no telling what could happen during a trip abroad, which could run up the cost of the trip and potentially lead to financial ruin. Think about medical insurance especially when traveling to underdeveloped countries. This way, you could get reimbursed for the cost of visiting a doctor, medication and even medical evacuation in case of an emergency. This kind of insurance is also essential for travelers with ongoing illnesses.
Other insurance to consider in this case includes Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage, as well as coverage for non-refundable tickets. It is easy to overlook the possibility of something going wrong on your trip that may have dire financial consequences in the long-term.
6. Make copies of important documents
There are documents that you cannot travel without. These include your passport, identification, credit card, insurance and any other important documents you will be taking on your trip. Leave these with a loved one or trusted friend in case of an emergency. You should also scan your documents and email them to yourself. That way you will have access to them at all times, should the need arise.
7. Keep your wits about you
When you get to your destination, it’s all about keeping your wits about you and using your common sense. For example:
- Avoid isolated areas and dark alleys at night
- Pack light
- Don’t wear t-shirts with your country’s flag or offensive writing
- Don’t wear flashy jewellery and clothing
- Be polite
- Trust your instincts
With these tips, you should be able to have a great solo holiday that you will remember for years to come.