Solo traveling is one of the most enjoyable ways to see the world. You can eat, sleep, and go wherever you want without the restrictions of a travel companion. It is, without a doubt, a great way to be self-indulgent as you experience the world.
However, solo traveling is not without its risks. First-time solo travelers might be overwhelmed with the preparations they need, safety concerns, and even the dread of loneliness during the trip. But if you’re decided to venture into the world alone, then here’s a comprehensive guide on how to travel solo successfully.
Why Go Solo Traveling?
Traveling alone is an extremely good option for individuals who would like to have full control of their adventures. When you travel in a group, you usually have to think about each other’s schedules and preferences, but solo traveling allows you to plan based on your needs and desires. If you’ve always wanted to go to a certain place or to try out something entirely new but your travel companions weren’t on board, then going solo will certainly let you do so.
Solo traveling lets you experience a country more immersively. In a group setting, it can be quite difficult to interact with locals more closely. However, when you travel alone, it becomes easier for you to connect with the community organically.
Aside from the freedom you get, traveling alone can be quite cost-effective–especially if you did your research. If you get the right deals and visit the right spots, your solo adventure will save you loads of money. It might even help you fund your next travels!
Requirements for Solo Traveling
Solo travel may be very self-indulgent, but it’s also a good measure of how independent and knowledgeable you are. Most of the time, solo travel requires you to make reservations and to keep your affairs or documents in order. If it’s your first time traveling alone, it can be quite daunting to get all the documents you need.
There are a lot of good places to travel alone, but each location will have different requirements. Before you go on your merry way, make sure that you have everything you need. If you’re still unsure or if you don’t know what things you’ll need when you travel alone, here is a brief checklist from Nadav Berenstein to help you out.
Identification is needed every time you go on a trip. Make sure that you have at least two reliable identification documents for an easier time.
Establishments have since become stricter in following health and safety protocols. If you’ve been vaccinated, make sure to keep your vaccination cards with you at all times. Keep in mind that some establishments and even some countries restrict travel to only vaccinated individuals, so you might have to readjust your plans if you haven’t gotten your shots yet!
Masks and Sanitizers
Masks and sanitizers or alcohol are essentials today. Keep yourself safe during your travel time by making sure that you’re wearing an effective COVID-preventive mask and keep your hands clean with sanitizers.
If you’re traveling via plane, make sure that you have your plane tickets ready. Most tickets should be accessible via your phone nowadays, so you really shouldn’t have any worries. Just make sure to note important flight details so you don’t have to worry about anything.
To keep your trips hassle-free, make sure to have the proper papers for your accommodations ready. This avoids any crisis during your check-in or check-out dates. It also lets you know the details of your stay so you can plan your trip accordingly!
Passports (for International Flights) and Other Documents
If you’re going abroad, never forget your passport! It’s your way in and out of the country, after all. Also, make sure to have all the necessary documents such as your VISA ready so you can avoid any problems in a foreign land.
How to Travel Alone Safely
Traveling solo raises the question of safety. For first-time solo travelers, safety is always going to be a major concern–especially with the saying that there’s safety in numbers. After all, without someone to have your back, you can easily be susceptible to thieves, scam artists, and even health hazards.
So how do you safely and successfully travel solo? Here are some things that you should remember to keep your adventures safe and secure:
If it’s your first time traveling solo, it’s best to arrive at your destination while it’s still early. Arriving while it’s still broad daylight allows you to check out your immediate surroundings and lets you familiarize yourself with how you should act, dress, and blend in with the crowd. Besides, going to an unfamiliar place when the sun has set is never really a good idea.
Check-in a reputable accommodation
It can be tempting to check-in at the cheapest hotels or inns, but that might not be the best idea if it’s your first time traveling alone or your first time in the destination. If you’re unfamiliar with an area, it’s best to go to establishments that have a good reputation. These accommodations will usually make your trip much easier. Be sure to check reviews and their official accounts or website so you get the information you need.
Stick to open and public spaces
Cramped and sketchy places should be avoided for your safety. If you’re not sure where an alley goes or if that dark street is actually a shortcut, it’s best to steer clear of these spaces. While you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s best to use the known safe and public areas for your routes.
Leave your valuables!
Nothing tempts thieves and scammers more than flashy gadgets or baubles on display. Save yourself from the constant worry of having your valuables snatched and leave precious jewelry and gadgets at home so you can rest easy and enjoy your trip.
Familiarize yourself with transportation schedules, routes, etc.
Knowing where you should go, what time you should go, and how you can get from one point to another is vital to any trip. When you’re alone, it’s especially important to know your travel routes so you know the quickest and safest ways to your destinations.
Don’t give out personal information
This is something you should generally practice, even when traveling with a group. Never tell strangers personal or confidential information about yourself or your trip. This also applies to when people ask if you’re traveling alone! Since most people wouldn’t want to mess with travelers who are in groups, it’s best to not let anyone you just met know that you’re traveling alone.
Stay confident and in the zone
Be mindful of how you look and interact with people. If you’re traveling solo, it’s not ideal to look like you’re a tourist. Interact with the locals confidently and as naturally as you can and always keep your wits about you as you travel.
Solo Traveling Tips and Tricks
Planning for a solo trip takes some time and effort–and can undoubtedly be tiring for first-timers. However, traveling solo becomes a breeze when you know the ropes. Whether you’re going on an adventure overseas or staying in the country, here are some solo traveling tips that can help you have a better time during your trip.
Do your research!
Whether you’re visiting a new city, chilling at a beach, or discovering new local attractions, it’s important to have an understanding of what your destination is like. While you don’t have to go an in-depth research study about your destination, knowing about the best spots, basic geography, and important landmarks can greatly help you make your solo trip immensely easier.
Learn the language
If you don’t speak your destination’s language, you should try learning the basic phrases and common questions of the language. This will make communicating with the locals easier and it’ll give you an easier time navigating a foreign place.
Join the locals
Solo traveling allows you to immerse yourself in a destination’s culture. Who better to show you the place’s customs, traditions, and secrets than the community’s locals? Spend time and interact with them, and who knows? You might even be able to find the best deals because of them!
Don’t succumb to tourist promos
Tourist promos might promise a cheaper price–but that isn’t usually the case. As a solo traveler, venture to where the locals point you! It’s usually where the best prices are and you’ll be sure of its quality because the locals love it. This goes for everything–from restaurants to accommodations even!
Start Your Next Adventure!
Looking for the ultimate test of independence? Go solo traveling now.
Experience the world without the restrictions of being too tourist-like and exercise your freedom as you complete your journey. Don’t worry about not being able to go where you want or not experiencing what you want–the only itinerary you have to follow is yours!
See the world and experience it as you want it.