There are many different reasons why people travel alone. Whether they don’t have someone to travel with or seek experience, solo travel can be the answer they seek. Think about it – a solo traveler is in charge of choosing their destination, travel dates, what sights to see and when, and so much more. Simply put, they hold the key to the itinerary in their own hands.
If you have never traveled solo before, all those who have will tell you that you are missing out – and that it is time to take the leap. But, before you do, it is important to note that traveling alone is a bit different than traveling with others. That means there are a few things you need to be aware of to have a memorable and safe getaway.
Below are 7 solo travel tips to consider.
1. Research Before You Go
Learn as much as possible about your destination before leaving home. Dig into the good, the bad, and the ugly. Talk to those you know who have been to your destination – or use social media to your advantage. Getting a first-hand account of a visit is always beneficial rather than solely following tourism and guidebooks.
Already jumping into your trip before you get there is a great way to save time once you arrive. You know the places you want to see, the things you want to experience, and areas you should avoid or be on guard, etc. Plus, knowing where you want to spend time helps when booking your hotel reservations.
2. Don’t Overbook Yourself
While your research will excite you enough to see everything, you don’t want to do that. Don’t overbook your time at your destination. Instead, take it easy. Plan your days so that you can enjoy the getaway rather than exhaust yourself from it.
If you want to visit a major sight but then decide to get some lunch at a nearby cafe or explore a neat bookstore, then you should. Don’t restrict yourself because you created an unrealistic time schedule.
Remember, this is your trip, so enjoy it for yourself in any way you want.
3. Immerse Yourself in the Culture
Use your solo travel trip as a time to get close to the locals. Don’t just stick to touristy areas. Local events, restaurants, shops, and more can all be a recipe for a wonderful time. You will learn more about the area, better understand the culture, and maybe even learn about some gems off the beaten path. This is how you create a unique and unforgettable experience. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for solo travelers to make lifelong friends by hanging out with locals they met while visiting.
4. If You Get Lost, Ask For Help
As you explore a new city, there is a good chance you are relying on your GPS or a map to get you where you want to go. But when in unfamiliar territory, getting turned around can happen quite easily.
Here’s the thing. You never want to stand still looking confused while staring at your GPS. This signals to everyone in the vicinity that you are lost and likely a tourist. As a solo traveler, this makes you a very easy target regardless of the destination.
Don’t rely only on yourself and your capabilities in this situation. If you take the time to study the GPS more, maybe you could figure it out. In the meantime, someone could take a moment to figure out what they will do to you. Don’t risk it – ever. Look for a friendly face, like the barista in the coffee shop or a couple passing by, and ask for help.
5. Sign Up for a Tour or a Class
As you allow yourself to get immersed in the culture of your destination, why not take a tour of a famous landmark or museum or even of the city itself? Or how about taking a class? After all, you cannot get much closer to a community than to learn how to cook their most famous dish, right?
This, too, gives you an experience all your own.
6. Nervous About Eating Alone?
Many solo travelers are excited about the adventure but feel uncomfortable eating alone. It is understandable since you may not often do it at home. Here are a few ideas to make it more enjoyable – or at least manageable.
- Find a restaurant that you like and visit regularly. This will help you become familiar with the staff and make the experience more enjoyable.
- Consider sitting at the bar – this will give you more interaction with those around you and the bartender without the uncomfortable feeling of sitting alone.
- Read a book, call a friend, or journal while eating. This will keep you busy but will also distract you from thoughts of eating alone.
You may be surprised and enjoy dining on your own. You will never know until you try it.
7. Let Someone Know Where You Are
When you travel alone, it is important that someone knows where you are – especially if you are traveling outside of the country. Provide your flight information, the name of your stay, and so forth. Leave a copy of your passport with this individual, just in case, is also a good idea.
Some solo travelers will check in with this individual once daily to let them know they are alive and well. Others don’t want the hassle of being connected and prefer the freedom that solo travel brings. You decide what works best for you.
Interested in solo travel? Decide on your destination, book a private jet charter, and create your own adventure.