Traveling alone gives you the opportunity to know yourself better. You get the sense of fulfillment and the more you do it the stronger you become as a person. Here are my top 10 solo travel tips that would make you more confident on the road!
If this is your first time to travel solo, you probably have a lot of questions in mind now. Of course, it’s the ultimate #selfgoal but the reality is you’ll have to face loneliness, safety, fears, and trust issues along the way. There’s a whole lot more.
But it shouldn’t stop you from traveling alone, ‘coz if I can, if they can, definitely you can! Fret no more, I’m here to give you ideas to get you started, keep on reading.
1. IT ALL STARTS WITH A PLAN
I know we all have to plan our trips, very cliché, but I mean a well-thought-of plan. There’s a difference. And it’s always better to have a guide so you know the details of everything.
But don’t forget to be flexible with your plan. Spontaneous experiences widen your understanding that life is full of surprises. Things may go wrong along the way; just remember it is part of life, maybe not part of your plan.
2. THE LIGHTER THE BETTER
We all have this tendency to pack everything we think we need the first time we travel, and just ending up with stuff you actually don’t need. Also, remember that you don’t have someone to share luggage in case you need a space to stuff with.
A light carry-on or backpack on a short vacation will do or if you really need those #OOTDs, then try to bring clothes that you can mix and match.
I put on a guide on how you can pack your luggage below. Please take some time to read it, it’ll help you. I promise.
3. KEEP SAFE AS ALWAYS
One of the biggest concerns for those of us traveling solo is safety. We have fears that you don’t have someone as a backup in case you need help or if when you have a problem that you can’t fix alone.
The best way to face this is to just accept the fact there will always be a threat wherever you go. The place where you live probably is not different at all. You need to have an open mind that anywhere in the world you just need to be careful and to the extent, be extra careful.
- Arrive at your destination during the day- it is a fact that more crimes and incidents happen at night than in the day. So, as much as possible, do your tours and activities in the morning. If you’re arriving at the destination very late, consider getting a transfer service from your hotel or accommodation.
- Be aware of your surroundings- be vigilant with pickpockets, snatchers, and thieves.
- Have a copy of important numbers- keep a record of emergency phone numbers, tourist help desk, your accommodation’s telephone number, friends or anybody in case you need help on your phone and in a separate sheet.
- Make copies of important information- your passport, ID’s, etc.
- Split your money in different places like your pocket, wallet, bag or anywhere you can hide. Never place your eggs in one basket.
- Stay away from dark small alleys and stick to open public spaces.
- Don’t be scammed! Read from reviews and stories of other travelers about your destination.
- Buy travel insurance- you’ll never know when you will get an accident on the road and it’s always better to have an insurance policy to avoid paying costly medical and hospital bills.
4. WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS DO
Just like the saying, try to blend in with the locals as much as you can. Learn the dos and don’ts of their culture. Having a basic knowledge of the local lingo can give you an edge in dealing with the locals and can come handy when buying at shops and markets plus, a bonus good impression.
I always feel like wherever I go and speak their language, I get so much appreciation and willingness to be helped and treated very nicely.
Avoid appearing and screaming like a “tourist” with flashy gold necklace and jewelry. You’ll be a great candidate for the thieves.
Keep a low profile as much as you can.
Of course, this does not apply everywhere. Most places would be too safe for you to not wear your best and flaunt your fashion. So, be your own counsel.
5. MAKE FRIENDS ON THE ROAD
Traveling solo doesn’t mean being alone the whole time. The idea is to get to know fellow travelers whether in the same hostel where you stay in or just a random person you met in a group tour.
You will gain so much knowledge and experiences from them that are valuable to you in your travel journey. When I was in Cambodia earlier this year, I met a new friend, same like me a solo traveler at that time and I didn’t expect that we would connect instantaneously.
Probably because we shared the same values in life and with just a few hours of light-hearted conversation I learned so much from her backpacking journey around Southeast Asia. I also got the courage to do the same.
And oh, by the way, don’t forget to stay connected with them on social media whether it’s on Instagram or Facebook. You’ll never know when you’d cross each other’s paths.
6. LEARN TO DEAL WITH CREEPS
Sure, not everyone on the road will be nice to you. And trust me; there are difficult people you just don’t want to deal with. In this case, you’ll have to trust your instincts. If you feel a different vibe and if it doesn’t feel right, then avoid them and don’t do it.
Don’t give a hint for them to take advantage of you. Never tell someone you’re not comfortable with that you are alone. It’s perfectly okay to lie (yes, sometimes). Just mention you are traveling with friends.
Don’t be afraid to reject people and master the art of saying “no”. Just respectfully decline invitations that you think might compromise your safety.
Remember to trust everyone but no one.
7. STAY IN TOUCH ON SOCIAL MEDIA
What better way to combat the feeling of loneliness when traveling solo is but connecting with our friends and family through social media. I just hope you have internet connection in your destination, that’s why I recommend you to have a pocket Wi-Fi handy in your backpack.
Just by sharing your travel photos can make you feel you are still connected with them. I used to dine alone in Jalan Alor in Malaysia, which is a famous street for foodies, in a big round table and ordered a bowl of curry and rice for just myself.
I remember the feeling of being alone while looking at other tables filled with happy couples and a group of friends enjoying their bottles of beer (me:*crying). I was like, I will never travel solo, never ever again. But you know what saved me at that time? Yes, social media. I went live on Facebook and just shared what I was having at that time and I realized it was not that bad after all.
8. DON’T FORGET THE SELFIE STICK AND TRIPOD
I know this is kinda funny, but, hey we live in a very connected social world where Instagram stories and Facebook has taken over our daily lives. One of my mistakes when I went on a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was not bringing a selfie tripod. And it almost completely ruined my trip. Lol
You might be wondering what the h*ck has it something to do with all these. Well, of course, you are traveling by yourself. And no one does gonna take care of your photo-shoots but you.
You might be lucky at times if you could ask someone to take that perfect shot of you with your background, but in my experience, it’s awkward, really. Get a selfie tripod with a Bluetooth remote so you won’t have to set the timer and it’ll save your time like a lot.
9. BRING A BOOK TO READ OR SONGS TO LISTEN TO
Being an introvert myself, I already learned the art of being alone. But I also feel like when I travel solo, the emotion of loneliness is being amplified that I feel it’s just too much to handle.
If you ever feel like this, go back to your comfort zone, do the things that make you happy. Bring at least something that you love doing when you travel. In my case, reading a book and listening to relaxing music.
You need to take a step back and just do what you love. It’s all about your attention and what you focus on.
Take a sip of your favorite smoothie or cocktail while reading a funny story lying on the beach, not thinking about others telling you what to do. Perfect!
10. JUST RELAX AND SEIZE THE MOMENT OF SOLITUDE
When you feel being caught up with your plans, just take it slowly and adjust your pace.
Again, it’s your life. You are in control of it. Don’t let other people’s preference pressure you. Yes, others may find it more interesting to travel with friends or with another. But remember that there are joys of traveling alone. And you know that better than anyone else.
I hope that I have given you the courage to go out there and conquer the world yourself independently. Just do it and take the baby steps one destination at a time. The world is so amazing to put off your plans just because you don’t have anyone to travel with.
I probably was once like you full of doubts and fears, but I learned to live with it and I enjoy every moment I discover a new place myself without the need for someone else’s approval.
Now, I want to hear from you. What makes you like to travel alone? Let me know down below.
Please do share this with your friends. Sharing is caring *wink. As always, happy travels!
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