Solo travel is a lot different from when you’re traveling with the folks. There isn’t as much noise, activity, or responsibility, for that matter.
While traveling alone has some good sides, it has some concomitant risks. In this post, we will talk about a few tips you should follow to ensure your solo trips go smoothly.
1. Keep someone updated about your travels.
If you’re traveling alone, no one will know about where you are and what you’re doing unless you tell them. To ensure you are easily reachable in emergencies, you should always inform someone (like a family member) about where you currently are, where you plan on going, and how long you plan on staying at each place.
While we don’t like to think too much about this, the chances of something going wrong are always present. If you fail to attend to your calls or answer messages, etc., your family will know where to look for you.
If you are staying somewhere (say, a hotel) and you want to go out, you should inform the hotel people about it. Assuming you’ve set up your trip via a travel agency, you should also keep them informed.
All of these are basically safety measures. As said earlier, solo travel does come with risks. Doing the stuff we’ve mentioned above can help you stay safe.
2. If you’re alone, keep yourself alone.
That means staying away from shady places and people at the destinations where you’re headed. Use a trusted cab service like Uber if you want to move around. Should a random, seemingly nice person invite you for a ride, nope out of there. It’s solo travel, so keep your guard up.
The same goes for doing shopping and eating out. If you want to go to a restaurant, look up one online, book your reservation, and then pay them a visit. In foreign destinations, avoiding last-minute dining decisions at random places on the roadside is better. Want to try the local treats? Go ahead but plan it first.
As for shopping, limit it as much as you can. And when you do want to visit a shop, ask your hotel staff about trusted and reliable ones in the area. People can find it easy to scam a foreigner so be wary.
3. Look up your destination beforehand.
This is a bit of an offshoot of the tip we’ve mentioned above.
Before you embark on your journey, be sure to learn more about your destination on the Internet.
- See what other tourists have to say about the place. If any of them share a negative experience about a certain hotel or restaurant, learn from it.
- Find out about the notorious practices of that area. For example, if you’re traveling to Paris, keep an eye out for pickpockets. It’s a popular spot, which means places are crowded at times. Pickpockets can take advantage of tourists and make off with their possessions.
- Learn about the cultural values and norms of the locals so that you avoid doing anything that can get you in trouble. Learn about the words that you have to avoid saying (even if they sound harmless) in their native language and the gestures you have to refrain from.
4. Travel light.
When you’re traveling with a group, you can somewhat count on the others to keep an eye on the collective luggage. When you check in at a hotel and want to go out alone later, you can do it easily knowing that some of your friends/family will probably be around to keep watch on your stuff.
In a nutshell, large luggage can be easier to manage if you are traveling with a group.
But during solo travel, you don’t have those benefits. It’s all just you.
Traveling light in this case can help you carry all your belongings with you on your person. If you have a lot of luggage, you’ll have to stow it away when moving, when you’re at the destination, etc. You’ll have a constant worry at the back of your mind about their safety.
Just stick to carrying your travel essentials with you and avoid elaborate packing arrangements.
5. Embrace the good sides: Be flexible!
We’ve talked about a whole lot of precautions and dangers above. Well, we don’t want to make you dread solo travel or anything. There are good sides to it as well.
One of the best things about being on your own is that you can make plans without worrying about other people. You can make last-minute adjustments and do the whole thing your way.
Plus, if your scheduled activities don’t go the way they’re supposed to, you won’t be as bothered. It will just be you and you can be flexible.
Embrace the upsides.
Solo travel has its benefits and downsides, but you can make your trip go smoothly if you take the necessary precautions. We’ve outlined some of the main stuff in the post above and we hope you learned something new from there.
Is it OK to travel solo?
Yes, it is OK to travel solo. There are just some precautions you should take. However, as our personal recommendation, we say that you should travel with at least one other person whenever you can manage it. It can be better if the other person is experienced and acquainted with your destination.
Is traveling alone stressful?
No, traveling alone is not stressful. Sure, it can be a bit strange at first but going through your trip on your own can be quite relaxing.
What does solo travel mean?
Solo travel basically refers to the act of traveling in which a person moves around and conducts their travel-related activities alone. They are no accompanied by other people.