Traveling nourishes the soul. It gives people the chance to experience different cultures, meet new people, and gain a better understanding about life. Traveling solo can be one of the best experiences you will ever have in your life. You only have yourself to rely on in a completely foreign place.
Sure, it sounds scary at first, but the experience will push you beyond your perceived limits and make you grow like you’ve never imagined. With proper precautions and preparations, you can enjoy and stay safe while travelling alone. Keep these considerations in mind when planning for your solo trip.
Do Your Research
The first thing you should do before going to a foreign place is to research thoroughly. This is doubly important for a solo traveler. You’ll be solely responsible for planning your trip, finding a good place to stay, and getting around your destination, so you have learn as much as you can about where you’re going.
When researching about a place to visit, you must first consider if it’s a safe and prime time to travel. Is there any civil conflict happening in the country? Is the weather favorable during your travel dates? Since you’re travelling solo, you only have yourself to rely on so it’s better to be as cautious as possible.
Once you’re sure that it’s a safe place and time to travel, you should research about the good places to visit and experiences to try. Find recommendations by past travellers, and read reviews about the place. This can help you assemble your itinerary and plan for you budget.
Finally, avoid getting in trouble by learn as much as you can about the laws and culture of the country you’re visiting. Some places have strict rules and practices that you need to follow when you’re there.
Create an Itinerary
After doing your research, you have to create a list of the places and things you want to see and experience in you destination. Then you need to research about each item extensively. Learn about the modes of transport, cost, and duration to these places, as well as the available accommodations. You have to know if there’s a restaurant, a mall, and a bank nearby. Certain tourist spots have opening and closing times, so you have to list too.
Create an detailed itinerary based on your research. This will help you maximize your time and your budget while you’re travelling. You visit places that are close to each other on the same day and set a schedule for when it’s time to go. But don’t be so strict about following your itinerary. Unexpected things can happen while you travel, so you need to be flexible to enjoy your trip and avoid getting stressed.
Before you leave, remember give a copy of your itinerary and the contact information of where you’re staying to your family and friends. In case something happens, these can help them locate you faster.
Plan Your Budget
Money is one of the most important considerations when travelling. Plane tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation all cost money. One advantage to travelling with a companion or group is that you get to divide the expenses amongst yourselves. When you’re travelling alone, you have pay for everything, and this can expensive.
Consult your itinerary to plan a budget. You can also do it the other way around, and plan an itinerary according to your budget. What’s important is that you account for all your possible expenses and prepare more than enough money for everything. If you’re visiting a foreign nation, remember bring enough currencies as some places don’t accept credit cards. Don’t forget to notify your bank too, so you can use your card while travelling.
Find a Way to Stay in Touch
Many unexpected things can happen while travelling. No one wants to think that bad things will happen to them, but it’s always best to be pragmatic and prepare for these situations. Aside from keeping your emergency contact information on you at all times, you must ensure that you have a way to connect with your family, friends, and the authorities wherever you go.
Fortunately, most urbanized places have wi-fi connectivity and mobile signals, but you should bring your own device just in case. There’s even more reason to bring your own wi-fi device, as well as an international or travel sim card, if you’re going to slightly secluded area.
Other than that, you also need to ensure that you don’t run out of phone battery while travelling. Charge your phone before leaving your accommodation, and bring a power bank that is capable of several charges. If you have an extra phone, you may also want to bring it with you.
Secure Solo Accommodations
Save money while travelling by booking solo-friendly accommodations. You won’t really need the extra space unless you’re planning to stay long. Some accommodations will need two people in a single room. If you’re by yourself, you may be ask to pay a single supplement to monopolize the room. Avoid these places.
You can find cheap yet decent accommodations if you try looking at homestays, inns, hostels, bed and breakfast, or Airbnb. Before booking a place to stay, make sure research about the neighborhood and read the reviews. Only choose a place with good reviews, and make transactions (especially those that have to do with money) through relevant websites.
It also helps to find a friendly and accommodating property owner. They can give you practical advice about how to get around, save money, and stay safe in the area. They may also recommend spots and hacks that only locals will know.
One of the reasons many people like to travel solo is the freedom they get when they don’t have to wait on a companion. They can follow their own itinerary and schedule and not have to consider somebody else. But there are some sacrifices one has to make when travelling alone. One of these is to travel as compactly as possible for maximum mobility.
If you’re travelling alone, you can’t afford to bring too many things. It’s best to leave at least one hand unoccupied. In short, you have to pack lightly. You won’t have help with carrying your stuff or watching over your things while you’re travelling. You will have to bring your bag with you while you move around and can’t find a safe place to store it.
For that reason, only pack the essentials and consider bringing a durable carry-on military duffel bag to hold all your travel things. Use hacks, like rolling clothes instead of folding, to pack lighter and smarter.
Learn Important Phrases from the Local Language
You’re travelling to an unfamiliar place alone, so you will have to rely on GPS and your navigation skills to get around. But even modern technology is fallible. Some places are still hard to locate with GPS, and you can still get lost while travelling. That’s why it’s very valuable to be able to communicate with the local people.
Even if you’re going to an unfamiliar tourist spot, there will be someone who can point you to the right direction. If there isn’t, the locals can certain. Since you’re the traveller, you should learn a few important phrases from the local language to help you get around.
Travelling is the best gift you can give yourself. It can help you grow as a person and broaden your horizons, especially when you do it solo. It’s normal to have some apprehensions about going on a faraway place by yourself, but you shouldn’t let your fear stop you from exploring the world and testing your abilities.
You will discover a lot of new things about yourself and gain more confidence when you see what you’re truly capable of. As long as you prepare well and observer caution, you can overcome your fear and worries about travelling solo and enjoy your trip.