Solo travel : What to know before traveling alone?

Solo travel : What to know before traveling alone?

How to travel solo:



What is solo travel?

Solo travel means that you explore a place by your own company, you don't have anyone else you know to travel along with you. It means you will get to spend time alone. Some people who first learn about solo travel start thinking that you will be bored out of your mind if you are all alone but that's not the actual case at all! Traveling alone can be actually fun, you can meet new people, make friends with them or it might be possible that you never see those people again, it is a bittersweet experience but it's completely worth remembering. You get to learn to be independent and sometimes you learn great life lessons from unexpected places or people. 

Reasons why solo travel is great:

1. You can go wherever you want to go anytime of the day
2. It is a better way to meet new people
3. You can live in the moment
4. You can improve your self confidence and personality 
5. You get to be selfish just for a little while
6. You tend to become independent 
7. You get to do something out of your comfort zone and test yourself
8. You can change your plans easily
9. You get the freedom to take your own decisions 
10. You learn to spend money the right way
11. You discover your hidden persona 
12. You get to explore the world without any expectations


What to do before traveling alone?

Solo traveling sounds fun, but there are also some difficulties that come along with it. Especially, when a female is traveling solo, there are safety issues to look after. Irrespective of whether you are a male or a female traveling alone, you should know about a few self defense techniques along with basic common sense. Just because you are traveling alone and you vow to be independent, does not mean that you shouldn't rely on your family or friends at all. So, even if you go on the trip alone, ensure that someone back home (whom you trust or with whom you are extremely close with) knows about your plans, the place you will be staying at, the contact number you will use and other important details that concern your safety. Make copies of all your important documents that you carry along.
Most importantly, research about the place you have chosen to travel. Learn about the place's culture, it's traditions, what manners are considered rude there and what people find polite. If you are not sure about what you found on the internet was correct, you can ask some of the locals or the new friends that you have made. However, do not blindly trust them. First observe your surroundings and see how the other people behave with each other.
 Also, be aware of your surroundings and search how safe is it to wander alone at night in the particular place or avoid going out alone in the night all together. 
Learn a few martial art tricks and prefer staying at hostels where you can meet the other fellow solo travelers. Many a times some small lodging hotels trick you by posting fale images and information on Airbnb. To aviod that, Booking.com , Hostelz.com , hostelworld.com and HostelBookers are good sites to search for legit hostels. If you are travelling in Europe, you can also stay at B&B's. Chose a hostel with free WiFi or internet facility. Though you book a legit hostel, don't forget to keep your valuables safe. Keep the loaction of the hostel in mind too. There's no use to book a hostel that is far away from the tourist places you want to visit.  The hostel should have common areas and communal kitchens to converse with people. 
Download travel apps and apps like Duolingo and Google Maps to understand the local language the the map of the place better. (keep in mind that google maps does not work accurately at some palces)
You can carry books or an eBook reader, laptop/tablet, headphones/earphones etc for your own entertainment. 
You can even join group tours or associations if you are afraid to put yourself out there and talk to new people on your own. It's okay to get a little help as it will be your first time traveling alone, once you gain the self confidence, you can rely on yourself automatically. Try to fit in and get to know people and don't be completely shy.
If you travel alone, it means that the duration of travel completely depends on you. So, if you feel like you will not be able to sustain alone for long days, keep your trip short and sweet so that you don't feel homesick and carry some bitter memories along.


How to make friends while traveling alone?

You might not make friends immediately. So, if you don't find someone within the first few days, do not feel bad about it. You  might feel weird when you are eating alone when you first try that, but eventually you will feel better. You will be in complete control about how to spend your time and which places to visit. You will learn how to spend your time when no one is around. I feel that you should first be comfortable with the idea of traveling alone and then travel to international destinations on your own.So, first start with traveling alone to places in your hometown or go on a solo weekend getaway just hours away from your city. Strike up conversations with some local people. You can even converse with the restaurant staff and ask them about their advise on where to travel next. Do not be completely invested in your phone while you eat, it might lead to the people to think that you are unapproachable, stuck up or arrogant. 
Join a free walking tour, you might find a few new friends there. 

Solo Travel Safety tips:

These tips are the best for your safety, however you can make your own rules and research about it more. 
1. Avoid traveling at night
2. Limit consuming alcohol and keep your eyes on your drink all the time or do not drink if you have a low alcohol tolerance level
3. Respect the local culture and thinking
4. Keep your belongings safe and if possible, put a number lock on your carry on luggage
5. Keep others updated about your location
6. Get a travel insurance and the right vaccinations
7. Check with your current service provider whether they provide an international data plan 
8. Carry portable chargers 
9. Dress conservatively, according to the culture of the place you are traveling to
10. Do not announce your location and the fact that you are traveling solo on your social media accounts.
 11. Don't flash expensive items that you own (better not to wear them especially if  you are alone)
12. Trust your instincts (your gut feeling often leads you to the right way)
13. Avoid tourist traps
14. Don't be naive and trust people easily

How to avoid tourist traps?



Tourist places are a must visit when you travel to a particular place, these places tend to be crowded and full of tourists from all over the world. This makes it easier for you to fall prey to some tourist traps and it's the worst experience you probably want when on a leisure vacation. So, here are a few tips to avoid them:-

1. Travel during the off peak season
2. Eat at local restaurants and cafes and ask the staff about further information
3. Get help from locals and the other friends that you have made
4. Use public transport and not private vehicles like taxis and cabs
5. Do not flash your money
6. Pay attention to your surroundings 
7. Walk with your head held high so that people know you're confident 
8. Just go with the flow but don't be naive and too trusting
9. Find a tour guide if you want (but keep in mind that also guides can charge you more than necessary) 
10. Purchase a guide book (but do not carry it out in open all the time, it will make you look clueless)
11. Don't be afraid to speak up and say NO to something you don't want to do
12. Never agree to buy something without checking the other alternatives and comparing the item's retail price and and quality
13. Think like a tourist and learn some basic tourist phrases
14. Be wary of free stuff
15. Carry a pepper spray or any other appropriate item for self defense
16. Keep the number of the local police station of the place handy or on speed dial (You        can delete it once you reach home)

Another tip: If  you start feeling uncomfortable while walking alone or when you wait for public transport, call your friends or family. If you don't feel like talking to people, just put your phone to your ear and pretend to talk. If someone asks you whether you are alone, pretend like you are meeting a friend somewhere in the city, if you tell them that you are alone, it makes you appear vulnerable and easier to deceive. Be smart and react accordingly, don't think a lot before answering and lie for your own benefit (only when you are avoiding traps :-p )
If you have any other safety travel measures, you can share them with me!

When you follow all these rules, plan smart and go to bed at night in your hostel, you will feel as if all this is easy and it will make you look like you're a badass experienced traveler! Hope you enjoyed reading all these tips and tricks and you will decide to take your first solo trip after reading about it, despite your fear and anxiety.


If you have already experienced solo traveling, please do share your stories in the comments. Till then, stay safe and healthy :-)

38 comments:

  1. I would love to take a solo trip. Even just to Disney! Doing things on my own pace sounds amazing!

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    Replies
    1. I would love to visit Disneyland alone as well! Thank you for your comment.๐Ÿ˜Š

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  2. I've never traveled solo. These are really great tips to take with me if I ever get around to going on a me trip. �� Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thank you for your comment! Have a nice day :-)

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  3. Travelling solo doesn't appeal to me but I'm so pleased that other people feel inspired to do so. This post will definitely help anyone thinking of planning a solo trip.

    www.thekellydianereport.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's a good experience once you get used to traveling alone! Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜Š Have a great day!

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  4. I travelled alone and it was such a great time. But I definitely agree that you need to use your gut instinct and the dress codes too - but that also applies when with others!

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    1. I agree. Your instincts tell you that something is wrong before it happens, you need to learn to trust yourself first. Thank you for your comment! Have a great day :-)

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  5. I've always wanted to have to courage to travel on my own. I have a friend who's travelled to most of Europe on her own and I've always admired her for that. Thank you for these great tips, I'm sure they will come in handy :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. Thank you for commenting! Have a nice day :-)

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  6. I would love to do something like this! Hopefully one day I will have the funds to do so!

    Amber - https://theunpredictedpage.com

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    1. It's an adventure and a great lifetime experience. Hope you get to travel solo soon! Have a nice day:-)

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  7. Thank you for these really helpful tips. I think I am too scared to go on a solo travel atm but I will use these tips for if I ever do!

    Em x

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it, thank you for your comment. Have a great day! ;-)

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  8. This was super informative, and I like how you went into depth in regards to all the safety measures you should take. Thanks for such great tips!

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    1. Glad you liked it. Safety must be our first priority when traveling solo. Thank you for your comment!๐Ÿ˜Š

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  9. I've been considering some solo travel so your post is timely for me. I'm going to take notes! Thanks so much.

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    Replies
    1. Glad it's useful for you. Hope you go on your solo trip soon! Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  10. This is such a great post! I have never travelled alone before, but after reading this, I feel like I totally could. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. Thank you so much for your comment. Have a great day ;-)

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  11. Great tips, you've really covered everything here! I've only done one short trip alone and there are definitely many places I'd love to visit that I'm not sure if I'd feel safe enough to do solo just yet. Learning things like traditions and customs is such a big part of any trip! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
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    1. True, it's no use traveling to a place where you just wander without knowing it's actual significance. Thank you for your comment!๐Ÿ˜Š Have a nice day:-)

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  12. This is awesome Aditi great work keep it up

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the comment! ๐Ÿ˜„

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  13. I don’t think I could ever travel alone, unless it was to meet family somewhere. I love how some people are super confident to travel solo, it must be an amazing experience!

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing once you get used to it! Thank you for commenting.๐Ÿ˜Š Have a great day:-)

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  14. I did have a lot of hesitations in traveling solo. I tried and it was great! I am more confident and I can do things on my own. Yet i had one bad experience, i fell into a tourist trap, a fish restaurant overcharged me and it was recommended by a guide... but instead of sulking its part of the whole experience. Yes, i will travel solo again and have the freedom with my itinerary. Doesn’t matter if I just sit on a cozy cafe or restaurant the whole day to watch people and scenes passing by. Thanks for the tips ;)

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  15. Great details for solo travelers.
    Inspired me to plan solo travel ๐Ÿ‘.
    Thanks

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Have a great day:)

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  16. Such a helpful post! Some great things to know before travelling alone.

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thank you for your comment! Have a nice day :-)

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  17. As a female I'm not so sure I would do this unless it was for business and I was staying in a very nice place. I'm very safety cautious. I do however note your pluses to it and they are all ones that I know I would appreciate it!

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    1. Yeah, one can travel alone for buisness and stay at a luxury hotel in privacy. Staying at hostels and meeting new people requires you to have good communication skills and you have to get out of your comfort zone which can be challenging. Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜Š Have a nice day!

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  18. It is always cool to see people traveling alone. I found myself having a hard time with that because strangers LOVE to be creeps. However, we need to be informed of things to look out for and just focus on ourselves. This is one of the biggest barriers to break as people - being able to do things solo!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  19. I don't plan to travel solo anytime soon, but if I do, I will use some of your tips. Thanks

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  20. "You get to be selfish for just a little while".
    I love that because I felt a little selfish and daunted when I travelled alone for the first time last year. But I also loved the freedom of being able to approach people or see things I wanted to see. I did not have any pepper spray with me, but I appreciate your safety tips! Trusting my gut helped a lot.

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  21. Thank you so much, I have found interesting things here
    War brokers

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  22. These are some really helpful tips! I don’t think I would ever go alone. But it was an interesting post to read! X

    ReplyDelete

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