The majority of people in the world have thought about traveling at one time or another. Bonus points if you’ve ever considered going on your own. Hold on! It’s not as scary as you might think. The most obvious challenge of traveling alone is deciding to do it instead of just thinking about it. You’re the only one that’s standing in your way.
Many men and women all over the world find traveling by themselves an enlightening, rewarding, empowering, boosting, and moving experience. So, if you’re taking the plunge and going alone, or just thinking about it, you can use these tips to help get you properly prepared.
Channel Your Confidence
There is almost nothing more important that confidence, and that’s not to be confused with being conceited. When you’re traveling alone to an unknown city or country, ensure that you adopt a secure vibe. Remember, stiff posture and strong backbones are going to help you when you’re out exploring.
Unfortunately, the wrong kinds of people tend to target those who seem weak. You’re deflecting the wrong people with your confidence, and inviting the right type in when you’re walking with your head held high.
Mingle with Your Surroundings
Even though confidence is a primary fundamental to traveling alone, standing out too much could cause you issues. Make sure that you understand the culture of where you’re visiting and act accordingly. Blending in with the locals could make your travels much more comfortable, keep you away from potential tourist scams, and block out any distasteful looks.
Just because you’re in uncharted territory, doesn’t mean that you have to act as such. You can consider wearing clothing that the locals wear, talk at acceptable levels, don’t cause a scene, and just relax as your destination opens up before you.
Show Your Smile
Smiling is a universal language, so everyone knows what it means. You might not realize it, but a smile could be very beneficial when a local doesn’t speak the same language as you do. Not all locals are interested in taking advantage of tourists, so wearing your proud smile could lead to a great encounter and solid conversation… if they speak the same language.
Bring a Backup
Traveling can be stressful, and you’re not expected to remember everything. That’s why making sure you’ve written down the address to your accommodations is a good idea. Don’t put it on your phone, because you could lose that.
Backups can be lifesavers when you’re traveling, so make sure that you’re doing it intelligently. You never know what’s going to happen, so stash $50 to $100 somewhere safe in case you lose your wallet, or it gets stolen. Also, remember that if you must bring your passport with you, keep it in a well-concealed place. That goes for when you stash it at the hotel, too. Better safe than sorry!
Know Where You’re Going
Nothing says vulnerable tourist like someone walking down the street with their face buried in a map. Isn’t the whole point of traveling to sight-see and take in the different cultures and cuisine? In addition to looking vulnerable, you’re also missing out on everything that the place you’re visiting has to offer. Study your maps and schedules before you leave the hotel!
Let Someone Know
Traveling by yourself means that you have to set up precautionary measures, just in case. It’s a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary or travel plans with a family member or friend at home. You should also consider keeping a photocopy of your passport with someone you can trust.
For United States citizens, there is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that helps travelers should you have an emergency. For the most part, just keep someone informed of where you’re going; even only the front desk clerk at the hotel, and you should be fine.
Keep it Simple
Before you leave on your trip, lay out what you think you’re going to need and then cut it in half. It’s better not to have enough than to have too much; remember you’re traveling alone.
Once you reach your destination and you decide it’s time to do some sight-seeing, keep in mind that not everyone can be trusted. It’s smart to keep your expensive gadgets and valuables adequately hidden, and not all in the same bag. If you don’t need it, keep it at the hotel. The majority of them come with safes. The same can get said for your passport.
While all of the suggestions are there to protect you and make sure that you have a fun and safe trip when you’re traveling by yourself, the important thing to remember is to have fun. When you go on vacation, don’t stay cooped up. Put yourself in the position to get to know the locals where you travel. Use the hostel common room, local restaurants, bars, museum tours or anything you want. A lot of the time, you’re going to find someone who shares the same interests as you do. Hey, you might even find someone else traveling alone. Happy Travels!