Solo travel can be difficult. You have to make the decision to fly and take your bags. Solo travel can be very different from what people imagine.
Solo travel can be very rewarding, empowering and inspiring for many women, as I found. Whatever reason you have for choosing solo travel, I applaud and encourage you to make the most out of it.
It’s your first solo trip. When you’re out exploring, adopt a relaxed and secure posture.
The right people will find you approachable and you won’t be a target for the wrong people. Do you feel confident? Fake it until you make it.
However, being too visible as a foreigner in a country can lead to distasteful glances or even tourist scams. You’ll learn so much about your host country by being a local.
Dress like the locals. Talk at a suitable volume. You will learn to listen and observe, and the world will open up before your eyes.
Even if you don’t speak the exact same language, smiling can go a long way. Don’t assume that all locals will take advantage of tourists. A smile can make it easier to have a pleasant conversation or to meet new people.
Make sure you have a backup plan
My top tip is to always have the address of your hotel on you, just in case you need it.
When you travel between countries, keep your passport safe and in a secure place. When I travel, I keep an extra $50-100 in my bag or on me. A bra or shoe is a great hiding place!
Be sure to check before you go
To ensure you are heading in the right direction, check maps and transport schedules prior to leaving your hotel or tourist bureau. You’ll enjoy the surroundings more if you have a general idea of where you are going.
Let someone know
I recommend that you leave your itinerary and brief overview of destinations with someone back at home. Also, make sure to take a photocopy or your passport. It is smart to inform someone at the hotel where you are going, even if it’s someone behind the counter, if you’re leaving for the day.
You can sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program if you are a US citizen. This program assists travelers in times of emergency.
Reserve in Advance
Book your airport transportation and accommodation in advance if this is your first trip. Ask the hotel if they will arrange for a driver to pick up you from the airport or a shuttle service.
In case of emergency, keep the number and address of the hotel with you.
This can help you to relax when traveling alone for the first time.
Only take what you need
Lay out all you will need before you leave. Then, take half of it. Keep your valuable gadgets safe and secure when you travel or are out for the day.
Keep your valuables separate and in different places.
Do not stay in your hotel room, on Skype or online. Get out! Go out and explore the world.
Although it can seem daunting to travel alone, it is also a lonely experience. However, the best way to overcome the loneliness is to go out and make friends. It doesn’t hurt to start a conversation, whether it’s in a hostel common room, on walking tours, or at a local eatery.
Being alone in unfamiliar territory can be stressful. But, do yourself a favor. Relax. You’re here. This is the beginning of a new journey. Slowly and bravely take it one step at a while.