Concerns about solo travel are common among those who care about us. Parents are not the only ones concerned about your solo travel plans. Siblings, friends, and spouses may also be concerned. This concern is not limited to solo travel. It can also be extended to loved ones who might be worried about your first overseas trip, even if it is part of a group or study abroad program.
In the lead up to your travel plans, one of the most important conversations you can have is with your family members. This will help you to deal with their reactions and to explain your intentions.
They will be concerned about your safety and will want you to know that they are not making rash decisions.
Solo travel can be an exciting and life-changing adventure. However, if you feel that your loved ones may try to talk you out of it, or are upset by your decision, it is worth having a conversation to keep the dialogue going.
Find the answer to “Why?”
This is the first reaction many people will have when you announce that you are going on vacation. In some cases the question may be “Why?”. So make sure to have a clear explanation.
Although the reasons for wanting to travel are not always clear, they can be explained by your parents.
You might also consider explaining why you are at this point in your life. This could include traveling before you start a career, moving between careers, studying abroad, or before you settle down.
How will you stay in touch?
It is very important to keep in touch with loved ones. However, they may be worried about losing contact.
You can estimate how often you will be able call, whether it is once per week or every other week. Also, consider whether you will be emailing during times when there are no phone lines.
It may not be enough to say “call when possible” to loved ones. Instead, show respect for their safety and commit to regular calls or email.
You should let your parents know if you plan to start a blog, or if you want to keep in touch via social media. Even if they don’t have the opportunity to speak to you, it will help them to know that you are well and are doing what you say.
There are usually internet cafes available around the globe where you can pay a small amount to access a computer and email your loved ones. You can also travel with your smartphone or tablet via Skype, so you can connect whenever you have WiFi.
An unlocked smartphone is a great idea, as it allows you to use international data plans. T Mobile is my best recommendation for American travelers. T Mobile’s service is affordable and you don’t have to sign up for 2-years like other providers.
T Mobile plans offer unlimited international data and free texting. This allows your loved ones to text you from their normal phone number, and you can upload photos to Facebook whenever you want without incurring outrageous data roaming fees.
Their service has been my go-to for almost a year. I can use it regardless of where I am in Mexico, Canada, or England.
Stresses how safe travel is generally
Safety is likely to be a major concern when you talk about traveling with loved ones. Make sure you discuss with them what safety precautions are being taken and how safe solo travel can be.
It will make your parents feel more relaxed if you tell them that you won’t be riding in recklessly to the hostel in Colombia with “that guy” from outside.
Plan your finances and travel insurance.
Find out more about your destination
After your parents have gotten over the news that you will be traveling alone, it’s time to dive into the details of your trip and the various considerations you made when selecting each destination.
You may choose to emphasize the cultural aspects of certain countries and minimize the “Full Moon Party”. This will depend on how you relate with your family members. Your parents will be able to see the highlights of each destination and understand your enthusiasm.
This will help you to demonstrate that you have done extensive research on important planning details such as:
- U.S. citizens can enroll their trip through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme (STEP).
- To ensure a safe trip, get travel insurance. It provides both medical protection and travel protection.
Create a visual itinerary
You can plan ahead by putting your itinerary and photos of the places you will be visiting in a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes people have a wrong idea of a destination. This can make it difficult to see the point.
Telling mom that you would like to travel alone to Mexico is different from showing photos of your plans to swim with Whale Sharks at Isla Holbox, or to do yoga at a Tulum resort. It stimulates a whole new level of imagination.
Traveling Solo Doesn’t Mean You’ll Be Alone
Solo travel is not without its challenges. It is important to have an open conversation about how you will interact with locals and fellow travelers while you are traveling.
Safety in numbers can be a comforting idea. It can also help you and your parents understand why you might want to go on a solo journey.