Author: BRENDA BERG — CONTRIBUTOR
15 Tips for the Solo Traveler
Solo travelling can be daunting, scary and completely exciting. It’s easily one of the most popular ways to travel, and thousands of people embark on their journeys every single year.
Today, we’ll explore 15 key ways you can take advantage of this amazing opportunity and make the most of this potentially once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Look Around, Not into Your Guidebook
Don’t get me wrong; guidebooks are amazing things. They’re great ways to find out what lays before you in a city so you can plan exactly what you want to see and do. However, you can’t get the atmosphere or vibe of a city from.
When you arrive, get yourself a coffee and watch the locals. As the saying goes; when in Rome!
Talk to People
If you’re sitting in a restaurant with a friend, people will automatically just leave you to it. However, when you’re sitting on your own, you’re basically saying ‘Hey, come and talk to me!’. Be open to conversation, and you’ll never know who you’re going to meet!
Watch the Alcohol Consumption
Granted, some of us love to have a drink and going out on a night out. Some of us love to party; I get that, don’t worry. However, while you’re out travelling alone is not the same as going out in town with your mates. Find the sweet spot of having a good time and being responsible. Your safety depends on it.
If you’re in a hostel and someone asks if you want to go to and see something together or doing something the next day, just say yes! You’d be amazed of the experiences that can stem from a one-word answer! That doesn’t mean you should agree on every tour but the ones you feel are safe.
Look for Tourist Scams
Before heading to a country or city, look for common tourist traps and scams in that area. Being alone, you’re more likely to be targeted so make sure you’re aware of what’s going on, so you don’t get caught out!
Learn How to Chat
Many of us, especially in this day and age have lost the ability to communicate thanks to smartphones. When travelling, you’ll commonly start with a sentence like ‘who are you’ and ‘where you’re from.’ Learn ways to progress the conversation from here.
While travelling, the majority of your money will be spent on food, transport, activities, and accommodation. Why not keep the journey going by earning money while you travel?
Don’t Overburden Yourself
This means packing light. It’s tempting to try and pack everything you think you’re going to need, but the chances are that you probably won’t even use half the things you brought. To stop this happening, don’t pack so much in the first place!
Do Something Exciting
One of the best bits about travelling is that you don’t’ have to ask anywhere if they’re happy to do something, you can just do it, so make that something worthwhile! Maybe try some food you’ve never tried before. Do a skydive. Just do something out of your comfort zone!
Whether it’s your family or friends, for your own safety, always keep a few people updated on where you are. Your Instagram feed isn’t a reliable check in!
Noel Taylor, a solo travel writer for Ox Essays, continues, “It doesn’t hurt to give someone a call once a week, just to let them know what you’re up to. Whether you’re travelling alone or in a group, always touch base with home, just so people can be sure that you’re okay!”
Don’t Be Afraid to Say Hello
Saying ‘Hello’ is such a powerful word and you never know what it’s going to achieve. At the end of the day, everybody is human, and people are happy to talk, regardless of who they are!
Trust Your Instincts
If you’re walking down a road at night and your gut instinct is telling you something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so make sure that you trust it!
Don’t Be Afraid of Being Alone
Feeling lonely is natural human feeling. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone forever. Simply enjoy the time to yourself. Once you’re with people again, you’ll feel fine.
Learn the Language
There’s nothing more rewarding than going to another country and learning the language so you can have complete freedom in what you say to whoever you talk to. You can use sites like Academized for learning certain phrases while you’re out and about!
Working the 9-5 grind can be depressing, and it’s easy to forget to smile in life! Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing on your travels, stop, look around, take it in and smile! Enjoy life being this sweet!