Your Guide to Traveling Solo
Here’s the thing: I’ve traveled in groups, and while I’ve had fun, I rarely got to do what I wanted to do. I had to adjust to others, and that meant compromising my interests. So one day, I threw anxiety and fear out the window and started researching how to travel alone. Here’s what I learned:
1. Choose a Safe Destination
If you already have a list of places you’d like to travel to, then you’re halfway there. But when traveling alone, you’ll want to do more research about the country and region of said country to ensure you’ll be in a safe place. I recommend heading over to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s website. They put out a yearly report that ranks nations around the world by how safe they are. Plus, if you didn’t have a list, you can also use the rankings as a starting point!
2. Do Your Homework
Take into consideration what the local culture of your destination is like.
- If the language is different, you’ll want to know a few key phrases and words.
- Are there any clothing restrictions? You may not agree with them, but when traveling alone you’ll want to blend in. You don’t want your wardrobe to scream “I’M NOT FROM HERE.”
- Are tourists common? If they aren’t, be prepared to answer a lot of questions.
3. Have Back-Up Money
Accidents happen; you just need to be prepared. Keep a backup credit card with you and make sure it works in that country. Don’t keep all your cash in one place—stash some in your wallet, a bit more in a backpack, and even consider a third place. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign place with no means of getting around or acquiring food.
4. Share Your Itinerary
Maybe you want to be off the grid for a while. It sounds liberating, but you’ll want to cover your bases. Make a short list of where and when you are going, where you will be staying, and how to contact you in case of emergencies. Make sure to only share this information with people you trust.
5. Stay Alert!
This doesn’t mean you should be on edge the entire time. You can relax, but be aware of what is around you. Simple things such as putting your earbuds away while in transit, or taking note of what belongings you brought with you will ensure you don’t get surprised.
It’s best to avoid getting drunk. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink at all! Just make sure you’re still able to get back to your hotel on your own.
6. Socialize with Limits
When meeting new people, keep in mind what and how much you are sharing. This includes social media. That A+ insta-worthy picture of you in your hotel? Yeah, best to wait until after you’ve left to post it.
7. Bring a Doorstop
This last tip may sound random, but it turns out to be quite useful! Just jam it under your door from inside the room to further secure the door to your lodging. If you're looking for even more peace of mind, you can even get a door stop that sets off an alarm if the door is opened.