No matter which place you have decided to travel to, there are things you need to pay attention to apart from the tickets and lodging. And if you are going solo, then you would have to take care of a whole new lot of things.
Traveling on your own is an adventure of its own. It is just you, your experiences, and the world at your feet. But at the same time, there is no denying that, sometimes, while traveling solo, things can become a bit too much to handle; especially if it is your first time. Whichever place you are exploring could become daunting. And as you are taking care of everything by yourself, things might escalate quickly.
Here are the 4 Do’s you should strictly follow when you are traveling alone:
1. Plan and Prepare
The major appeal of traveling solo is the spontaneity. It sounds exciting and adventurous but that does not imply that you don’t need any preparation. Whether you are traveling in a group or entirely solo, you would still need to plan accordingly. You have to get prepared for the trip a bit differently since you are on your own.
Following a strict plan can be boring and it would take out all the fun. But, there is no harm in checking timings and other things twice. We all know that failure to prepare is a preparation to fail. Make a list of all that you need. Regular-use items such as toothpaste and sunscreen can easily slip your mind. Once you get there, you will be glad you packed them because you could not borrow them from anyone since you are traveling solo.
Experiencing freedom is great. But at the same time, you have to bear in mind that since you are traveling on your own, you have to take full responsibility for everything and make things work by yourself.
2. Keep People in the Know
This is extremely important. If God forbid you were to get lost or go missing, your friends and family should know that you have gone missing. Your partner/friend or any other family member could use a location tracking app, such as Xnspy, to know your whereabouts. Using such an app could come in handy as this way, your loved ones can know about the last place you visited.
As a solo traveler, it is essential for you to take such measures. It is necessary to do so because when solo travelers go missing, quick response time could actually make a huge difference between life and death.
3. Travel Insurance
As dull and boring it may sound, you need to get some travel insurance. Getting traveling insurance is vital for a solo traveler. This is important because you might not have a friend nearby to help you out if you come across some accident like twisting your ankle or any other injury.
4. Look after your things
Sounds obvious, right? But this is quite important. Since you are not traveling with your family, friends or partner so, there won’t be anyone to look after your possessions.
When going solo, see that you make regular checks. Famous tourist attractions and crowded areas have pickpockets roaming about. So, don’t leave your handbag or backpack unattended. Take it to the bathroom if you have to. Although it is not ideal, it is better than losing it.
Now, let’s take a look at the 4 Don’ts of solo traveling:
5. Don’t announce that you are alone
This is essential in every case but more so if you are a single woman. Do not boast about traveling on your own to every person you come across. This shows that you are vulnerable and also substantially boosts your chances of getting mugged and exposed to a bad experience.
Traveling is all about learning, gaining experience all the while, exploring new places. But you would surely want those experiences to be good, right? Just because you wanted to see the city’s real side, you ended up in a dark alley and got mugged. That is no positive experience. Avoid going to dodgy parts of the city on your own and stay in crowded and well-lit areas.
Also, do not remind yourself over and over again that you are on your own. You are not. Your friends and family know where you are. If someone makes you uncomfortable and want an out from a conversation, you could always say something like you are meeting your friends or waiting for your parents to join in for dinner.
6. Learn about the Locals and Traditions
Do your homework. Read up about the local traditions and rules of the place you are visiting. You could have a miserable trip if you are traveling alone and become an unpopular traveler in town. When you want to go to a place, certainly you would want to know more about it. As you are interested in exploring and learning about a town, learn about its local traditions and rules.
It is possible that what you think of as a normal gesture or word, is considered rude or disrespectful someplace else. So, always do your research. Learn about the places you are about to visit and respect the rules of those places. This way, you can avoid calling unnecessary attention to yourself. Learn some basic language skills in the area. They can be immensely helpful for asking directions and fulfilling your basic needs. You should be able to speak basic sentences. And if you are unable to ask for simple things, it could put you at a disadvantage when you are in a foreign land.
7. Don’t exchange Money
It is important to have cash on you at all times, for emergencies and to buy street foods and souvenirs shopping. But, it is quite pricey to exchange money in a foreign country. Even dangerous sometimes. Trusted names and airports charge a lot of money for exchange. If you need to, then it is better to get your money exchanged into the local currency of the place you are going before you set out. Otherwise, you could also get a credit card. You can consider getting a credit card with no foreign transactions fees.
In bigger cities, you can check out with major credit cards almost everywhere. So, it is better if you just set up a budget and use a credit card.
8. Don’t Fret
Last but not least, remember to have fun. You don’t have to be paranoid or constantly look over your shoulder. Just consider that as you are alone in a new place, it calls for more care and planning. If you are an avid traveler, you already know how vendors and hustlers try to rip off more money from you trying to take advantage of your solo status. Traveling alone doesn’t get you the advantage of “safety in numbers.” Stay sharp and have fun!
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Booking a Flight. When finding cheap flights, we try a combination of search engines to ensure we’re not missing out on the best deals. We use SkyScanner, Expedia, Kiwi.com, Kayak, and Google Flights, then compare them to the prices shown on the airlines’ website.
Booking Accommodation. We prefer staying in hotels. Booking.com is our favorite when it comes to finding the cheapest rate. Again, it won’t hurt to check the hotel’s main website. They usually offer discounts for booking directly with them. For last-minute booking, check out HotelTonight. There are also other types of accommodation like Airbnb, hostel (Hostelworld has the largest inventory), and Couchsurfing.
Sightseeing & Tours. We like DIY tours - it gives you freedom and flexibility. You can take advantage of the CityPass and Sightseeing Pass. But we have joined in several tours that maximized our time and made our trip easier. Feel free to check out Intrepid, and Trusted Tours & Attractions for discounted offers.
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