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5 Solo Travel Tips

The idea of traveling alone may seem overwhelming at first. I understand the feeling, but overcoming this initial fear can be extremely rewarding. My first solo trip took me halfway across the world, and it turned out to be the best experience of my life. While I’m not suggesting that you do the same, I want to assure you that your solo trip will be an experience worth having. So take a deep breath; we can do this together! Below, I have some tips to help you prepare for your journey.

Research

  1. Research the location: It is important to do your research. Start by researching the native language and whether your native language is commonly spoken there. Additionally, look into the cultural norms, including food and water safety for travelers, appropriate clothing, body language, and customs. You can dive as deeply as you would like, but the ultimate goal is to appreciate and respect the local culture, not to offend locals or endanger yourself.
  2. Research the best time to visit: Research the destination’s season (rainy/dry) and consider what would be the best time for you to visit. Be wary of certain destinations known for hurricanes during hurricane season for safety reasons. Outside of the weather, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season if you’re not interested in attending a particular seasonal event. During the shoulder season, you’ll find fewer crowds, lower prices than the peak season, and shorter wait times for activities, restaurants, or events. Personally, I love the idea of fewer people, as it allows you to enjoy a place even more without feeling rushed.
  3. Research safety in the area: You can use resources like the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory to research your travel destination. Another helpful tip is to read or ask for information about your destination on Reddit, where many travelers share their experiences. You can also watch videos on YouTube or other platforms to get an idea of what to expect. For U.S. citizens traveling internationally, it’s recommended to sign up for the free  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By doing so, you can receive important updates and alerts from the State Department and get assistance during an emergency.
  4. Research your accommodations: It’s essential to choose accommodations that prioritize your safety and comfort. Whether you’re considering a hostel, hotel, vacation rental, villa, or resort, reading reviews and ratings can help you determine what will best suit you. Pay attention to factors such as location, security measures, and guest feedback on cleanliness and staff behavior. The same goes for planning excursions, thoroughly research tour operations, and read reviews to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Pack the Essentials

Almost my entire trip, I complained about how my first aid kit was a waste of space until I fell off a motorbike on day 18 of my solo journey. It was not a pretty sight, but fortunately, I had my first aid kit to treat myself until reaching the local doctor’s office the next day. Try not to overpack if you can. Pack medicine and vitamins, personal hygiene essentials, a first aid kit, a portable charger, a safety alarm, a reusable water bottle, and a door stopper or lock. Check out the portable door lock

Arrive early

Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience, offering the freedom to explore at your own pace. It also means taking full responsibility for yourself and journey. Arriving at the airport early is crucial, especially if it’s your first solo trip or if you tend to feel anxious in airports. Getting there hours before departure can help you navigate security and check-in with less stress.

Consider scheduling your flight to arrive during daylight hours to enhance feelings of safety and allow for easier navigation of your new surroundings. It’s also a good idea to arrange transportation services from the airport to your accommodation in advance, especially if you’re arriving at night. This ensures a smooth transition and provides peace of mind as you begin your solo adventure

Don’t overshare

While it’s natural to feel excited about meeting new people, it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to sharing personal information. Avoid sharing specifics about your lodging location or the fact that you’re traveling alone. Instead, consider mentioning that your travel companion couldn’t join you for this event or activity, without further elaboration.

If asked about accommodations, it’s safer to mention a common hotel or vacation rental in the area rather than sharing exact details. It’s crucial to prioritize your safety and avoid sharing. Side note: If you plan to meet someone you’ve just met, always opt for a public location for you safety, security and peace of mind. 

Be Confident

Embrace your role as a traveler, not just a tourist, and enjoy your freedom! It’s great to have a travel plan, but don’t forget to leave space for unplanned adventures. Keep your loved ones informed about where you’ll be, and if you feel comfortable, let your hotel know too.

Walk and talk with confidence, knowing that you’ve done your research and preparation. Take a deep breath, trust yourself, and remember: you’ve got this!

Disclaimer: Solo Travel Caution – Your Safety Matters

While I encourage and celebrate the spirit of solo travel, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not all destinations are created equal in terms of safety. Your wellbeing is my utmost priority, and I urge you to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before embarking on any solo adventures.

Safe travels!


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