There’s nothing wrong about traveling solo; however, you have to realize you won’t have family and friends around to back you up if the worst case scenario happens. To make your solo trip more enjoyable, here are 15 tips I have used in the past to keep my mind (and trip) at ease:
1. Research the neighborhood ahead of time
There are a lot of shady hotels and neighborhoods out there. Before you book a hotel, check out TripAdvisor or major travel booking websites to see what other people are saying. Even if the hotel has amazing reviews, look at the negative ones to see what they had a problem with. Most destinations often have travel guides online as well.
2. Network with like-minded travelers
With the Internet, you don’t have to travel alone. If you really want to travel with some, consider networking on websites such as Pink Pangea and Go Girl Travel Network.
3. Let others know where you are
Make sure someone close to you at home has your itinerary. It also doesn’t hurt to let them know when you will check in with them. This way, if something were to go wrong, they would know where to potentially look for you.
4. Consider travel insurance
Travel insurance is available to anyone who travels, and it’s a great idea to have it if you’re traveling long distances. This insurance policy will cover any medical emergency, lost baggage, delays, rental car damage and more.
5. Download the “Smart Traveler” app
This app was designed by the State Department and will alert you of any travel issues in the area you’re going to. This is very helpful for those who are traveling out of the country.
6. Leave the valuables at home
Don’t bring anything of value such as your jewelry or wedding ring. By packing light and bringing the bare minimums, this will make you less of a target.
7. Hide your cash
While it’s okay to bring your cash, make sure you hide it and don’t bring it all out at once. Use the Internet to your advantage to find multiple ways to secretly hide your money.
8. Dress like a local
Nothing sticks out more than a tourist with a touristy t-shirt and camera hanging around your neck. If you can, try to blend in with the locals so you don’t stick out.
9. Consider portable alarms
A portable door and window alarm can be attached to any door or window to put your mind at ease. If opened, the alarm will sound, hopefully steering the criminals in the other direction.
10. Consider private transfers
If you can afford, consider private transfers to and from the airport. This can be very helpful, especially at night.
11. Use a GPS
Whether you’re using a car GPS or your phone, make sure you have some sort of GPS installed. This is a great way to get from one point to another if you feel lost. However, if you are lost, don’t check your GPS in public; instead, duck away to a private are to play it safe.
12. Consider group activities
If you’re going to a popular destination, consider looking for group activities ahead of time. This is a great way to meet with others and have fun at the same time.
Don’t let your anxiety get to you. Whether you’re staying in a hostel or roaming the streets, make an effort to talk with others to get to know them. Remember to use your natural instincts and never show your nervousness.
If you’re the type to get nervous, plan out your itinerary ahead of time. This should include the times you will arrive and leave your hotel, and the times when you will go out and about. If you really want to be advanced, you can even plan your restaurants. By doing this, you will know exactly where you should be at all time.
15. Stick to the days
Nothing ever good happens at night, so make it a habit of trying to travel during the day only.
Playing it safe, using your judgment, knowing your surroundings and planning your trip ahead of time are all great ways to enjoy yourself while traveling. Remember, you’re doing this trip to have fun, so you don’t want to stress out too much! If you have any tips, I’d love to hear about them as well.
About The Author:
Stephanie Lynch is a freelance writer who co-owns Howmuchisit.org – a cost-helping database designed to help consumers find out what unknown things cost in life. Feel free to reach out to her on Twitter at @howmuchforit