Considering a solo vacation? It may be the best way to clear your mind this summer. Here are the best tips for traveling by yourself.
People who’ve taken solo vacations know that it is the epitome of self-indulgence. Many describe it as an almost religious experience. It’s one of those things that you have to do at least once in your lifetime.
Traveling by yourself means you do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. You don’t have to worry about feeling guilty that you’re having the time of your life while your travel partner is bored out of their mind. Your itinerary is on your own terms.
Have no desire to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Just drive on by.
In this article, we explore some of the ways you can stay safe when you’re traveling solo. Read on.
1. Sharing Is Caring
Spontaneity is great and all but, it’s not to be mistaken for recklessness. Do the responsible thing and let your close friends or family members know that you’ll be out of the state (or country).
Tell them how long you’ll be away for. Sharing your itinerary with a friend or a family member will make certain that someone’s keeping track of your whereabouts.
Share your flight details as well as your hotel reservations. In case the worst happens your people back home know how to find you.
2. Make Copies of Your Travel Documents
If you’ve heard all the horror stories surrounding losing vital identification documents while you’re in a foreign country, then you know just how important it is to keep these documents safe. Losing something like your passport while you’re abroad could leave you stuck at some border or worse still, your own country could deny you entry back home.
To avoid this eventuality, make two copies of your passport identification page and leave one of them with your emergency contact back home. Carry the other copy with you in your carry-on.
3. Don’t Get Drunk
We’re not saying that you need to be a teetotaller but it’s important to maintain some level of sobriety during solo travel excursions. At the risk of stating the obvious, don’t accept drinks from strangers.
So, if you have a lot weighing on your mind, perhaps thinking about which attorney to retain for your looming divorce (read more here) it’s probably in your best interest to stay far away from the liquor. You might wake up to find yourself immersed an ice bathtub missing a kidney. Hope that paints a picture.
4. When in Rome
Try and blend in with the locals. Standing out from the crowd while you’re on your single travel adventure isn’t always a good thing.
Start by leaving expensive jewelry at home. The last thing you want is to attract the attention of a thief.
If you’re a woman, pay close attention to the local customs of the people there. In some parts of the world, you might need a little extra cover up to be socially acceptable.
5. Two’s Company
One of the perks of solo travel groups is that you get to meet lots of new and interesting people along your journey. If you feel particularly nervous about taking the plunge into a solo trip, volunteering in a foreign country is a great way to ease yourself into travel. What’s more, you get to build solid friendships and experience new adventures within the safe confines of a volunteer organization.
6. Take Everything with a Pinch of Salt
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with information. Drama sells stories and more often than not, the stories we hear about events in different cities of the world are often exaggerated. Others are outright lies.
If you pay too much attention to these stories you won’t venture anywhere beyond a couple of blocks from your home. The more you travel, the more you’ll come to realize the world is full of wonderful and amazing humans.
7. Front Pockets Are Your Friends
We can’t stress this enough. Don’t give pickpockets an easy time lifting your wallet or purse.
They’re so skilled at it you won’t even feel a thing. Keep all your valuables in your front pockets.
8. Always Plan Your Exit
If it’s good enough for Jason Bourne, it’s good enough for you. Anytime you feel like you’re in a dodgy situation, it always helps have a mapped out retreat strategy in place. So if you’re in a new hotel room, ask yourself how you would quickly exit the building if you suddenly found it besieged by zombies.
9. Traveling by yourself: Hide your Money
Money makes the world go round. So don’t keep it all in one place. There are lots of creative ways you can employ to keep it out of sight.
For instance, sew some hidden pockets inside your jeans and hide some of it there. You could also create a false bottom in the soles of your shoes and hide some there as well. The point is, money is the lifeline of your trip, so you need to keep it secure.
10. Pack a First Aid Kit
If your trip involves hiking up mountains, descending through valleys, chances are you‘ll get some cuts, bruises, and blisters. You might even find yourself getting injured at sea. A first aid kit that has some band-aids, antiseptic, ointment and pain-killers will come in handy in those situations.
11. Don’t Eat Everything
One of the best things about traveling has to be the exotic foods you get to sample. Before you go diving into the deep end and eating without inhibition, you might want to consider if what you’re about to dig into is safe at all.
Remember, many countries don’t have the same health codes as those of the Western world. So, if a place looks dirty, well, need we say more?
Some Final Thoughts
For the most part, the world is a pretty safe place if you’re traveling by yourself. But, it’s always a great idea to prepare for the worst.
Use the tips in this article to stay safe to get the most out of your solo trip. It’s definitely worth your while.
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