When you talk about being a solo traveler, many people automatically think of a gap year backpacker.
And although that is a wonderful way to see the world it is not for everyone. If backpacking isn’t for you it doesn’t mean you can’t plan a solo traveling trip, it just means it is time to sit down and decide what is the right way for you to travel solo.
Naturally the cheapest options are to backpack, people often do this and find work along the way to finance their continued travel. But there are so many more options, from companies that provide package deals for family holidays that also provide single traveller holidays right through to specialist companies that help you find the right solo holiday, even some that are geared up especially for the more mature solo traveler!
So if you haven’t gone solo before, but you’re ready to push yourself outside of your comfort zone then here are a few hints and tips to consider before you take the plunge.
1. Choosing your destination carefully.
If you are a first time solo traveler, think about your destination and go somewhere where you feel comfortable and safe to travel to. Maybe start with a holiday in your own country.
2. Buy travel insurance before you go.
Be mindful of how you carry your money and documentation. Don’t take unnecessary documentation. But have copies of any documents needed kept in different places.
Prevention is the way forward and don’t carry more cash than necessary. Try to find a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
3. Take a reliable mobile phone and pre-program numbers into your phone. Pick yourself up a solar phone charger if backpacking. Check out the safety apps available for your phone before you travel and install any you feel are useful.
4. Always plan to arrive at your destination in daylight. Stay in public places and don’t get caught up in a con. Rarely is anything free! Don’t tell strangers where you are staying, stay alert and stay sober.
Always carry the business card of your accommodation when going out and about, so that if there is a language barrier you can get back with ease.
5. Always trust your intuition and always walk with confidence. If you’re traveling somewhere culturally different, try to blend in and always be polite.
Provided you take sensible steps to stay safe you will be able to have the most amazing holidays as a solo traveler. You will learn and grow in so many ways and feel enriched by your experiences. You may also meet many wonderful and interesting people along the way. Many who are solo travelers too! They are generally keen to share ideas and experiences of amazing adventures they may have had that you could try on future trips.
So whether you choose to spend a weekend in a yurt on a yoga retreat or become a pilgrim embarking on a journey walked by many, choose to visit Australia or embark on a river cruise on the Rhine, one thing is for sure. You will have the most amazing experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. And remember to take lots of photos, but also keep a journal so that you can flick back through the pages in years to come and remind yourself of all the amazing places you have been!
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