A Few Tips to Consider Before Taking That Solo Trip...
I remember wanting to go to Europe (Amsterdam) and inviting friends to come along. I waited around for them to get time off, to get money together, to decide on dates… I waited so long that the prices just got ridiculous and I had to postpone. A year passed, and I felt like I was still waiting. Simply put.. I got tired of waiting for friends and decided to just go- solo. That was the beginning of my love for solo travel. Travelling alone has been one of the most liberating experiences that I would recommend more people do it at least once.
I will try to keep this short, so here are a few tips to consider before taking that solo trip leap. Keep in mind, some of these are general travel rules but especially important for solo travel.
Once, you know where you want to go (might write a post about picking a spot.. TBD)…
1. RESEARCH THE POLITICAL CLIMATE. This is a general rule but especially important when travelling alone. The last thing you want to do, is end up somewhere that is going through political turmoil and you’re stuck or uncomfortable, and alone.
2. Hotel > Airbnb. I love a good ol’ airbnb but when I am travelling solo, I like to stay where other people are (without sharing space). I also like that hotels always have someone available at the front desk to ask for help if I need it. (Hostels are also cool if you don’t mind sharing space/bathrooms… great place to meet other solo travelers).
3. Stay closer to major cities/populated areas. Major cities tend to be safer, and easier to navigate.
4. Does this country have phone service coverage or wifi? Can I be in constant contact with my loved ones? My phone company has great international coverage, but I also use whatsapp travelling abroad to stay in touch at home for freeeeee.
5. Don’t broadcast that you’re alone whenever you meet new people. Don’t make yourself a target. Yes, let your family and friends know where you are staying, but be cautious of telling everyone you’re travelling alone.
6. Is there going to be a language barrier? Do I need to learn a few useful phrases ahead of time? Are there cultural differences I should be aware of?
7. Don’t explore after it gets dark/odd hours. Be smart about the hours you leave and also be mindful of the transportation getting back to your hotel.
8. Pack a selfie stick/mini tripod. Unless I feel confident that I can outrun someone, I don’t ask strangers to take my picture. Sometimes if I see someone trying to take a selfie, I might ask if they want me to take it, and then ask them to take mine in return.
9. Stay alert, and try not to draw attention that you’re a tourist -- unless you feel comfortable asking for help if you need it. I don’t mind getting lost so I usually google map everything and put on my headphones and let the navigation tell me what to do (after having a pretty good idea of where I am headed)— still being mindful of the surroundings.
10. TOURS. Research tours and excursions before hand. Read reviews in advance, and have a few things in mind before you get there. I use tripadvisor often, not only for reviews but to get an idea of pricing for things that I might want to consider. Group tours are also a good way to meet people and also get your photo taken doing activities.
A few GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS to remember:
1. Check the weather. I almost went to Bahamas right before that storm, because I didn’t even check the predicted weather… or the hurricane season! Also sucks to go somewhere during the rainy season if you’re planning a lot of outdoorsy excursions or exploring.
2. Will I need a visa?
3. Make sure you have enough cash, just incase you end up somewhere without ATMs or your bankcard doesn’t work.
4. Alert your bank/credit card companies of your travel plans.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN! ( LMK HOW IT GOES!)
If you read this and feel like i left out something important… feel free to comment or send me a message. Thanks for reading!