How to travel alone safely your first time
Essential tips on how to travel alone. With covid around more people are opting to travel solo! The world is officially your oyster. It’s natural to be a little apprehensive about it, especially if you’re visiting a new city or country that you’re not familiar with. I have ten tips to help with your first solo trip. They’re best practices that you can use whether it’s your first trip or your twenty-first solo trip.
10 solo travel tips
- Book Your Package with a Comparison Site
The joy of traveling alone is that you have the ultimate flexibility. You don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule and whether they can make a certain flight time or date. Websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, and Trivago are your best friend. Start planning your first solo trip by choosing a ballpark time that you’d like to go. The more flexible you are with your dates, the more deals you can access. Comparison sites will show you all the options available from different airlines and hotels. Save your pennies and choose an early or later flight.
- Keep Copies of Everything
Usually, when you’re traveling with someone, you can rely on them to keep an eye on your things. When you’re by yourself, it’s easy to misplace things like hotel confirmations and even your ID. Take photographs of every piece of documentation that you need, as well as having scanned copies somewhere that you can easily access. One of the most important things is to make sure that you have an extra copy of your travel insurance on you at all times. You never know what might happen or when you could need it.
- Check-In Regularly Back Home
Once you start your solo trip, make sure that your friends and family know where you are. You don’t need to check in with them multiple times during the day, but make sure they have a rough idea of your schedule. It’s a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member. Check-in once a day or every other day so that your friends know you’re okay. It’s only natural for them to worry about you. It can also help with the loneliness that you can experience when solo traveling. Take plenty of pictures and send them back home.
- Learn How To Blend In
We have all been somewhere and have instantly spotted a group of tourists. If you’re traveling by yourself, you want to learn how to blend into the crowd. The last thing you want to do is draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Dress modestly and keep in mind the social context of where you’re visiting. What you might think is normal everyday dress might be a lot more eye-catching than you think it is. If you love photography, leave your DSLR at home and work off your iPhone. Otherwise, you could become easy prey for pickpockets and thieves.
- Make Small Talk
Without a doubt, the hardest thing about solo traveling is the fact that you’re by yourself. Familiarise yourself with the art of making small talk. Speak to the waiters who serve you and the staff at your hotel. You never know, it might even help you pick up the language. One thing to keep in mind is to not share where you’re staying with strangers – no matter how nice they seem.
- Trust Your Gut
If there’s one thing that all travelers can agree on, it’s that your gut feeling is always right. If you have a bad feeling about something, then follow your instinct. You might think you’re being paranoid, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – especially when you’re on your own. You want to feel comfortable with everything that you’re doing, and you need to know that you’re safe. While traveling is a way of getting out of your comfort zone and discovering a new version of yourself, your natural instinct is rarely wrong.
- Don’t Overpack
We are all guilty of it sometimes. We think that we absolutely need that extra pair of yoga pants – or that we will 100% wearing a different pair of shoes every day. When you’re traveling alone, you’re going to have to carry everything yourself. One of the benefits of traveling solo is that you can get up and go whenever you like. If you’ve overpacked and are lugging several heavy bags of luggage behind you, this can be easier said than done. Try and pack as light as possible and only bring the essentials. If you need another t-shirt, you can find a Zara in almost any country.
- Document Your Journey
It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful sights and to forget to document your journey. Traveling solo is a unique experience and you should try to capture as much of it as possible. It’s a great idea to keep a journal that you can write notes in throughout your travels. Even little notes about the places you have visited, the foods you have tried, and your favorite things about your destination. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos. Document the little moments as well as the big ones.
- Stick To Your budget Budget
One drawback of alone traveling is that you have to pay for everything yourself. There’s no way you can go 50:50 on a hotel bill by yourself. You need to establish a budget early on and stick to it. It’s best to pay for your accommodation and flights upfront and then save for the additional costs separately. Set yourself a daily budget, as well as an overall budget, and keep track of your expenses in a notebook or on your phone. You’ll always want to make sure that your budget includes an extra cushion of cash in case something happens. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a foreign country with no money.
- Have an Emergency Plan
In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you need to have an emergency plan. Having travel insurance will take care of most of this, but it’s important that you know what you’re going to do if an emergency happens. If you have to leave at short notice, do you have the cash to pay for a new flight? If you fall sick, which of your friends are you going to call? Make sure to have the number and information for your embassy on hand. It’s always better to be prepared!