While seeing the world with friends and family is an important aspect of traveling for many, others may experience a whole other level of fulfilment when traveling solo. If you ever truly want to discover yourself and expand your horizon, there’s nothing better than traveling the world alone. Unfortunately, people have tagged solo traveling with various insecurities, but it is all about cultivating a growth mindset. Experienced solo travellers claim that traveling alone can help you experience absolute freedom and the vast world around you. It is only when you are by yourself that you truly understand the things that make you happy. So, if you have never traveled solo but want to try it, then check the following tips for solo traveling.
1. Experience Everything
When you are traveling with people, you often end up limiting your experience by doing what other people prefer or say. The best part of traveling solo is that you can allow yourself to experience anything without anyone’s approval. Solo travellers can take part in all sorts of unique experiences and learn new things about themselves and the place around them.
For example, if you’re traveling to, why not try cave diving in the world’s largest concentration of sinkholes? Or, if you plan to travel to Arabic countries like Dubai, then try experiencing their culture and love for extreme activities. Taking a trip to Tennessee? Experience pure entertainment with lumberjack shows in pigeon forge that offer a real thrill. Long story short, the idea is to enjoy without waiting around for anyone else and explore as much as you can.
2. Think About Your Safety
Staying safe becomes a priority above all else when you travel solo, specially for newbies. The most important aspect of your safety while you travel is choosing the right destination. You have to be practical and realistic when choosing your place of adventure because things can easily go sideways if you are traveling somewhere risky. It won’t hurt to be cautious.
For instance, don’t tell people where you are staying or that you are traveling alone. Make sure you always give a stranger the impression that you are with someone, or you’ve been to this place a dozen times. Whenever you go out for the day, take your hotel’s business card, and never keep your credit cards, money, and documents in the same place. Moreover, it is great to be polite and friendly to the locals but don’t allow anyone to intimidate you.
3. Try To Socialise
The golden rule of solo traveling is to remember that traveling alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. The biggest obstacle between you and your solo trip is the fear of being alone. You don’t need to focus on the lonely experience. Instead, it should be about opening yourself to experiencing different cultures and feeling comfortable in different social circles. The gist of solo traveling is to focus on your surrounding and the people in them. For instance, you can familiarise yourself with the local language and make small talk with the locals. You can even book organised tours to experience temporary company and social time with other fellow travellers. You can go to the local coffee shop, restaurant, bar or take a class to learn about the community and socialise.
4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s in our nature to feel compelled to stay in our safe zone and do things that make us comfortable. Solo travel is the opposite of feeling comfortable because when you feel incomplete, you need to challenge yourself and step out of your cage. You don’t have to keep doing the same things or follow a routine on every trip. Try doing things that you usually find challenging, like watching the movies alone, trying strange street foods, not following your travel itinerary for a day, and embracing the fear of the unknown. Questioning ourselves every step of the way hinders growth, and you might end up making your trip boring.
5. Don’t Ditch the Plan
Having a travel plan does not mean that you’ll be doing everything by a checklist. Not ditching the plan in this context means that you plan your mode of traveling, accommodation, budget, etc., before embarking on a solo journey. Being spontaneous is important but ending up in a rundown hotel is not exactly a pleasant experience. Therefore, double-check your flight dates, visa, passport, and book your flights for a convenient time. Ensure you book your accommodation ahead of your arrival and do thorough research of the place you’ll be staying at. Read reviews, compares prices, and study the areas. Keep a map on you at all times and also keep important local numbers on your phone.
6. Learn to Depend on Yourself
More than often, we come to depend on others for so many things. Traveling alone is a great way of learning to depend on yourself and experience personal growth. When you are out there in a different country on your own, you start to realise that you have the problem-solving ability and that you can manage on your own just fine. You need to trust yourself and hold on to your independence wherever you go. Traveling solo can make you feel empowered and tap the creativity in you so that you can make the most of your journey. It is important to hold on to the idea that no prince charming will come to save you in your hour of need; you have to be well-prepared and rely on yourself to save the day.
7. Add Travel Insurance to Your List
While we are on the subject of ensuring that you aren’t in any kind of trouble during your solo trip, one good idea is to get travel insurance. Many seasoned solo travellers emphasise the importance of having travel insurance wherever you go. Anything can go wrong at any point of your trip; you can get into an accident or fall sick. When deciding on adequate insurance, you should check for the following things:
- Companion coverage for the person who will come to look after you in case you are in a hospital.
- Trip length limits and trip delay coverage.
- Possible baggage lost coverage.
- Trip cancellation, specially if it is a costly trip.
- Upfront payment for claims if you are required to pay the hospital on the spot.
- Emergency medical coverage.
Since you are traveling alone, you must be well-protected wherever you go. Having travel insurance also ensures that you don’t need to depend on anyone, even in case of an emergency.
The concept of being in a strange country all on your own is scary and overwhelming. However, this fear is what you need to overcome if you feel that you haven’t discovered yourself truly. Traveling solo is no easy feat but stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing the unknown is what allows you to challenge yourself and trust yourself. Ensure that you have a solid trip planned out with all the necessary arrangements regarding accommodation and flights. If it is your first solo trip, then try choosing a ‘safe’ destination and go for travel insurance if possible.