Advice on how best to travel alone.
As an ex flight attendant, I’ve traveled all around the world and spent a lot of time alone while traveling. Solo travel can be an incredibly rewarding experience and I recommend everyone does it at least once in their life. You learn a lot about yourself and you’re open to experiences you maybe wouldn’t be if you were traveling with friends. Traveling by yourself is great because you don’t have to accommodate anyone else, and can do what you want to do at your own pace without worrying about someone else. Through all my solo travel, I’ve learned a lot of things, some of them the hard way. Here are some of the best tips to keep you prepared, safe, and ensure you’ll have a good time during your solo adventures.
Before heading off to a new place, it’s really important to do your research on the place you’ll be visiting. Get an idea of the places and landmarks worth visiting, but it’s also beneficial to learn about the culture. There may be do’s and don’ts in their culture that you’re unaware with. Respecting the local culture is really important and a good impression with the locals can get you far. By doing a little research, you may also be able to find some helpful tips or tricks that are useful for the city you’re visiting.
Buy Local Sim Card
I highly recommend buying a local sim card. You can typically find these at the airport when you arrive at your destination and they are usually inexpensive. Yes, you could download offline maps and use those to get around but having a local sim card is so much better and safer. You may find yourself in a situation where you may need to contact someone and there is no wifi available. Having a local sim will make your life easier and the trip more seamless as you can easily look things up whenever you need instead of having to wait for wifi.
Keep Belongings Secure
Unfortunately, crimes such as pick pocketing and theft are common. Sometimes these people may even target tourists. It’s important to keep your belongings safe if you’re leaving things behind in your accommodation while you explore. Keep valuables locked in a safe, if your accommodation provides. When you’re out and about, it’s important to keep your personal valuables safe while on you. Don’t keep your phone in your back pocket and consider getting a hidden wallet to keep under your clothes so your money and credit cards are close to you. I also recommend not wearing any expensive jewelry that will make you more of a target.
Tell Someone Where You’re Staying
If you’re traveling alone, it’s important to stay safe. Let a close friend or family member know exactly where you are staying, when you’re arriving, and when you’re leaving. Giving someone this information including addresses and phone numbers will help if there is any kind of emergency.
Bring A Book to Dinner
Sometimes having dinner alone can be the most difficult part of solo travel. If the restaurant serves food at the bar, sitting at the bar can be less uncomfortable than at a table for one. The bar is also a great place to meet other single people and get local tips from the bartender. If you’re sitting at a table you can also bring a book with you to give you something to do while you’re waiting for your food.
Be Open to New Experiences
While traveling alone, keep an open mind. It’s important to stay safe and not get yourself into dangerous situations, but if you trust that it’s safe, try saying yes to things that you wouldn’t normally do. Saying yes opens you up to new experiences and opportunities that you could otherwise miss out on. The unknown is exciting. You just might find a new hobby, a new friend, or your future partner.
Don’t Get too Drunk
Enjoy your time when you’re traveling, but be careful with your consumption of alcohol. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and you could find yourself in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation quickly. You need to look after yourself when you’re traveling alone. It’s okay to drink, but know your limits and never leave your drink unattended.
Solo travel can be an exciting experience and very fulfilling. You can fully indulge yourself and explore without the limitations of a travel companion. You also have the opportunity to make new friends. However, solo travel can get lonely at times. If you’re feeling lonely, remember you are only a phone call away from friends and family. If you feel your loneliness is taking a toll on your mental health, you could reach out to a professional for help. There are online counseling services that are great for traveling. Find out more information about online counseling here: https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/. You can speak to a licensed counselor anywhere, anytime that can provide you with guidance and the support that you need.
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