Solo traveler: Your complete guide

Traveling alone can be challenging sometimes. At first, scary, but then, once you master it, the feeling is so great!

Try this experiment… Before traveling alone, try going to lunch or dinner alone once a week then twice a week. After you managed to do this, your second step is to go to the movies alone. Sounds crazy? It works! Just try it! Eventually, with practice, you will be able to see that being alone…isn’t so scary.


After all, that is what we fear the most. Learning to be with yourself could be the best thing you ever do in your life!


Here are some tips and your complete guide for the solo traveler.


1. Book your flight


You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy the ticket.  Dreaming alone is not enough. Book your flight and issue the ticket. Once you do this, then everything starts to fall into place! 


2. Have Courage 


Courage is a practice, it’s not something you are born with. It comes with practice. Have faith in yourself and resist fear! Buy that ticket!


3. Copy your passport and ID 


Three times! Give one copy to your best friend, keep one copy at home and keep one copy on you at all times! Never leave your passport in your luggage!


4. Stay connected


It is ok to be unreachable and disconnect at times. But in case of emergency, always make sure you have given your friends and family your hotel number, and your cell number and stay connected. Write down the number of emergencies and your embassy details. Something, not a lot know about, I always message the most important people in my life before take-off and on landing for good luck. 


5. Arrive at the destination during the day


It’s not so important, but it does help in case you get homesick or anxious. Arriving during the day helps you to ease into the destination faster.


6. Travel light


It is an art to master! Once you do, travel will never be the same! The golden rule to traveling alone! Otherwise, you will have to carry that overweight bag up and down the stairs and to the train station all alone! Always practice in traveling light!


7. Pack a good book


 We all need that little bit of adventure with a good book to have you really enjoy those wonderful pool/beach times by yourself. Unless you prefer sleeping on a hammock then you can disregard this one…(Guilty) Just don’t bury your head in that book.


8. Learn the language


It is always helpful to go out and speak to locals, and learn their language firsthand. Sure, they can laugh at your pronunciation and maybe give you two thumbs up! 


9. Talk to the shopkeepers


You get fabulous inside tips on where to go, and what to avoid, and sometimes get caught up in their stories!


10. Don’t trust easily


No matter how kind, nice, easy-going, and connected you got, learn to create boundaries between a stranger and yourself. Always stay safe and carry a whistle with you. In the hotel, leave your DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door when you walk out.


11. Expect the unexpected


Make sure you know that any of the following can happen. Your flight might be delayed. Your hotel booking might have disappeared. The language barrier might lead to sign language. Your booked car might never show up so you will have to revert to getting a taxi and learn the rates to your hotel from the airport in order to avoid being ripped off. You might end up on the wrong train to Vienna. You might lose your wallet, (Thank goodness for a small coin bag). You might lose your passport (thankfully you have a photocopy). 


12. Get Insurance


Do you know how much money I saved thanks to travel insurance?! Flight delayed? No problem, we got you a room! Broke your arm in Asia while on a motorbike? No problem we will pay the $5000 hospital bill! Get insurance! You get the point!


13. Download great apps to help you along the way


The Outbound: Used to find the best local outdoor adventures, Wikitude: My favorite travel guide, you point your camera phone at an icon and it will tell you what it is! Citymaps2go when you are offline, Google translate, and Hopper, lets you know the best time to fly at the best cost. OBB train if you are in Europe traveling from Austria/Germany


14. Research, research, research


The more you know the more you are likely to succeed!


15. Have faith


It’s no fairy dust but has a little faith in yourself. You are born to travel across the world! Practice makes perfect!


16. Embrace it 


It might get lonely on the road, but don’t lose sight of all the beautiful things and people around you.


17. Be street smart


Learn to read maps, learn the way back home and depend on yourself to find your way! If you are in a cab, you can also track your cab through Google Maps to make sure he is on the right route.


18. Carry extra change


Do not keep all your money in one place, make sure you have a little pouch pocket purse with all your extra change and coins for easy access


19. Make sure you always carry the best gadgets


 Phone bank, a charger, and a plug with you – Otherwise you will be begging at each restaurant and shop for a charge and it won’t be pretty! I recently bought a Huawei Mate 8 and am amazed by the battery life!


20. Get an early start


You traveled alone for a reason. Start early, enjoy a run, your breakfast, a hike, or just the outdoor, and start exploring early!

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