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!