The Perks of Solo Travel and How to Do It
many of us want to travel solo may feel intimidated to do so. The thing is if we always wait for friends or even family to be available, we might not ever get the opportunity to travel our bucket list places! I know I’ve personally had family and friends who were worried about my safety while traveling alone; maybe it’s the same for you. I’m here to offer you my tips on traveling alone: the benefits of it, how to go about it safely and how to meet new friends while at it.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You have to plan your trip yourself. You are totally in control of everything to do with your trip: from booking the flights to where you’ll be staying.
Navigating things on you own. This is where GOOGLE MAPS will become your best friend! Traveling solo often means figuring things out most of the time on your own.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
Safety is literally everything when you are traveling solo. Here are some of the things I do to make sure I stay safe while still having fun:
Research the country/place that you want to travel to before going.
See if you might know someone who lives there and can be a point of contact to show you around and show you the ropes.
Go through a group or travel company. (That way you are still mostly traveling alone but do have a group that you can do some things with, if you aren’t ready to venture out completely alone)
Book a flight that lands in the morning or afternoon. (You don't want to get to a place when you’re by yourself, in the dead of night.)
Sort your ride out before you arrive. (Not only is this super convenient and won’t have you scrambling for how you will get to where you need to, it’s also just a secure thing to know you have a ride waiting for you when you land.)
Don’t get wasted. ( I’m all about having fun- that is responsible fun when I’m out traveling alone. It’s always a great idea to be aware of your surroundings and not have your judgement impaired.)
Never let strangers know where you’re staying. (If you want, you can give them a general area; it’s important to remember that while someone may be nice: you don’t know them or their intentions.)
Sure you want to travel alone, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t mind making friends right? Right. Making friends while traveling solo doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems, here are some ways I do it:
Other people seeing you alone can result in them coming over and speaking to you more frequently. (When you travel alone you are far less intimidating to confront and so it’s definitely more of a frequent thing vs. traveling with a group.)
Stay open minded.
Airbnb Experiences. (There are tours to explore the cities through local eyes and more often you'll find millennials as either the host or part of the group)
You can join tours.
Stay in hostels (Hostels are great opportunities for meeting other travelers. They also put on activities and do tours.)
Don’t be afraid to approach someone and start up a conversation. Talk to locals about cool spots to go out to. (If you are at a restaurant ask a waiter, that’s always a great option.)
I can’t tell you enough about why I think that traveling alone is such a great idea, but let’s get to why I think it’s also just good for you as a person to do so at least once in your life!
When you travel you gain confidence. This confidence comes from the fact that you are the only person you can rely on, you don’t have friends around to talk to people for you or make decisions- it’s all up to you! One of the greatest things that comes from, is how much you learn to enjoy your own company. When you travel alone you can spontaneously change your route, or destination without having to see if everyone else will agree, and that in itself is such a liberating feeling. Sometimes you find yourself somewhere you didn’t expect and in awe of a sight you mightn’t have seen, had you gone with your original plans. There’s no other experience like having an adventure alone and being able to really soak it all in. I recommend for everyone to try traveling alone at least once, you grow so much as a person. You’ll come back with such a new found confidence and connectedness with yourself.