Whether traveling alone or for pleasure, solo traveling can be a wonderful experience or a nightmare, depending upon your outlook and experiences. But by following these 5 tips, you are sure to get the most out of your solo travels.
- Don’t be Nervous – One of the worst things you can do when traveling alone is worry what others think. Most people will never notice you are alone, and if they do, so what? Do not be nervous or self-conscious, or you will ruin your trip before it begins. This is especially true when traveling for pleasure, but when traveling for business, the same can is true – when you are not with colleagues or clients, enjoy the solitude.
- Eat Smart – It is not uncommon to be afraid of going out to eat alone. To get over this, be smart about your meal options. Go to restaurants during the day, when it is brighter and less crowded. You will feel less out of place and more in control of your situation. For dinners, try to find local fast-food style eateries or sit at the bar.
- Be Safe – Understand that there are dangers to traveling, whether alone or in a group, and take precautions. Make sure someone at home knows where you will be, and schedule regular check-ins with that person. This can be once a day, twice a day, or whatever makes you comfortable, but this way if something happens someone, somewhere, knows. Also keep two room keys with you, one in a purse or wallet, and one tucked under a sock or somewhere else on your person, in case you are mugged. Preplan your transportation and drink responsibly while out. By understanding your dangers and having a plan in place, you won’t spend the entire trip worrying about your safety.
- Talk to Strangers – Whether you’re eating dinner at the bar, waiting for a bus, or looking at an exhibit at a museum, don’t be afraid to engage others in conversation. Some may not want to talk, but others will. And those who do may fill a boring night on a work trip, or tell you about something unique to do while traveling you’ve never heard of. Locals will know all the best attractions, some that even Google didn’t know about. Talking to strangers can be the best way to make lasting memories on your trip.
- Don’t be Afraid to Rest – When traveling for business, you might be used to spending the night down at the bar or out sightseeing all night. But if you need it, there is nothing wrong with calling it an early night and ordering room service. The same is true when traveling for pleasure. You will likely cover more ground alone than you ever could as a group, so your travel plans may become overwhelming. If that happens, it is OK to skip something and relax. Missing one thing will not ruin your trip, but getting exhausted or hurting yourself will.
If you find yourself traveling alone, following these tips will help you have the best time possible during your trip. And by staying safe, staying busy, and meeting strangers, you just may grow to love traveling solo.