Whilst traveling in a group is quite common and assuring, solo travel is also a widespread trend. By choice or by necessity, many people have to travel alone because of conflicting schedules for possible travel buddies, for budget purposes and all other reasons. Whatever reason that is, solo traveling is a total unique experience and can be as an empowering way of traveling, and self-discovery despite some inconveniences.
People who have never traveled alone often describe their first solo trip as almost a life-changing, fairy tale experience. They somehow come home renewed and filled with amazing stories to share. If solo travel has been sitting and idly waiting on your bucket list, probably this coming year is the time you cross that out and fulfill it. You’ve probably heard many stories on the happy side (and unhappy side) of solo travel. But here are some tips you can keep in mind before you take that wonderful experience of solo traveling.
Keep a curious mind towards yourself
Sometimes we are a bit certain of ourselves whether we want to be left alone or if we want to socialize in our travels. But mostly, solo travelers would always say they’d discover something new about themselves after they took that brave step of traveling solo. Are you a social person and you want to be the center of attention or are you an introvert? Solo travel is a perfect tool to discover your true self. And how your best self would perform in different situations. That is, of course, if you do choose to clean your slate of self-awareness and just surrender to your new adventure.
Prepare to enjoy your own company
Being alone for days and weeks can be daunting. However, you might fall in love with your own company along the way. But if somehow, you find yourself feeling lonely and looking for company, probably a good book, listening to a good playlist while you take a walk on the busy streets of the city you’re in, or just plainly sitting quietly on a park bench and enjoy the perks of people watching would help you shift to feeling lonely to being able to enjoy your alone time.
When you’re a solo traveler, this means you can only depend on yourself on everything including carrying your own stuff around. So, it’s a smart decision that you bring only a single backpack and pack it as light as you can this helps you to move around lightly and with no hassle of carrying more than one luggage. While packing for solo travel don’t forget to pack a travel sheet as it helps you to have a perfect good night sleep. Avoid valuables, as much as possible, so you pay little attention to your valuables and can enjoy the moments more. Always maintain a healthy and light diet during your journey otherwise, it might create some health problems and would leave you no choice to just take a trip to the hospital instead of adventurous trips.
Be prepared on how to document your solo travel
Carry a camera and a selfie stick so you can take images. Remember, you will be alone and you’ll have to depend on yourself to take photos of yourself in your adventures. Unless you’re sociable enough to ask for strangers to take a photo of you. Or better yet, try to journal your travels if you prefer to write down your journey. Carry a journal and a pen with you since this is also another way of beating your down times when you’d feel lonely. Writing down stuff is very therapeutic and relaxing and it’s also a good “story” book when you get back home and would want to re-live the experience after your solo travel. It will not only fill your loneliness but also help you to make some good memories. Your family members and friends will appreciate your perspective and story that comes with it.
Prioritize your safety
Perhaps, the foremost concern for the solo traveler is safety. Journey without a companion makes you vulnerable and at risk to people who only wants to take advantage of you. These people would target travelers who are alone and seemingly helpless. As a strategy, always find a way to keep in touch with your family and friends to update them on your situation. Maximize the use of technology and the internet to keep in touch with them. Also, leave a copy of your tour itinerary if you’ve had it planned beforehand so they can track you in an emergency. Never be aggressive and always believe in your instincts in handling sketchy situations you may possibly put yourself into.
Definitely, solo traveling has its demerits too – like safety concerns and loneliness. But prior preparation, research and a positive mindset can help you and minimize the risks. All the wonderful things are outside your comfort zone. So, go out there and explore the possibilities and wonderful world of solo traveling. You will be surprised on what you might discover about the world and about yourself but most especially but keep in mind your safety.
To more safe and exciting travels for all of us be it solo or with friends!
Happy new year from Brave Era!