Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Solo
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Travelling solo takes a lot of courage. You have to take full responsibility for everything: from purchasing a ticket, finding a place to stay, joining tours and saving money to cover all of your travel expenses. Solo travelers love the thrill of not knowing what’s up next, the challenge of independently taking decisions, and learning to trust themselves 100%.
Those who had their first solo experience i.e. “travelling solo” describe it as a soulful, and this is something I agree with. When you know how to travel alone, you also learn how to take in whatever the experience or the new surroundings can give you. This is totally unfiltered by preferences, tastes, or prejudices that come with having a traveling companion. When you travel alone, you can indulge fully as the adventure unfolds each chapter right before your eyes.
They say traveling solo is not for everyone and that’s understandable. At times travelling solo can be a scary experience since it comes along with safety concerns and one is pushed to step outside their comfort zone. Fortunately, these concerns can be easily addressed with a little preparation and knowledge on how to travel alone.
Here are some things one has to take care when travelling solo:
Share your Travel Itinerary with Friends and Family
Spare friends and family from worrying about your whereabouts by giving them a copy of your travel itinerary. This should include your flight schedule, hotel reservations, and information on tourist spots you plan on exploring. If you’re going on an international flight, take the time to register at the State Department so the consulate or the local embassy can contact you if ever the need arises.
Make a List of People to Contact in Case of Emergency
Write down the names and contact information of people to call should anything happen to you.
The list must include your own contact information, and other pertinent phone numbers that might come in handy. Case in point, you may need someone to call Credit Card Company because someone stole your card, or you need to activate some of its features.
Choose Accommodations that have Positive Ratings
Feeling vulnerable in a place that’s unfamiliar comes with the package when travelling solo. One way to ensure your safety is by reading up on hotels and Airbnb that are available in the area. Go for the ones that have numerous positive reviews and also scan through the reviews given by the guests who have stayed there. These reviews will give you insights on what to prepare, what to expect from the host, and what the neighbourhood or the area is like. You will also get information on how far it is from the airport and what kind of transportation is needed to get to the area.
Make Sure your Accommodation has Free Wi-Fi
Whether it be for entertainment or security purposes, you need to make sure that your hotel or Airbnb has free Wi-Fi. You can use the connection to Facetime or Skype friends and family to give them updates on how you are and places you intend to visit. You can also use this as a chance to reach out to friends who might be in the area to meet up with you and give you a tour. The wireless connection also allows you to finish pending work and look up for updates about your flight if need be.
Take Time to Enjoy your Meals
The best way to know more about a place is through their food. Allow yourself to enjoy each meal. Devour each dish as you reflect on the activities that happened during the day. You can also use this time to plan the rest of the trip, catch up on emails you may have missed or read a book. You can strike up a conversation with the bartender or the waiter to ask about the ingredients of the dish.
If you do not want anything too fancy, you drop by the local café where the environment is more casual. However, if you want some privacy, go to a restaurant. Each setting will give you a different experience, and that is totally fine.
Finally, but not the last – Meet Fellow Solo Travelers
Remember your first day in school where you knew no one but you had to step outside your comfort zone to meet new people? That’s what being a solo traveller is like. At some point, you will have to strike a conversation with other travellers. They can link you up with the best deals and give you traveling tips that you won’t be able to find online. Each city offers different opportunities that you might miss out on if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
Wake up early, take pictures, and make the most out of every day. Flying solo may seem scary at first but trust me when I say it will be the most memorable experience you will ever have.
Rekha Pant, is an IT professional, B.Tech from RGPV University, Bhopal. Along with her IT profession, she has also evolved herself to become a fluent writer covering different topics in Digital Communication, Education, Marketing and IT. With her rare talent, she has published ace blog pieces as a guest on many websites. For more information about her, you can check her profile on LinkedIn.