Solo travel can be a powerful and empowering experience, but it’s important to be prepared and mindful of your safety. Here are some tips to help you plan your own adventure!
Local laws, social norms, and levels of safety can vary from one place to the next. Be sure to research your destination before you go!
1. Be Prepared
When you’re ready to explore the world on your own, a few simple preparations can go a long way in keeping you safe and having a smooth trip. Wawanesa recommends preparing for a solo trip by taking a small excursion near home to practice your travel safety tips and getting comfortable with traveling alone.
Share your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with them frequently while on the road. Having medical identification can be handy, too, whether it’s a bracelet with your contact information or an app that gives first responders important details about your health.
Pay attention to the people in your surroundings, and don’t stand around looking lost; it may make you an easy target. Also, avoid carrying valuables in the open.
2. Be Mindful of Your Safety
While solo travel can be empowering and inspiring, it also has its challenges. It’s important to be mindful of your safety and take the necessary precautions. This can include sharing your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member, keeping a travel journal, and staying in contact with home.
It’s important to stay aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts. It’s also helpful to have medical identification with you (like a bracelet or necklace with your medical information or an app on your phone that allows you to share emergency details). Don’t be afraid to socialize with other travelers and locals! Meeting new people can be one of the most rewarding parts of your trip. If you’re worried about feeling lonely, try staying in hostels or participating in group tours to meet like-minded people.
3. Be Open-Minded
Traveling alone gives you the freedom to explore your own interests and create your own adventures. Whether it’s a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a month-long excursion, make the most of your time abroad by researching local attractions and hidden gems that align with your passions.
Stay open to new information and consider how your biases might influence your interpretation of it. This will allow you to see things from a different perspective and make more informed decisions.
Loneliness is the biggest source of boredom for many solo travelers, so it’s important to seek out connection and socialize with others. Connect with fellow travelers through hotel happy hours, group tours, co-living and co-working spaces, and social meetups in your destination. It will not only alleviate boredom but also lead to lifelong friendships and shared adventures.
4. Be Flexible
Whether it’s during planning or while you’re on the road, be flexible enough to take advantage of new suggestions or opportunities. For example, if a stranger suggests you visit a local market or asks for a photo at different spots in the city, don’t hesitate.
It’s also a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in the language of your destination. This will allow you to interact with the locals more easily and can help deter unwanted attention from unsavory types.
Be sure to have local help numbers saved on your phone and carry medical identification in the event of an emergency, such as a bracelet with your health information or a smartphone app that offers this feature. You can also share your trip details with a trusted friend or family member before you depart so they’ll know where you are and be able to track your progress if needed.
5. Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to be able to take care of yourself when traveling solo. This is especially true if you are in an unfamiliar country where you don’t speak the language or aren’t familiar with local customs. Remember to always trust your gut instinct, and if something feels off, don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the situation.
You can also improve your safety by sharing your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member and checking in regularly. Additionally, you can use apps like “Find My Friends” to help keep loved ones updated on your whereabouts.
It’s also important to take time for self-care, and not let the boredom of traveling alone get you down. Find a yoga studio or book a massage to recharge and renew your energy.