When taken in the larger context of one’s life, traveling solo is like a litmus test. Sail through a solo trip, and you know you’re rigged to brave and handle even the delicate of situations that life throws at you. For most, traveling solo is not only a life lesson but also ends up being spiritual as well. It takes courage and stepping out of your comfort zone. Traveling alone takes flexibility and an open mind, when you have no one but yourself and the universe to rely on, things can get pleasantly intense.
Traveling solo is something everyone should do at least once in their lives. It helps us learn to be comfortable with our self … to appreciate peace, and most importantly it helps us uncover the deep ends of our emotional spectrum.
You don’t always have to share your experiences with someone else – you’d be shocked to discover how different your surroundings are when you see them through your own lenses without anyone else’s two cents. And hey, nowadays everyone is always busy in social media so you can, technically, share your experiences with someone else real time!
Of course, traveling solo has its jeopardy too – such as safety concerns, loneliness and the dreaded single supplement. But a little preparation and common sense can save you money and get you through the rough spots.
Traveling Solo – Tips to Be A Successful Solo Traveler
In order to make sure the intensity is of the pleasant kind, there are some basic measures that you can keep in mind, for everything else … there are helpful strangers! No, really!
Do a short trip first.
There are many times when you would have heard the advice to go the long haul in one go, but when it comes to taking on a solo trip for the first time, small is always better. Do a trip for two-three days. Not only does that give you a concept whether going on alone is for you or not, but also helps sort a lot of kinks along the way.
Make sure someone back home has your contact info, names of places you’ll be staying, and other important details.
Even if you’re doing something more casual like backpacking around Europe and will be deciding your itinerary as you go, give a close friend or family member all important information about your flight reservations, hotels you’ll be staying in, and any other proper information ahead of time. In addition to giving your loved ones some peace of mind, it also means that you have a backup if something goes wrong.
Make copies of your passport, social security card, and other important paperwork.
If you lose your ID or get robbed, it will be much easier to get a stand-in passport or new train ticket if you already have necessary proof of identity on hand. Before you leave, make copies of all crucial documents (passport, driver’s license, airline ticket, visa, etc) and scan them to your laptop, tablet, or other electronic devices, then email the set to an amigo for safekeeping.
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
Finalise your accommodation smartly.
A lot about how your trip goes and that sense of security comes with choosing the right locale for your stay. Always, and we really mean always, choose a place that’s central. Even if you have to pay a bit more it’s always worth the extra buck. If you’re out late at night, or even if you need to duck in for a quick change or snooze in the middle of the day, if your apartment/hotel/hostel is centrally located, not only can you get to it quicker, but it will always be better connected to rest of the city. The hum around will always be till much later, which means you don’t have to do a Cinderella, ever!
Get a local SIM card.
If you’re traveling abroad, no matter how short the trip, always get a local SIM card with a data connection. You can scrimp on the talk time, but data is of predominant importance. This would ensure you’re always connected and there is always an opportunity to check directions, reviews and even people, on the move.
Also Read: Book The Cheapest Flight Online
Bring a book.
Long solo train rides and bus trips add themselves perfectly to reading. Since you aren’t going to be chitchatting with a friend or challenging each other to a game of cards, now’s the opportunity to finally read that book everybody’s been talking about.
Yes, you read that correctly. While I love making friends all over the world, it always takes some time to become friendly and trustworthy. If you’re traveling solo, don’t boast about it. Unless you feel absolutely comfortable, and unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t tell anyone that you’re traveling solo or your point of stay.
When traveling with a friend or partner, it often means making compromises. But an upside of traveling alone is that you only have to go to, say, a museum about fine arts, really want to. Want to get up at 5 a.m. for a ardous hike? Sounds great! Want to sleep until noon and hang out in your pyjamas all day? That’s fine too. It’s your time, and you can spend it any way you want.
Tips for Solo Dining.
Eating alone isn’t so bad. Chat with the service people. Waiters and waitresses are some of the best local colour you’ll find. Cafe and outdoor dining is often inviting to solo travelers; sitting alone with a book in a cafe isn’t as unusual as a table for one at a fancy restaurant.
Choose a counter seat or a seat at the bar. Bring reading materials. If you start to feel uneasy sitting alone and staring down at your food, you can crack open a book, whip out your phone or read a magazine. One hint: The more high-minded your pursuit appears, the more likely folks are either to ignore you, or to become intrigued and maybe say hello. Eat well. Just because you’re alone and on the run doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time for sit-down meals, a leisurely cup of coffee or a decadent dessert.
Why you should embrace traveling solo
A solo trip is a great lot of fun only if you stop worrying and go with the flow. There might be upsets and deviations — that’s all fine. Meet people, be open to ideas and trust the energy of the universe but keep a keen sense for signs and vibes, trust your instincts like Spiderman.
When travelling solo, stay alert at all times, but let yourself loose just that much more that would insure you have a great time. This may not happen on the very first trip — and most travellers tend to go on either of the extremes — but the more you travel, the better you will be at attaining that balance.