Are you traveling solo? Why not! Who needs an indecisive group when you can just pack your bags and go! If you are hitting the road all by yourself, here’s a few do’s and don’ts for the solo travelers.
Do Your Research
So you’ve thrown the dart and it’s landed on a land far, far away and now you’re going to plan your adventure. Safety should be your number one priority, therefore thoroughly review the area you’ve chosen. Ask questions, visit forums, and take your time to check out crime rates, general safety, trends and statistics. This is the number one factor in deciding if your decision is the right one.
Let Your Friends And Family Know When You’ll Be Going
It’s always a good idea for your loved ones to have a general idea that you’ll be out of town for a while, even if your whole purpose for traveling alone is to unplug. Giving them the dates of your excursion will allow them to ensure you’ve arrived safely and when you are expected to plug back in. Your itinerary doesn’t have to be detailed, but giving an overview in cases of emergency is very wise.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
So now you’re here and it’s time to explore. Always be cognizant of where you are. Be smart about the people around you and your interaction with them. Don’t be paranoid, but do take mental notes.
Pack It Away
If you are traveling with valuables, ensure that you use the hotel’s safe. One of the first things you should do is secure your passport, jewelry, a credit card and some cash in the event of an emergency. Despite what your trip might bring, you always want to make sure that you can return home.
Establish A Routine
One of the things about traveling alone, is that you can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb. People notice when you are wandering around by yourself without a partner. Here is where having a routine is beneficial i.e. visiting the same coffee shop, eating at the same restaurant etc. This will give you a chance to get to know the people in the area and they will get used to seeing you and may look out for you. They will also be good for recommending places to visit, things to do and common attractions. They’ll have an idea about what you’ll be up to for the day and when you are leaving. In worse case scenarios, if you cannot be located, they’ll have leads to your whereabouts.
After getting into a daily routine, you may get really comfortable and venture out at night. Do not under any circumstances be so comfortable that you get drunk. Always remain coherent. Don’t accept drinks from strangers and do not consume anything that you did not see poured or opened. Getting drunk opens you up to being taken advantage of and greatly increases your risk of danger. Yes enjoy yourself but don’t get drunk.
When In Rome ……
Do what the Romans do! In other words, explore and see what the fuss is all about! After all you traveled to get there! Take full advantage of the food and culture. Even if you’re not generally an adventurous person, do something outside of your comfort zone because honestly, traveling alone is an adventure all in itself.
Blend As Much As Possible
What you don’t want to do is look like a tourist. A part of being safe is to be smart. Do not wear flashy jewelry and expensive items especially in places where this is not the norm. That would be like waving a red flag to a bull. In religious areas, research what their customs are and their style of dress. In some countries, you can actually offend the natives if you do not dress like they do or adhere to greetings.
There are so many advantages to traveling alone. There’s no one to fight with about what you want to do but the most important thing is to ensure your safety. Following the previous tips will get you on your way. Pack your bags and get to know yourself but most of all, have fun!
Written by: Joyanne Lawrence, Modern Domestic, Staff Writer
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