Travelling solo can be an incredible experience. It gives you the freedom to explore wherever you want and decide exactly how you want to spend your trip. However, solo travel can be really daunting and it’s crucial to know how to keep safe. Here are our top tips for making the most of a solo trip and ways to make sure you stay out of danger.
Make copies of your passport
Before you leave, it’s always a good idea to photocopy your passport three times (yes, three). Keep one in your purse, one in your suitcase and leave one with a friend or family member back home. That way, if you are unlucky enough to lose your passport, it will be much easier to resolve the problem. You should also leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home as well so that they know where you should be and when, in case anything goes wrong.
Keep in touch
In a similar vein, stay in contact with people back home whilst on your trip, keeping them up to date on your whereabouts and how you are doing.
Arrive in daylight
If possible, book your flights to arrive during the day so you’re not wandering around an unknown place at night with all your luggage!
Avoid looking like a tourist
Although this is easier said than done, trying to blend in with the locals by dressing like them will help you avoid uncomfortable stares and will make you less of a target for pickpockets. Try to look at your maps before you leave your accommodation and walk with purpose to your destination.
Tips For Meeting Other People
Book organised tours or activities
Organised tours are a great way to meet other travellers and to not feel so alone when exploring. Otherwise, try to find classes or activities that you enjoy, such as yoga or a cooking class, to meet others with similar interests!
Be open and friendly
Smile at strangers, chat to waiters and bar tenders and try to get over the very normal fear of talking to people you don’t know! The more people you talk to, the less alone you will feel, but remember to always be cautious. Never trust a stranger to look after your valuables.
Tips For Making the Most of your Trip
Learn to take photos of yourself
It may sound a bit silly, but once you are home you will really want some photos of yourself in the places that you visited. Perhaps invest in a tripod and use the self-timer, or ask other tourists to take photos of you (just be cautious about who you give your camera to).
Don’t be afraid of eating out alone
Eating alone in a restaurant is a very common fear and can make you feel a bit awkward, but it is so common now that more people are travelling alone and is nothing to feel embarrassed about! Eating out is a great opportunity to try the local food and to meet other people, be it the restaurant staff, or other diners. If it feels too strange to eat alone with nothing to do, take a novel to read or your guidebook to plan your next activities.
Get up and out
Wake up early and get out of your hotel room to explore as much as possible! Sometimes being alone can make you less motivated to get up and out as there is no one to hurry you along, but seeing as much as possible will make your trip more enjoyable and will give you a better chance of meeting people, if that’s what you want to do!
Although it can seem very daunting, solo travel is a really rewarding experience and is definitely something everyone should consider!
(photos from top to bottom: Instagram @cheskiesgaplife, @traveljunkiediary, tourdetaylor)