Travelling solo can be one of the best if not the best thing you could ever do for yourself. It forces you to open your mind and heart to new cultures, people, and experiences. You grow, you love, you see, and you come back home a completely different person. You may not see it at first, but there are changes. Good changes. And while some of you are scared to take the leap and go solo, others are chomping at the bit to experience something new by themselves. Here are some tips to make your solo trip that much better.
Plan it out
I can not tell you how many times I have travelled by the seat of my pants only to realise that to get through immigration I needed proof of accommodation reservations or at least a friend’s address. If you at least plan a few days in advance, you save yourself so much time and effort. Not to mention, you never know if you’re arriving to your destination on a local holiday or some special event. While it’s fun to be a part of a culture’s celebration, it’s not fun trying to find accommodation in a booked-up town. Save yourself the trouble and plan it.
Be aware of your surroundings
While this may be common knowledge, it’s not always practised. Ladies, keep your purse in front of you in big crowds and on public transportation. Men, make sure your wallet isn’t falling out of your pockets. A pit pocketer will pick up any lazy tourists. Don’t be one of them. If you’re out at night, make sure you have secured transportation back to your place or at least write down or screen shot where you’re staying so you can tell a taxi or bus driver where you need to go.
Look and feel confident
The more confident you look, the better. Walk with purpose and never stop to look at your phone for directions in middle of a busy street or sidewalk. Pop in to the next shop to have a look out of the way of people who may be eyeing you. When you look like you know what your doing and where you’re going, you’re less likely to be mugged or harassed.
Make friends with locals
This is my favourite part of travelling solo. You are in complete control of your actions and energy while on the road. You get to meet as many people as you want or don’t want. I highly suggest striking up a conversation with a local wherever it may be. Guaranteed they will be happy you’re visiting their part of the world and may even give you a great recommendation of a local restaurant you wouldn’t have known about. Locals have proven to be so incredible, they’ve offered up their homes to solo travellers to stay, including invites to family dinners and other exciting activities. Don’t believe me? I did it. I was offered accommodation in a local’s guest room, had a lovely dinner with their family, and went out to celebrate their town’s birthday. It was an unforgettable experience. Just be open to meeting people and you will be rewarded!
Love the experience
By being grateful and appreciating your experience alone, you will not only feel better, you will do better. You will inspire others to travel alone, you will understand the importance of having time alone, and you will reflect on your own life. You will disregard the little dramas back at home that mean nothing anymore, you will have meaningful conversations with people, and you will realise just how great you have it.
By experiencing another place in this world, you can start to realise what you have, and what you have is a lot better than others. I always find myself more motivated to meet people in my home town after I travel. There’s seven BILLION people on this earth, and opening up to new friends and cultures keeps you with an open mind. So the next time you want to book a holiday, maybe you’ll think about going out on your own to experience the world.