Traveling alone is a life-changing experience. It allows you to explore a place from a whole new perspective. After all, you will have all the freedom to create your schedule, see the things that interest you, eat at the restaurants that cater to your taste, and spend some quality time with yourself.
If you have considered traveling alone in the past and gave up on it, it is understandable. Solo travel seems scary if you are not prepared. There are safety concerns, higher prices for just one person, and sometimes even loneliness. All these can increase your stress levels and make your solo trip everything but relaxing. But, if you organize the right way, your adventure can be unforgettable!
Why should you travel alone?
After everything we went through in 2020, solo travel is on the rise, and with a good reason. Most of us were reluctant to go to a new place on our own due to the fear of loneliness. The quarantine pretty much forced us to spend more time alone. Even though there were huge downsides, most people realized how freeing it is to do things on their own terms.
Travel agencies have seen a spike in solo trip bookings, so they are also offering lower prices right now. Thus, now might be the best time to visit your dream destination. You can come up with a personalized itinerary that will cover all the museums and tourist attractions you always wanted to see. Not to forget that most people are still not traveling, so the crowds will be minimal.
How to travel alone
Before you pack your bags and head out into the unknown, we need to talk about safety. Traveling alone is not an easy task, but you can learn how to do it. After all, you will be without a travel companion in a completely new place. It could attract scam artists and criminals. Not to forget that you might be stressing out about your health, especially now. So, let’s learn how to travel alone safely!
Plan your arrival
Do your research before your trip and find out how much it costs to get from an airport to a hotel. Taxi rides are dangerous, and some tourists fall into this trap. A taxi ride could cost you way too much if you are unfamiliar with the rates.
Ask a taxi driver about the fare before you hop into the vehicle. If it clashes with your rough estimation, find another. Using an Uber or a Lyft is a great idea too. While these apps might be popular in your home country, they might not be available at your destination. Look into the available ridesharing apps you can use while on your trip.
Don’t arrive when it is dark
No matter how beautiful a place is, it will always look a little bit eerie in the night-time, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Bus stations are often on the outskirts of a city, and you might wander around a bit to find a taxi.
It is better to book a bus or train that will get you to your destination during the day. Most transportations has a fixed schedule that should tell you the exact time of the arrival. A town or a city should be less intimidating in the daytime, and you will feel more comfortable talking to strangers.
Beware of the public Wi-Fi
Public hotspots are convenient but can also pose a cybersecurity threat if you are not careful. Connecting to a network in a bustling city might be very reckless unless you use a tool like a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data and makes it pretty much unreadable.
Therefore, even if a cybercriminal is lurking on the public Wi-Fi, they won’t be able to get access to your information or spy on your traffic. You can use a VPN on both your phone and laptop (https://nordvpn.com/download/), which is handy because most travelers pack both.
Traveling alone is both thrilling and stressful. After all, you will be on your own in a place where you don’t know anyone. So, remember to walk with confidence. Try to look like you are going somewhere, and you will blend in.
Walking around with a lost look on your face could draw attention to you. While some genuinely want to help, remember that criminals prey on tourists, especially in urban areas. If you happen to get lost, don’t ask people on the street for directions. Go to the nearest restaurant, shop, or cafe, and ask the staff to help you out.
Don’t look like a tourist
Let’s face it – tourists usually stick out like a sore thumb. So, it is best to wear your casual clothes. Of course, be informed about the weather in the country you are visiting. It will help you choose garments that will be appropriate for the temperatures in that part of the world.
Leave your large backpack in your room, and opt for a smaller bag. A theft-resistant one would be ideal for carrying things like money and documents. Also, don’t put a camera around your neck. These small details can tell everyone around you that you are a tourist and could attract unwanted attention.
Make friends but be careful
Meeting new people is one of the charms of traveling, so you shouldn’t become a complete introvert when traveling alone. You can still make friends and hang out together. It is a great way to get to know the culture of the place you are visiting. But, always be on the lookout.
Some scammers like to play a long game. They can look harmless, charming, and friendly. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Therefore, you shouldn’t give your money or valuables to people you have just met. Solo traveling doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but remember to be careful at all times.