Some people spend their lives terrified of going to the movies or dinner by themselves, let alone traveling the world. Yet solo travel is a wonderful way to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences… and learn a lot about yourself along the way – trust us on that one. Here’s how to take a solo trip and love it.
Act Confident—Even If You Don’t Feel It
When you’re going solo, it’s important to project an aura of confidence. Keep your head up, walk like you know where you’re going, and be aware of your surroundings without appearing fearful. It’s a tough balancing act, but when you appear confident, you’re less likely to be the target of pickpockets—and more likely to start a conversation with friendly locals or fellow tourists.
Make Friends on the Road
Speaking of conversation, it’s important to talk to people. You can’t be shy when traveling solo! However, don’t tell your life story to every person you meet. You’ll learn so much by talking less and listening more. Watch for non-verbal cues during the conversation and remember that other cultures might be more or less friendly with strangers than you might be used to.
Stay in the Right Places
If you’re by yourself, staying in a big chain hotel isn’t the best way to meet people or enjoy the local culture. Instead, choose an AirBnB, local hotel or inn, or even a hostel. Despite the horror movies, hostels are typically clean, safe, and full of interesting people of all ages from around the world.
Stay in Touch—But Put Your Phone Down, Too
It’s vitally important to let someone back home know your itinerary and the contact information for your accommodations. Use a messenger app to stay in touch if you’re headed overseas, and make sure that you have a data plan that covers your destination. Map apps are super useful when navigating an unfamiliar city, and smartphones double as cameras.
All that having been said… put your phone down once in a while. Just enjoy the experience of being someplace new without documenting every second for social media.
Do What You Want
The absolute best part of solo traveling is the chance to do whatever you want, whenever you want! You don’t need to accommodate anyone else’s preferences or work around their plans. Get up when you feel like, explore wherever the mood strikes you, and focus on the things that bring you joy.
Don’t Feel Guilty
You don’t need to bring home a sack of souvenirs just so you feel less guilty about traveling by yourself. Nor do you need to apologize or justify your decision to travel solo to friends and family. Acting confident works just as well back home as it does abroad.