Sometimes you’ve just got to get out and see the world – even if it means venturing out on your own.
Though the notion of traveling solo is often quite intimidating, it doesn’t have to be.
Traveling alone doesn’t have to be a lonely or seemingly sad experience. If anything, traveling alone helps build self-assurance and tenacity. It shows that you’re confident and fearless, capable of enjoying your own company and traveling at your own pace.
It also allows you to see the sights that interest you the most and participate in activities you enjoy. Plus, it also opens up opportunities to make new friends, too.
Here are some tips to make it even more enjoyable.
1. Forget your fears.
The thought of traveling alone can be daunting, and it can cause our brains to run wild. Try not to get carried away considering the worst-case scenarios.
Most of us worry about standing out too much when visiting new places. Nobody wants to look like a stereotypical tourist, and it sometimes even raises concerns about getting hassled or pickpocketed. Luckily, most destinations are safer than you may think.
Travel insurance can also help assuage fears.
2. Be prepared.
Though your odds of being harassed or getting robbed are actually pretty slim, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Always keep backups of important travel documents and copies of your personal identification. And make sure you have a contact back home you can call in case of an emergency.
Try to establish a local contact as well, whether it’s a friend, a hotel concierge, or your innkeeper.
Leave expensive accessories at home, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and keep your important belongings close by.
3. Learn about local customs.
By embracing the local customs, you’ll not only blend in better, you’ll also learn more about your surroundings. Plus, you’ll likely have some great new stories to share when you return home.
Talk to the locals or hire a guide that can show you around. Ask about what activities you might enjoy while visiting the area, and be sure to try local cuisine, too.
4. Find opportunities to socialize.
As we said, traveling solo doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. There are actually tons of ways you can stay social, whether traveling within the U.S. or abroad.
Check out opportunities like voluntourism packages that allow you to travel with a purpose. These can include teaching English, assisting in field research, or even caring for orphaned children. Not only do these opportunities allow you to be part of something noble, you’ll also get introduced to other volunteers. The friendships you make could stay with you for a lifetime.
Not into philanthropy? There are also hosted accommodations, special interest cruises, or group tours.