Traveling alone is a kind of activity you have to try at least once in your lifetime. Even if traveling with friends or family might be more fun, entertaining and rewarding, there are dozens of reasons why you should consider traveling alone.
Let me give you just some quick and useful information on why you should choose this type of traveling – you will focus on the destination more than if you were in a group of friends, you’ll have more opportunities to meet locals and discover their culture, and you may even make new friends while taking a tour hosted by a local.
Another advantage of traveling solo is that you can change your travel plans at any time and no one will be disappointed. Trust me, if you ever meet a veteran of solo travel and ask about the reasons behind this kind of activity, you will hear much more about this.
Inevitably, there are also some negative aspects of traveling alone with the most important one being the necessity of having to be much more careful when it comes to your security. Here are 10 security tips for you to follow when traveling alone.
- Always stay in touch with your friends or family from your country and share your plans with them. Nowadays, the internet is widely spread and you have public spaces with Wi-Fi access all over the world. This is helpful in order to stay connected. Also, arrange a roaming plan for your mobile before you travel abroad. If the roaming plan is too expensive, you have the option to buy a Pre-pay card in the country you are traveling to. This option may turn out to be much cheaper.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and never go to a place that might seem dangerous to you (trusting your gut is always a good idea). Learn as much as you can about your destination before you get there. There is a lot of information accessible in guidebooks and on the internet. For more personal opinion you can ask a local CityPal living in your destination to answer your questions, or to keep you company when you arrive. Find out what are the most dangerous places (let’s face it, every town has this kind of neighborhood). For example, when traveling to Los Angeles, there are certain neighborhoods you should stay away from, especially at night.
- Never keep all your valuables in one place – keep your cash in one place, your bank cards in another and make sure you don’t show them all when you are buying a cup of coffee.
- Always save a copy of your ID or passport online – if someone steals your bag with your personal documents you will need that copy to alert your country’s embassy in order to get back home safe. Make sure you have contact details of your country’s embassy with you.
- Be able to ‘create a group’ even if you don’t have one. A group is less likely to become a target of a potential attack. That’s why it is important for you to have the capability to look like you are a part of a group even when you are traveling solo.
- Never get into a public transportation that makes you feel uncomfortable. You will find dozens of taxi drivers or bus drivers at every airport or train station. Do not just hop in and pray to reach your destination, always try to stay safe. If you have a long distance to travel, stay awake and always keep your eyes on your belongings. Ask a CityPal about trusted and secure transportation options in the city/country you are traveling to.
- Take care of your health – Contact a local CityPal and ask him to take you on a tour of local food spots that are safer than others as not to get sick. Take notes of the locations and frequent these places during the rest of your stay.
- Try to stay sober as much as you can (preferably all the time) when you travel alone. When you are traveling alone it is very important to stay in the alert mode. Otherwise, you become an easy target.
- Blend in with the locals, be confident and smile – This may be easier said than done. If, for example, you are in Rome , waiting in line to the Colosseum, then almost for sure you are a tourist. On the other hand, if you are just walking on a street, looking for a restaurant, then you can walk with confidence and try acting like a local.
- Choose your travel insurance very carefully so you can enjoy your trip with less stress. A good travel insurance will make you feel much more comfortable and make a huge difference if anything happens.
The idea of this blog post is not to scare you from travel, but rather to assist you in planning your next solo trip. Have all of the above in mind when you think of your next destination and you will enjoy your trip more than ever.