Some great tips for solo travelling-traveler
The world is your oyster! Most of us have heard that phrase used before. Traveling the world can definitely be an amazing experience, but doing it on your own can be even better. When you travel the world on your own its literally you against the world, literally. What better way to learn about yourself and the world than by traveling by yourself?
Traveling alone allows you to do what you want, how you want and when you want. Focusing on yourself and your solo travels are bound by less limitations than traveling with a group or partner. There are definitely some tips and precautions that you want take if you plan on traveling solo. When planning a solo excursion, you want to make sure that you take all of the safety measures you can, plan accordingly, and prepare to experience a whole new world the way that you want.
First thing is first, you want to ensure that you are well prepared. Going to an unfamiliar place comes along with needing to prepare yourself for just about any scenario. You will want to plan your trip to the best of your ability before you begin your journey. An impromptu vacation with no end destination is absolutely OK, but try to at least plan where your first stop is and some of the first steps you will take from there. Share this plan, your itinerary and maybe even your planned lodging locations with someone close like a friend or family member. It becomes a little harder to communicate overseas as far as time differences, roaming charges, or lack of cellular and/or wireless services. Keep this in mind and try to maintain at least one open and consistent line of communication with someone at your home base. U.S. citizens that are traveling abroad can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which helps the State Department help you in the case of an emergency.
Do some research on the places you plan on travelling. Find out what their major laws and customs are so that you do not do anything offensive or find yourself on the other side of the law once you get there. Make sure you are prepared for costs and currency exchanges if needed. Research what the average costs for simple services like taxi rides before being exploited. It is also important to try to blend in when possible. Avoid standing out like a tourist or wearing flashy clothes or accessories. Exude confidence in order to blend in with the locale.
One of the greatest things about solo travel is the opportunity to meet new and different people. This comes with the caveat that you can easily be taken advantage of by the wrong person. Be open and willing to talk to and meet new people from different parts of the world. In fact, that is the only way you will truly begin to experience the culture of the new land that you are visiting. Be cautious, however, in how far you trust these new people. There are scam artists all over the world that are professionals in charming foreign travelers. Make sure you stay alert and avoid vulnerable situations where you could potentially lose control of yourself or your belongings.
Avoid the Penalty Costs
One of the perks of traveling alone is the fact that you are solely responsible for caring for yourself. You can budget your trip costs based on the needs of you and you alone. Some travel organizations and tour operation groups know that and take advantage of that situation by charging what is known as the single supplement. The single supplement is normally an added cost or fee that is tacked on to your solo travel package that would have otherwise been covered in the cost of traveling with a partner. This ensures that these travel operators make money even though they are missing another occupant. The single supplement can be avoided by doing the right research and finding the right groups to travel with. If the idea of being paired with a random does not bother you, there is the option of roommate matching service groups that help you avoid the extra costs of traveling solo. Many of these groups even go as far as to do personality matching in order to make the random roommate experience more pleasant.
Traveling solo is not as scary or intimidating as it may initially seem. There are so many programs and opportunities to expand your experience as a solo traveler. The most important thing to do is to remember that safety comes first and planning to the best of your ability will help with safer and smoother travels. Plan smart and travel safely, but most importantly have fun!