Solo travel may be an exciting option but every traveller needs a plan to ensure their safe and pleasant journey.
Here we have compiled are some tips you should consider before embarking:
- Choose your destination wisely
Whether it be sandstorms in China or travel alerts for Africa, make sure you do your research thoroughly. From seasonal or rare weather patterns, global viruses to terrorism, the internet leaves you no excuse when it comes to your personal safety.
Government and travel websites will show up to date information on conditions in your choice of country/countries.
- Size does matter
Choosing to stay in a nearby small city can be less expensive and safer than a large city. You will get to experience local culture and people whilst still be accessible to your main destinations.
- Avoid arriving at night
If you have the option, arrive in daylight. This will give you valuable time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings and your accommodation or transport links. Some areas may be hives of activity during the day but really unsafe at night.
- Learn basic phrases in the language of destination
While you don’t need to be fluent in a local language, learning a few resourceful phrases (like "please," "thank you," "excuse me" and "can you help me?") will go a long way. A useful trick is to photograph signs when you come across them for future reference.
- Engage people in your safety
If you’re feeling unsafe, look for help. The people you choose are likely okay whereas the people who choose you may not be. Its always best to use common sense also; dress appropriately, don’t flash valuables and trust your instincts.
- Check out the free options
Organised tours, especially walking tours, can be a great way to meet other travelers and experience local culture and history with more knowledge than you pick up yourself.
From walking tours to city museums, most major cities have free offerings for tourists. Google your city name, “free” and “tourist” to find out what’s available.
- Other travelers are a great source of information
Talking to other travelers or tourist information employees are a wealth of information. It might be simple tips like great places to eat (or not so great places) to exploring a city/country through their eyes.
- Solo travel doesn’t have to mean alone
Solo travel is not always traveling alone. Other solo or group travelers are usually a wealth of local information and can provide a few hours or a few days of less stressful holidaying.
- Remember to check in
Social media and the web are a very useful tool when traveling solo. Keeping friends and family up to date with travel plans and destinations go a long way to building a safety blanket should you find yourself in trouble.
- Check out the free options
Full coverage medical insurance is a no-brainer but what have you thought about your personal belongings or your identity? Losing a passport, visa, credit card or even just a suitcase can
throw the best of holidays into disarray. Make digital copies of all important documents; email them to yourself so that are at hand when needed.
- How to Travel Solo ( huffpost.com)
- Travelling alone ( en.wikivoyage.org)
- Travelling Alone ( 99traveltips.com)