Traveling solo is both daunting and rewarding. Exploring the world is not just about learning about a new culture, eating good food, and meeting new people (although these are some wonderful perks to solo travel, too). It’s also about enjoying your own company and getting to know yourself, what you’re capable of, and what you like to do, especially when there isn’t anyone to influence your schedule or decisions.
If you’re still considering whether or not you should go on a solo trip, here are a few reasons to help you decide:
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find someone in your circle willing to try? The good news is that with solo travel, you can make an itinerary without consulting anyone else. Deciding which adventure to choose is typically easier when you’re the sole deciding vote.
Sure, planning everything on your own can be overwhelming. But with the variety of travel resources online, it’s really difficult to get it wrong. Planning for your trip is an excellent way to flex your budget and time management skills, especially if you always leave the planning part of your vacations to someone else. By exploring the world independently, you can discover a lot about yourself and even learn a new skill or two.
Traveling solo lets you avoid such situations and travel at your own pace. You can wake up when you feel ready to wake up and explore. Plus, you can visit a spot without feeling guilty about dragging other people with you or leaving them behind. Solo travel can give you the freeing feeling of not having to compromise and honoring your own time.
If it’s your first time traveling solo, congratulations! But remember, you’re in charge of your trip, so you must prepare well to ensure you’re staying safe while enjoying. Here are some tips to get you ready for an awesome solo adventure:
A vital part of travel is the budget. If you’re planning on going anywhere, make sure you have an idea of how much the essentials are. This way, you can plan your finances accordingly and, hopefully, won’t go over budget during your trip. To stretch your budget, try looking for ways to save, like discounted entrance fees for early birds or rebates from your banking partner.
You can also find ways to travel sustainably. For example, if your travel destination has a good public transport system, buying a public transport pass could be more cost-efficient and environment-friendly than traveling by taxi or private car.
Just so you’re not diving in completely clueless, researching your destination can help you squash any doubts and worries you may have about traveling alone. First, try to learn about the local culture and customs. This can help you create an itinerary or even just short lists of your must-visit places and must-try activities.
Simple research can also help you with packing. Some popular travel destinations have dress codes. For example, Angkor Wat in Cambodia requires visitors to wear modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for a respectful temple visit.
Another important reason to do your research is to ensure your safety. Many travelers share their experiences about their travels, even the not-so-picture-perfect side. You can find warnings about everything, from scams to pickpockets. You’re in charge of yourself and your belongings, so you must stay informed and, more importantly, vigilant.
Sometimes, a good backpack is all you need when going on an adventure. Investing in a good bag with enough pockets, including easy-to-access areas for keeping your passport and other travel essentials, is crucial. Your backpack will house your valuables and clothes for the whole duration of your trip, so make sure to find one that is low maintenance but high quality. Try out the backpack before purchasing to make sure it’s the right size and has an ergonomic design so you won’t hurt your back or shoulders while you’re busy exploring away.
Walking with a bulky suitcase can tire you out easily, especially if you’re walking on a cobblestone road or rushing to catch your next flight. Save yourself from trouble by packing lightly and efficiently. When researching your destination, you can easily learn about the weather and pack accordingly. If it’s a summer beach trip, lightweight, quick-dry clothes are the way to go. Don’t bring anything you know you won’t wear; it will take up valuable space. Lastly, consider bringing travel-sized laundry aids to remove food stains from clothes. Simple detergents and stain removers can help you extend your already compact travel wardrobe.
Don’t forget to do the basic safety preparations before traveling. Consider sharing your itinerary with a loved one so someone back home knows your whereabouts. You should also take note of the address and contact details of your home country’s embassy in case you have any issues with your travel documents. Lastly, you need to figure out how to stay connected throughout your trip, like renting a portable Wi-Fi router or subscribing to your provider’s data roaming plans.
Hopefully, these practical tips can help make your solo travel an adventure to remember. But while being prepared is always a good idea, leaving room in your itinerary for spontaneity is important. Don’t shy away from these new experiences and let the locals introduce you to their home. This way, you’ll have a trip that will feel like it’s custom-made for you.