Your first solo trip may seem daunting as you’re responsible for the entire planning process and getting around. At the same time, it can also be enriching and liberating to navigate independently and do as you please. These tips can help make it easier to enjoy your travels while staying safe when traveling alone.
Research The Destination
It’s best to plan your tentative activities, accommodations and transportation plans ahead of schedule. Tracking the latest travel restrictions can prevent travel mishaps too.
As you plan your trip, read visitor reviews and search for potential red flags and risk factors. Visiting highly-rated establishments can increase your safety. Booking in advance can also prevent travel surprises. Advance reservations can also potentially help secure a lower price.
Don’t Rush Your Trip
Booking a flight with a tight connection window or not allowing enough time at one destination for a multi-city trip can minimize your enjoyment factor. While it’s wise to have a basic itinerary and make reservations, allowing some flexibility and extra time in your schedule can be a prime ingredient for a perfect trip. Leave room for spontaneity.
Share Travel Plans With Friends And Family
It’s wise to let others know your travel plans and how they can contact you. For example, you may use TripIt to share your itinerary and digitally store your travel documents. This app can also provide navigation, airport maps and neighborhood safety scores which can be valuable.
Another safety app to consider is Life360. This service lets others track your location and has an SOS Help Alert feature to request emergency assistance.
Checking in with someone back home is also a good idea. Consider sending text messages or FaceTime with them to provide real-time updates and wanderlust travel photos.
Make Duplicates Of Travel Documents
You should have a paper copy of your essential travel documents, such as your driver’s license and passport. It’s also good to store your credit card numbers and other important information somewhere safe in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Bringing extra cash and jotting down travel assistance numbers can also be helpful.
Consider keeping this information in a travel belt or in a separate location from where you keep your original documents.
Additionally, store your travel documents and payment cards in places that are challenging for strangers to reach. For example, you may keep them in a front pocket or in a place you can see versus a backpack pocket that’s easy to unzip without notice.
Don’t Carry Valuables
As much as you want to bring your jewelry and designer handbags, being a minimalist can be better. These items make you a prime target for pickpockets. Taking it a step further, consider only packing a carry-on. Too much luggage makes it challenging to get around as you don’t have a helping hand.
Act Like A Local
You will want to blend in as much as possible with the local crowd to avoid attracting unnecessary attention. Some of the suggestions can include:
- Wearing plain clothing
- Understand local customs and popular phrases
- Study maps before traveling
- Don’t be in a rush
- Continually check your surroundings
- Act confidently
Since this is your first time traveling alone, you may go to a destination you have previously visited. Already having your bearings means you’re less likely to be lost and can make it easier to build confidence for more adventurous trips.
Consider Travel Groups
Traveling alone doesn’t mean being entirely without others. You may be able to travel with a group and make new friends. For instance, there are bus tours for the best fall destinations.
Groups make it easier for independent travelers to visit destinations in a guided manner. You also have a consistent set of people to dine and sightsee with while having your own sleeping quarters.
If an organized travel group isn’t an option, you may still be able to reserve a spot with guided tours at certain attractions. This gathering can provide safety and also lets an expert show you the best sites for tourists.
Staying at a resort and booking on-property activities can also be a safe and convenient way to enjoy your trip.
Traveling alone can be an enjoyable experience as you have total liberty to personalize your travel plan. While you may need to take extra precautions, there are plenty of opportunities to absorb the local culture and visit popular attractions on your journey.
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