Thinking about taking a solo trip? Wondering if it’s safe to travel alone? We’ve partnered with solo travel expert Angie Orth from Angie Away to share these tips for your first solo travel adventure.
I officially started my solo adventure around the world on Dec. 31, 2010, and continued for two years. Real talk: it was definitely a bit scary at first. I didn’t know if I’d feel lonely or homesick all the time, or find myself in dangerous situations, or just not enjoy being on my own.
It didn’t take long for me to find confidence on the road. Yes, I’ve had my scary moments, both at home and abroad, but as it turns out, there’s a world full of generous, wonderful, helpful people out there that I never would’ve met had I not taken the leap of faith to travel on my own.
I know it can be quite a big decision to travel by yourself, so I compiled some tips to help as you plan.
Arrive During the Day
A rule to live by! If you’re on your own, try to coordinate travel arrangements so you arrive in the daylight and have plenty of time to reach your final destination before the sun goes down. There’s nothing like wandering around a new town with a map and a confused look on your face to attract the wrong sort of attention.
Pack Smart (and Light)
Before departing, really consider how much technology you want to bring. The more gadgets you have, the more attention you’ll attract. And worse, you’ll spend time and energy worrying about making sure everything is safe and secure. Plus, lugging pounds of stuff from one place to the next can be a real buzzkill! There are some fantastic locking backpacks and smart suitcases out there if you’re packing gear that you want to protect.
Read Solo Travel Blogs
There are hundreds if not thousands of solo travel blogs to choose from, so bookmark your favorites and get their take before trying out a new destination on your own. The wisdom of those who have gone before you is invaluable. I know I used many a blog to plan my own journey around the world.
Research Scams in Advance
This is a tip I wish I knew before I left on my round-the-world journey. I’m as trusting a person as there ever was, so I don’t care to admit how many times I’ve been suckered on the road. Search your “destination + scams” to get an idea of how you might be approached and how to avoid getting caught up.
Plan Your Attire
No one’s saying you have to dress exactly like the locals, but if you don’t want to turn heads while traveling solo, then make an effort to blend in. Showing up in a remote, dusty village in an Instagrammable ball gown is every bit as ridiculous as visiting a temple in shorty shorts and a halter top. Pack a heap of respect for local customs along with your wardrobe and you’ll find solo traveling much more rewarding.
Have an Escape Plan
This works even if you’re not traveling! No matter where you are, it’s always wise to know how to leave if necessary. This can be on a micro scale – like how to leave the beach party and get back to your hotel if you’re feeling uncomfortable; or on a macro scale – like how to contact the local embassy in the event of a crisis. Chances are, you’ll never have a reason to escape, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Let Someone Know Where You’re Going
From a safety perspective, there’s no better time to be a solo female traveler. With all the apps and doodads now available to keep you connected, it’s easy and comforting to know that someone back home or nearby can keep an eye on your GPS coordinates – even when you’re thousands of miles away. There are even wearables that can send an emergency signal for help should you need it. Amazing!
Give Yourself a Break
Almost no one starts out as a super confident solo traveler, so be kind to yourself if you’re nervous or scared. We all were at some point, and hey! Even those of us who’ve been gallivanting solo for years still get butterflies when we visit a new place for the first time. Give yourself a pat on the back for even considering it!
Wondering about some top destinations for solo travel? Start here!
Is solo travel something on your bucket list? Where do you want to go? Tell me about it in the comments!
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