10 Tips for Solo Travel
Solo Travel is a life changing experience. And it is on the rise, these days. More and more people are backpacking to explore and enjoy a destination on their own terms – without any distraction and without matching their schedule with others. Solo travel not only gives you the time to reflect but also is a rewarding and a liberating experience.
For some, venturing out completely on their own can be intimidating. Worry not, with research and planning, you can have an experience like none other. Here’s how to make the most of your solo travel trip…
- Plan in advance : Do some advance planning. You don’t need a detailed plan but you should know, for the first night at least, where you’re going to stay. Book your hotel before you leave. Carry the essentials with you when you head out for the day. Have the name of the place you’re staying on a piece of paper in the local language. Have a copy of your emergency contacts and your documents on you.
- Pack light : Pack light so that you can manage your luggage by yourself with ease. One carry-on, a suitcase or backpack, should suffice whether you’re out for one week or three. Also keep your most important items like ID proof/passport, wallet, camera and phone in the same place.
- Watch the world around you : Take the time to observe how people interact, and how things work. While sitting at a sidewalk cafe, on a park bench, or just killing time you can learn how to use public transit, whether to pay your bill at your table or at the counter, how to tip or how to hail a cab and much more.
- Open up! : Learn how to talk to strangers. Smile and start a conversation. Be curious and ask open-ended questions and follow-up questions. Connect with other travelers. The common rooms and lounges of hostels / hotels are great places to meet short-term friends as well as pick up excellent travel advice.
- Go out and enjoy yourself : Enjoy dining alone. Ask a local to order for you. Go out in the evenings. Go to concerts and the theatre. It’s all possible during a solo travel.
- Get off the beaten track : If you want to meet other travelers, go off the beaten path. Travelers who find each other where there are few tourists are more inclined to talk to each other. Plus, you will likely have something in common.
- Go on organised tours : Break up long trips with organized tours. You’ll enjoy the company and a chance to let someone else take care of all the details.
- Take your own photos : Learn to take your own photo. Your friends will be far more interested in your photos when you return if there are pictures of you amongst them.
- Take advantage of useful apps on your phone : Download useful apps to your phone such as a GPS, a translator, a currency converter, some travel guides, online recharge and bill payment apps
- Trust your instinct : Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, leave.
Go on and empower yourself to do solo travel with confidence to discover yourself as you discover the world!
Adapted from The Solo Traveler’s Handbook by Janice Waugh
October 20, 2015 2:32 pm|
I take two precautions while traveling solo — I wear the oldest/dullest shirt/trousers available with me, so that even if any thieves are lurking around, they’ll assume there is nothing much to be stolen from me. Second, even if an amateur thief manages to steal my wallet, he/she will not find much there — because I take very less cash. 🙂 😛 🙂
October 20, 2015 3:44 pm|
Great tips. I don’t travel solo but I do see these are some very valid tips for all. 🙂
October 21, 2015 12:10 am|
I haven’t done too much traveling by myself, but these are great tips to think about!
October 21, 2015 4:35 pm|
very useful trips, not just for solo travelling but also as a couple. Although the taking photo part would be a struggle when alone 🙂
October 23, 2015 2:02 pm|
I have travelled solo some 20 years back on work for trainings, programmes and seminar, which was part of my work. I always enjoyed going for early morning walks, wherever I stayed.. most of the time I got new participants along with me, I made friends, and shopped, had lunch, dinner and yes carried light.. now I feel a bit insecure ( I don’t know whether its age:) recently I went to pondicherry with my daughter and my friend, as my husband could not not make it in the last minute… so we three managed quite well and enjoyed ourselves…now I need to get familiar in learning to use the apps available for a smart travel.. .. thanks for the reminders and the tips..appreciate you
November 16, 2019 4:28 am|
I’m not sure If I could ever travel solo – but one of my friends has to do it for work and she said after she traveled solo international the first time each time after that got easy and easier. She said it was so nice to be able to come and go as she pleased. She would ask for recommendations of where to eat and places visit from whatever coworkers were local to the area. Sometimes they would accompany her but most of the time she was alone.
November 16, 2019 10:56 am|
I never travelled solo. But you never know when the time comes and then you should travel solo. I’ll be keeping these tips in mind thank you
November 16, 2019 5:01 pm|
I haven’t traveled solo in India. I find it a bit scary to travel here alone, to be honest. An organised tour may be fine, though.
November 16, 2019 11:40 pm|
I’ve never gone travelling by myself, firstly because I’ve never had the opportunity and secondly because I’ not sure I’d feel comfortable travelling on my own. However, I can see the beneficial side of exploring a new place on your own and getting time to yourself.
November 17, 2019 11:32 am|
Solo traveling is so empowering as well. Makes you feel so responsible and brave. Apart from exploring new places, talking to different people is also a part of the excitement. I wish I had done more in my younger years I would definitely recommend this for all these reasons.