A recent survey into the travel habits of the various generations showed that while most boomers go on trips with their significant others or friends, more and more members of the age group are seeking out solo travel. Indeed, going out on your own and exploring a new destination is something everyone should try to experience in their lives if they have the means. And while it can be intimidating, if you do it wisely and safely, it’s an experience you’ll always treasure. So if you’re looking to get something new out of your travels, here are some tips for exploring the world on your own.
Understand what “being safe” means.
One of the biggest concerns for people travelling alone is their safety – and for good reason. In fact, no matter how you travel, making sure you are as safe as possible at all times should be of paramount importance. You might be a confident traveller and you could look at past trips to new countries that were perfectly safe, but when travelling alone, extra caution is extremely important. Now, how you stay safe is dependent on a number of factors such as who you are, where you’re travelling and what you hope to do during your travels. Do research and educate yourself on what being safe in your destination means, and avoid any circumstances that make you feel uncomfortable. There’s no need to be afraid and not enjoy yourself, but part of that enjoyment means ensuring your safety.
Part of the great fun of travelling on your own is the ability to be spontaneous. You can go by the beat of your own drum, accepting any adventure that is presented to you at any moment (while still being safe). But in order to remain so in-the-moment, you can’t be weighed down by excessive luggage. By all means, take the necessities and things that will make you feel comfortable, but try to keep it to an amount where you can easily handle it on your own. It will save you from a lot of headaches and make moving on a whim a whole lot easier.
This might seem like a bit of a contradiction given that I just spoke about how great it is to be spontaneous on your trip. However, there are some things that should certainly be planned out in advance. For one thing, getting to and from the airport in the city you’re visiting can be a tricky thing. In some cases, picking the wrong cab can mean you’ll be overcharged for the commute. If you’re making your own way, you want to make sure you know where you’re going and that you’re taking a safe route. Also, know where you’re staying each night. Don’t leave that kind of thing up to chance because it can be a real problem when things don’t work out.
Just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with others. Go out into public and take part in the things everyone else is doing. There’s no need to keep to yourself or separate yourself from everyone else having fun. Meet people, strike up conversations, join in on others’ adventures. Who knows, you could form meaningful relationships with the people you meet during your journey.
Embrace the freedom.
At times you might feel lonely and miss your usual travel companionship, but in those moments it’s good to remind yourself of the freedom you have when travelling alone. No doubt, you cherish those times travelling with your friends and family, but this is a new experience to enjoy. You are not set by anyone else’s plans, interests or preferences. How you spend your trip is totally and completely up to you. You can try new things, eat new foods, explore new places. We rarely get opportunities for this much freedom so you should embrace it and enjoy it thoroughly.
Don’t feel self-conscious.
Some people can feel awkward doing certain things on their own. It’s true, it can feel a little unusual eating alone in a restaurant for the first time, but there is no need to feel self-conscious. You should be enjoying yourself and that means ignoring those negative thoughts that creep into your head that stop you from having fun. You’re in a new place with new people, so going out on your own and having fun should be a much higher concern than worrying what people think.
Lastly, as with any good vacation, you want to have memories. It can be easy to forget to take pictures and document your trip when you’re by yourself, but you’ll be sorry if you don’t leave with some sort of record of your adventure. Try to set a minimum number of pictures to take each day. Another great way to save memories is to keep a small journal of your trip. You can recap the day’s events every morning at breakfast before going out to make new memories. You’ll be happy to have them as a way to look back on your unique travel experiences.
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