Many people might simply scoff at the idea of travelling alone, but for some people, it is an exhilarating journey of self-discovery and adventure. There are certain benefits of travelling solo, the most important for me being the fact that I do not have to plan my day according to someone else’s agenda!
We all have different perceptions about relaxation and inner satisfaction. While some get a thrill by heading to the bar for a few drinks in the night, some are content with reading Kafka with some red wine for company. Therefore, if you don’t want to do things for the heck of it, travelling alone can be a liberating experience.
Travelling alone has many benefits, but it also has some challenges. One of the main reasons people put off travelling alone is because of the anxiety of being on your own in a foreign country. Truth be told, there are several countries which have a poor record as far as tourist safety is concerned. Feeling insecure about heading to these countries when you don’t have anyone to watch your back is absolutely plausible. Then, there is the question of feeling lonely amongst the hordes of people who descend upon popular tourist destinations all round the world. If that wasn’t enough, single supplement by travel agents and hotels acts as a spoilsport for many solo travelers.
Considering all these challenges, one might be tempted to think whether travelling alone is a good idea? Well, if you just keep some simple things in mind, you can easily make travelling alone a memorable experience. Take a look at some tips mentioned below to get started.
- Do a Bit of Research
Before you embark on your journey, do a bit of research about the place of your visit. Thanks to internet, doing so is not a cumbersome and tedious process as one might be led to believe. A quick search on the distance between the airport and the hotel, fares, availability of transportation, etc. will help you from being taken on a ride. Also, knowing about the local culture and tradition will give you a deeper understanding on how to behave socially, or what to wear in public places. Some countries, especially, those in the Middle East, demand a certain level of adherence to their customs, so it is important that you do not inadvertently end up hurting the religious sentiments of people. Get as much information as you can from official tourism websites, but don’t forget to check a few independent forums for unbiased information.
- Stay Connected
One of the many reasons why people go on a vacation is because they want to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives. However, when you are travelling alone, it is important that you stay connected with your friends and loved ones back home, and share your itinerary with them. Before you leave, check whether your mobile phone and SIM will work in the alien land. Another way of being accessible to your family members or friends is by getting a local SIM as soon as reach your destination. WiFi hotspots and cyber cafes should be used to establish contact with people back home.
- Be Careful with Money and Documents
As you will have no one to watch your back, it becomes more important that you take good care of your money and documents. Your passport is the most important document that you have in a foreign country, and therefore, it is important that you keep it safe and secure. If you are going for some sightseeing, avoid carrying your passport in original; instead carry a copy of your passport’s data page with you. Before leaving, hand over a copy of your passport to a family member or friend so that they can use it in case of an emergency.
- Blend In
Blending in with the local population will give you an insight into the way they go about their lives. Although it is important to be cautious about safety measures, do not let your prejudices get into the way of mingling with people. The way you dress up and behave in public will also play an important part in ensuring that you do not stand out in the crowd. Walking around rather than taking a tour bus will introduce you to places and markets that your tour guide might conveniently forget to tell.
- Safe Place to Stay
The hotel that you stay at should meet all the safety guidelines. Ensure that you have a good look at the facilities before you make the payment. Check if the doors are locked properly, and whether the hotel has fire alarms. Low-budget hotels might seem easy on the purse, but they do not follow the proper safety procedures, and hygiene level is better left unspoken about. Take the number of the receptionist or the manager of the hotel for immediate contact in case of an emergency.
These were a few tips on travelling alone. As we mentioned before, you just have to take care of a few things to ensure that you are safe and secure. We hope that these tips are beneficial for you. Bon Voyage!
Abut Author: Grace Wilson is a contributor at Foods4BetterHealth. She is a fitness aficionado, and has been writing articles on health and fitness since she was 18. Grace believes in doing her bit to spread awareness about healthy living, and she does it through her writing, one article at a time! You can find Grace on Twitter