10 Tips for the Solo Traveler in 2019
Traveling solo is a totally different feeling than traveling with someone or a group. Going on your first trip lifts a lot of heavy burdens on your shoulder such as fear and loneliness. Traveling is something so beautiful and I personally don’t feel like people should correlate it with those adjectives. Traveling whether it be on a daily commute or to another country both pose the same risk. Danger happens in every city and even to locals. I have been to 9 countries by myself so far. I always thought the idea of solo travel as dope AF, so I didn’t fear much. Traveling solo has got to be one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I encourage everyone to try at least once in their lives.You should always be cautious and weary, but never scared to step outside of your comfort zone. Don’t miss opportunities because you can’t find someone to accompany you. Here are 10 useful tips for the solo, or future solo traveler =).
Countries that I have traveled to solo are South Africa (Cape Town & Johannesburg), Taiwan, France, Turkey (Istanbul & Cappadocia), Spain (Bunol & Barcelona), Switzerland, Iceland, Malaysia, and New Zealand. All pictures are from my solo abventures.
Research is important before going anywhere. This is how you learn if the destination piques your interest. Researching is vital when traveling, you will learn if a visa is needed (before you get there or on arrival) or not, if the location is going through a political crisis, the weather, crime etc. A simple Google search will bring up this information.
2. Travel Insurance
How does the saying go, better safe than sorry? That’s exactly why you should always purchase travel insurance because you just NEVER know. Shoot, you might chicken out before your trip and want to cancel. Or you might hurt yourself with a simple unintentional accident. If you plan to do any extreme sports travel insurance will help with medical fees if anything happens. I suggested really reading the terms and conditions and even calling the insurance company for a clear understanding. Even use example scenarios, sometimes terms can be misunderstood.
3. Copies + pics of your documents
Take a picture and if possible make a copy of all of your documents (especially your passport) so that you don’t have to carry them on you every time you are out. Or even if the opposite happens (we pray that it doesn’t), you will have your copy as a form of identification. There are times when I did not have my ID but I was granted entry into a lounge because I had a picture of my ID.
4. Stay in the MIX
You should ALWAYS aim to stay in the mix and book accommodations and tours with high ratings and detailed reviews. What is the mix? The mix is where everything is happening, the mix is where you can travel by foot, the mix is populate and not secluded. Especially since you’re solo you want to be around people. Booking with tour guides is best because it takes the strain off of you trying to figure out how to get places. You also have someone to take your pictures. #ThankMeLater
5. Share your location
Thanks to smart phones, you are able to share your location for the duration of your trip. I share my location with about 10 people on my iPhone, yes 10 lol. My parents do not have an iPhone so I share my location with them on my an app called Life360. I love this app because it gives a street view and shows the percentage of battery a person phone is on. Also share your flight(s), accommodation(s) and activities itinerary. Give everyone back home as much information on your whereabouts and check in when you can.
My carrier is T- Mobile and I would say their international is pretty good. Be sure that you have an international plan by notifying your carrier before hand or purchasing an international SIM. Social media apps, the brightness on your phone, taking pictures, GPS running, will definitely have your battery saying “Can you give me break?!”. It is essential to have a portable charger and also take your charger (at least the cord) with you everywhere. I travel with two portable chargers and when my phone hits 50% I plug it up, that way if I go have lunch I can ask the staff to charge the charger instead of having to give my phone. I always set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t forget it. If you are traveling outside of your country be sure to have an international adapter. It is best to just buy one all-in-one adapter/power converter instead of separate individual adapters.
7. Pay Attention To The Area
Stay alert and always be aware. Have a sense of direction by remembering landmarks as you wander. Always have the address to your accommodation written so it is easy to ask for help if there is a language barrier. If a local or someone suggests not to go to a specific area then you should listen and take heed. Whatever the circumstances trust your intuitions, if your gut tells you “Nah, this ain’t right”, listen!
8. Sober Thoughts
We don’t want your judgement to be blurred by alcohol or drugs, knowing your limit is imperative. It’s best to keep the drinking at an absolute minimum and drugs at zero. Staying far away from drugs is recommended, because a lot of countries have strict drug law. If you are caught with drugs in Bali, the penalty is death. Though you will most likely meet a nice person, remember that ain’t ya friend and no one is to be trusted. I never tell anyone I am alone, I have countless lies. From my friends are meeting me to my family lives here and I am visiting them. I also NEVER mention it is my first time in the city. Only meet people at public busy places. Start your day early so that you can be inside and close to home by the time the sun goes down. In many places such as Istanbul, if a woman is socializing at night alone she is considered a prostitute. If you stray too far be sure to take a reputable taxi.
Try to blend in with the norm. You do not want to attract the wrong attention. Definitely dress appropriately and do not show of your riches. Pick-pocketing is real, it happened to my mother while we were in Greece (somehow the U.S. Embassy found it, contacted her and they shipped it to her). Always wear a bag with a zip/closure such a cross-body or tote. Fanny packs are very trendy and I think it is great because it is in front of you so it wouldn’t be easy for those thieves.
10. Smile / Fun
A simple smile is the best communication between two individuals, always be kind and respectful to everyone. They will remember you and always extend their generosity. Most of all have fun!
Top 10 safest countries in the world 2019
Iceland - New Zealand - Austria - Portugal - Denmark - Canada - Czech Republic - Singapore - Japan - Ireland
You are only as lonely as you allow yourself to be. Remember there is someone just like you, traveling solo, wherever you are. As Will Smith “ said God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear”, this is the most perfect statement to describe stepping out on your own. I am no expert of what you should and should not do. Enjoy your solo travel at your own discretion =)
Be sure to know the emergency contact number for that country. It is not always 9-1-1- as it is in the U.S. If you are an iPhone user pressing the sleep/awake/lock button on the side 5 times will activate Emergency SOS.
Have you ever traveled solo? Do you know of any useful tips?