Traveling solo is becoming more popular, as people consider it self-improvement and personal growth adventure to explore more about themselves. It includes traveling without a companion to hold you back, getting out of your comfort zone, and exploring the ultimate by yourself.
However, going solo means having no one there for you when something terrible happens, which makes you vulnerable. So, learning some tactics to be safe and prepared is essential to have that lifetime adventure you have been dreaming of. This article lists some vital tips to be considered when traveling solo, which help the traveler to survive and make the most of the trip.
1. Learn several local phrases
Solo travelers usually focus on reaching a new country and starting their adventure. However, they overlook learning some phrases in the local dialect or language. Most assume that everyone speaks English; unfortunately, that’s not true.
So, learning a few basic phrases like how to ask for directions, greet people and apologize to them, and find a taxi would be handy when the traveler is lost or in a bind. Locals love to be addressed using their local language as a sign of respect. Also, it will facilitate communication with them, even making new friends and opening new doors to make the most of the solo adventure.
2. Explore the culture beforehand
Exploring new cultures and experiences is the goal of solo traveling. Diving deep into every aspect of the visited country, such as traditions, customs, and food, is a thrilling adventure. The key to enjoying every single second of it is being “Tolerant.”
What is usual for some cultures may be odd and strange for others, and a solo traveler is a guest that must learn to accept and respect various cultures. Therefore, researching the destination country to learn about its culture beforehand would be helpful as it provides insight into what to expect, how to be respectful, and keep the traveler out of trouble.
3. Essentials and a travel first aid kit
Getting ready for the upcoming trip can be exhausting. However, taking care of packing all the essentials will ensure enjoying the holiday.
Start with the items related to your health, such as sunglasses and sunscreen. Spend a little time buying a pair of sunglasses, which ones are supposed to suit your face, etc. This way you’ll protect yourself from UV radiation.
On the other hand, accidents happen, and being prepared is essential; you may get bitten, cut your hand, or have a sudden allergy attack; that’s where the first aid kit comes in handy. The traveler’s first aid kit is simple to use with little training and very important in unexpected emergencies. Some essentials to have in a first aid kit are:
- Bandages are the obvious choice for every situation; make sure to have a handful of them in various sizes
- Small scissors to help trim gauze or bandages to size
- Antiseptic wipes are perfect for cleaning cuts fast and preventing infection
- Pain relief medication, basically pack up whatever medication you usually take for a headache
- Allergy medication, keep some allergy medication prepared for some accidents such as insect bites or some food allergy attack
- Surgical gloves can be handy on multiple occasions
- Surgical tape is essential to secure gauze or bandages to a wound
- Tweezers come in handy in many practices, such as when removing that little bits of stone or dirt when cleaning a wound
4. Control holiday spending
When you travel solo, expenses can creep up quickly, and you may drift away with the temptation of a fancy hotel or a VIP flight that consumes your travel allowance! Therefore, the rule of thumb is budgeting and making every dollar count.
Solo traveling can be cost-effective, requiring purchasing one set of flight tickets, single accommodations, excursions, meals, etc. However, to make the most of it, research and list your needs to keep a realistic budget that helps avoid getting surprised with extra costs and keep the holiday spending under control.
Also, consider some tactics to cut costs, for example, avoid traveling in peak season, replace flights with trains or buses if possible, take public transport, make long-term accommodation reservations, stay in affordable hostels and shared residencies, and join a solo travel group to save on some costs.
No matter how much you plan and set expense rules, you will break them; write down everyday spending to evaluate where you’ve gone extra and what to cut off. This way, you can take advantage of your experience on your next solo trip.
5. Buy locally
Adopting a ”Buy locally” culture when traveling solo is a great way to be a responsible tourist and survive with less. A great way to cut off expenses is to research and explore local shops and restaurants, book tours, hire guides and even buy souvenirs.
This way, you would buy directly from the source, lowering the cost as you can find great food at a local restaurant for half the price of a fancy faraway one. Also, by purchasing from the local shop, tourists support the local businesses to keep working and preserve their cultural heritage.
6. Get travel insurance
Better safe than sorry! Traveling solo means you don’t have anyone around to help if something goes wrong, so to be safe, get travel insurance. Travel insurance will provide:
- 24/7 medical emergency assistance ready to act at any time required
- Trip cancellation insurance, you will be refunded if you had to cancel the flight for any reason
- Medical evacuation help if you got injured in some stranded place
- Make sure your bags and luggage are replaced if they got stolen or switched with some other passenger
- Protection against identity theft and stolen credit cards
Traveling solo can be daunting, but the most challenging part is the initial step. However, remember that traveling alone has advantages and disadvantages; being prepared for it will minimize those disadvantages.
To survive on your own, explore the destination country’s culture and learn some local phrases to blend in and communicate effectively to embrace the experience; also be responsible and encourage the locals by buying locally. Make sure to follow the above-shared points, and you will be able to survive the solo travel trip and enjoy each part of it.