17 November, 2018
Just a few more days to the beginning of a new year. And as usual, my excitement levels are way too high. I can't just blame the New Year for my keen interest. Why not? Well, your girl here is having her semester exams and that said, you now know where is all this excitement coming from. During exams, even the most monotonous things seem to occupy the top spot in my "Top 10 interesting things to do before you die" list. This is the story of every student I guess. After studying for about half an hour, I usually take an hour break and to keep my list of "What to do next year" updated. So far there are more than a dozen items on that list and it is growing and evolving. One of the items on the list is "Travelling Solo". We have already talked about my immense desire to travel the world solo (also because I am way too single, haha).
Solo travel is liberating, fun, and incredibly exciting. It’s one of the best ways to explore the world, offering you a unique opportunity to focus on your plans alone and live at your own pace. That being said, traveling alone can also be quite daunting, landing you in a number of stressful situations that you have to deal with by yourself. Any concerns you may have surrounding solo travel are valid, and the experience can be scary, but with some common sense and careful planning, it’s more than possible to travel safely alone.
Before I could make further plans of solo traveling, I have to assure my parents that I am old and mature enough to trot the world on my own. So, I have made this list of 10 important safety tips while traveling solo. This is not just for my parents but for my own safety. Always remember, no matter what, your safety must be your prime concern be it anything. If you are safe and happy, everyone around you is going to be okay. If you are a solo traveler, make sure you download the checklist at the bottom of the post and follow these tips every time you solo travel.
Do Plenty Of Research
Before you even book your flight, you should do lots of homework on your intended holiday destination. Learn everything that you can about the area by reading travel guides, asking questions on forums, and following travel blogs. You should also ask other solo travelers about their experiences visiting the country. Make sure you read up on common diseases, the weather, the current political climate, and more so that you can go away with a clear and accurate picture.
Start With Baby Steps
When you’re new to solo travel, you shouldn’t dive right in with a month-long trip around Europe or America. Instead, ease yourself in slowly, by visiting a few nearby towns and cities on your own first. You may also want to visit your holiday destination with friends or family before you head there on your own. Starting with these baby steps will help to calm your anxieties and show you any potential trouble or mistakes you may come across, allowing you to prepare for later. Every experience must be a learning step for you.
Find The Best Accommodation
Heading off on your own is naturally going to be quite scary, but the one place that you should be able to relax is your accommodation. Because of this, it’s vital that you consider the options you have available and choose the best one for you. A whole property, whether it be a rumah disewakan in Indonesia or a holiday home to buy in Italy can act as a private sanctuary for you to unwind. A hostel, on the other hand, lets you connect with other travelers and make friends.
Stash Some Extra Cash
No one wants to run out of money on holiday, but at least when you’re with friends and family, you have someone to ask for financial help. Unfortunately, you don’t have this option when traveling solo. For this reason, it’s crucial that you always have some extra cash stashed away for when you might need it. Make sure that you keep this away from the rest of your money and cards, just in case you get robbed or mugged. An emergency credit card is also handy in this situation.
Leave Your Valuables Behind
Suggesting that you leave all valuables back at home simply isn’t realistic in today’s society. After all, tablets, portable consoles, and other devices do count as valuables, but you often need to take them with you on holiday. The same goes for documents, like flight tickets and travel insurance papers. That being said, you should avoid carrying these things around with you while exploring. Instead, leave them locked in a safe or locker back at your accommodation.
Connect With Other Travellers
You may be traveling alone, but that doesn’t mean that you should spend the entire trip by yourself. In fact, it’s often more fun and safer to make some friends and connect with other travelers in the area. You can do this by staying in hostels, joining traveler pages and groups, by using apps, and by joining tours around the area. Just make sure that you stay on guard for a while. Con artists are incredibly good and acting trustworthy to befriend and rob people like you.
Keep Loved Ones Updated
While you’re having the time of your life, your loved ones are likely at home worried and wondering what you’re up to. This shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world, but you should take a moment now and then to update them on where you are and what you’re doing. This is important for your own safety, as well as their sanity, as they’ll know that something is wrong if you don’t check in. You should also give them a copy of your travel itinerary before you leave.
Spend A Little Extra
Travel is an expensive hobby, so it’s no surprise that most of us try to save a bit of cash here and there. However, the one thing that you shouldn’t do is sacrifice your safety in this pursuit. In fact, it’s often worth it to spend a little extra now and then to make sure that you’re okay. This might mean springing for a more expensive accommodation or getting a taxi ride home. You should also make sure that you buy travel insurance so that you’re covered for most emergencies.
Walk Like The Locals
Con artists, thieves, and predators target tourists for a number of reasons. To avoid becoming a victim yourself, you should do what to can to blend in and not look like a visitor. This means walking at the same pace as locals, leaving your map in your bag, and wearing clothes that don’t stand out in a crowd. If you need to use a map or ask for directions, then pop into a store for a moment to do it. This way, you’re out of site and are less likely to be noticed.
Don’t Ignore Your Limits
We all want to push our limits when we’re off exploring, especially when doing so alone. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your limits completely. Never drink more than you can handle, avoid going out if you’re too exhausted, and don’t swim in deep bodies of water if you’re not a strong swimmer. Anyone of these things could put you in an incredibly dangerous situation. It’s much better to be sensible and cautious now than sorry later.
Traveling alone can be scary, but it’s rarely as dangerous as most people imagine. With the advice above, you should be able to avoid risky situations and have a fun and rewarding time. To remember these 10 important and super useful tips, I would recommend you to download the checklist. Bookmark the page if you need to. Don't hesitate to share this information with your fellow friends who travel now and then solo. Before you head on to the next post, let me know what all things you are planning to do the next year or what awesome safety tip you would give to all of us while traveling solo, in the comments section below.
Until next time,
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