Although traveling in a group provides good company, traveling alone is slowly increasing in popularity in the 21st century. Most people may consider traveling solo less safe than going with others, however, it offers more freedom with some levels of empowerment. With the right safety precautions, a traveler can venture across the world without worrying about looking over their shoulders. Traveling alone also offers richer rewards in terms of experience. Are you considering traveling alone for the first time?
Fortunately, the internet offers almost every piece of information you need about a particular location. We all heard how taxi drivers in some destinations rip off unsuspicious travelers, so I make sure to research online and download local apps to find a taxi near me when I need it and avoid any surprises when it comes to prices.
Are you worried or feeling anxious about what to expect? Check out these avoidable mistakes to help you get the best out of your trip.
Not staying connected
Traveling on your own does not mean cutting yourself off from family and loved ones in terms of communication – indeed, the opposite is true.
You must ensure that you stay in touch with those who care about you to keep them updated about your whereabouts at every time. One way to do this is by ensuring that you keep the location on your smartphone at all times. Always inform your family, friends, and loved ones about the places you plan to go.
When heading towards areas with possible cell phone signal issues, carry along a cell phone signal booster. Depending on your specific needs, you can easily acquire a weBoost cell phone signal booster that you can use in your car and enjoy a strong cell signal while you travel.
Not having an emergency kit
Traveling alone comes with so many unexpected possibilities, and you need to be well-equipped to take care of yourself no matter what the situation is.
So, be sure to pack a first aid kit before you set off and make it a point to keep this with you as often as possible – especially when traveling to very remote places. Your first aid kit should contain all the essential things you will need in any case of emergency. It should not be heavy enough to be a burden, but it should also not be too small to limit your options.
Before setting off for an extended stay away from home, get the necessary medical clearance from your doctor if you have certain health conditions, or are currently on some medication. Your doctor will also ensure that you are well stocked with all the medication you need before leaving.
During your travels, remember to stick to your recommended dosage as religiously as possible. Where possible, try to find accommodation as close to a health facility.
Not doing enough research
Although some people might enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with not knowing what to expect, it is not advisable to take such a risk when traveling solo. It is essential to take the time to conduct thorough research about your chosen destination.
Even the safest and most secure places come with their forms of threats and some levels of safety issues. Fortunately, the internet offers almost every piece of information you need about a particular location.
There are several travel blogs and online platforms that provide reviews on different travel destinations. Stay away or avoid destinations with tense political atmospheres or any civil unrest.
You can also seek the opinions of friends you trust who have already traveled solo for their recommendations.
Not creating an itinerary
After doing all your research and settling on your preferred destination, you need to have an itinerary ahead of time.
Doing this will save you from the frustration of booking a room too late or missing out on activities you wanted to participate in. You will save yourself the difficult task of having to find a hotel or other forms of accommodation every night, especially when you are solely in charge of that.
Book your preferred tourist attractions and events ahead of time to save you the hustle of booking late or falling for overpriced tickets. Although there is nothing wrong with buying tickets on-site, it is more convenient to secure them ahead of time.
Running out of money
The last thing you want is to run out of cash during a solo trip.
You can easily rely on your travel buddies when you are in a group, but this is impossible alone. You cannot be sure that your credit cards or electronic payment systems will work everywhere you go, even after doing enough research.
Therefore, it is advisable always to carry enough money for instances when electronic payment options do not work. Where possible, use the local currency to make your transactions less stressful.
Before setting off, find out which international banks operate in your preferred destination to make it easier for you to withdraw funds when you need to.
Not choosing your preferred accommodation carefully
We have already mentioned the importance of creating an itinerary and researching your chosen destination before leaving. One of the most critical aspects of your solo travel is deciding where you would be staying.
Although there may be several accommodation options with various comfort levels, it is best to opt for one that is in a good part of town.
Aside from the fact that the location should be safe, it should also offer you easy access to transportation options and restaurants. Plus, it should also be as close to your touring sites as possible to make your movements less time-consuming.
Also, consider the amenities offered by the accommodation facility, with water and power the most important.
Not making friends and connections
Traveling on your own does not mean that you should try to do everything on your own, especially when you are far from home. If you plan to travel solo for the first time, you will realize that you will depend a lot on others. So, make it a point to make friends and establish valuable connections.
An excellent place to start is your hotel or lodging facility.
Hotel attendants can be beneficial friends to have when you travel, and one of the best ways to establish a good rapport with them is by being generous with your tips and a good introduction. Also, try to make friends with taxi drivers and the locals in the area; these connections will come in handy when you find yourself needing a favor, such as a quick backdoor ticket to a local concert or best recommendations for cheaper services.
Plus, the locals know all the places to have a truly unique travel experience without spending too much money.
Forgetting your own company
As important as it is to make the right friends and build healthy connections when you travel, do not avoid your own company.
Otherwise, you might end up losing the essence of your decision to travel alone – to be free, have a personal experience, and enjoy your company.
Therefore, it is vital to strike the right balance – make friends and connections that you can rely on to make your travel experience as easy as possible and make sure to spend enough time with yourself. Focusing on meeting too many people can be counterproductive to your solo travel plans.
Many people who travel in groups also look for moments to be alone and enjoy some privacy. Your solo trip already offers you the privacy you need, so be sure to enjoy it.
Arriving at your destination at night
If you are traveling alone to a place for the first time, then it is best to plan your flight arrangements to enable you to arrive at your destination during the day when possible.
This is not to suggest that traveling or arriving at your destination at night is always unsafe. However, it is less challenging to find your way around a place for the first time during the day than at night.
Besides, most places are more dangerous at night; trying to find your way to a hotel under the night sky always makes you more vulnerable to criminals.
But if you have to arrive at night, then make sure that you make pre-arrangements for a private transport service or use a taxi, at least. Although this option will come with an additional cost, it will guarantee your safety instead of finding your way by yourself. It will take the stress off after arriving late.
If you are traveling alone to have a good time and enjoy your freedom, be careful about the extent to which you go partying and having fun.
When you are with a group, you can rely on someone to keep an eye on you, but you are fully responsible for yourself when you travel solo.
So, for example, do your best to avoid getting drunk when you go out partying; as a stranger, you will always be extra vulnerable when you are intoxicated – it does not matter how long you have stayed there. If you do not have control of yourself, you will be an easy target for thieves and other criminals.
Have a good time but know what your limits are.