Traveling alone is one of the most enriching and fun experiences.
Every year there seems to be a new batch of articles defending the benefits and joys of solo travel, and why it is a must for everyone at some point in our lives. And it is that traveling alone is one of the most enriching and fun experiences.
Fortunately, for those who want to go their own way, modern technology has made it easier and easier with apps that connect us with gourmet meals and security tools to make you feel comfortable away from home. Also, some good common sense tips also help. So if you are considering and you have the time and the means, this is what you need to know.
Travel with purpose
1. Really think about what you want from the trip
Since solo travel is usually a bigger task, you need to make sure the result is worth it. Also, it all depends on you. When you travel with family or friends, there are other needs and wants to consider. Here, it’s about your goals and purpose.
Different locations inherently offer different experiences – you’re going to have a tremendously different experience from a city tour than you would in the rugged American West or a small beach town. So think about your goals, be it culture, tranquility or a challenge, and really try to adapt your location and experiences around you.
2. Do your research
Sure, this means the basics, from simple geography to phrase change, but it also means the cultural aspect: Always research cultural norms and what you need to know about where you are going. Do not assume that just because you are a tourist they will attend you. This is especially true if you are alone, as if you need something, you will have to interact with someone you probably do not know.
How to spend responsibly:
One of the benefits of group travel is that you can end up dividing costs in many areas: hotels, food, supplies, and the like. When you are alone, you are the only financier. Of course, you can stick to the basics of cheaper travel (scouting flight deals, off-season travel, and the like), but there are other ways to be more responsible. Here we show you how to reduce the cost if you are alone:
3. Start small and increase
If you’re not ready for a trip around the world yet, do it near your home. A stay or a nearby cation is nothing new, but hotel apps can help you take it to the next level: book a last-minute room for yourself with hotel booking sites like Hotels Tonight, where you can find branded luxury rooms from its sale price.
4. Take your reusable products with you
It’s small but it adds up: it carries a reusable water bottle; use one with a filter if you can’t be sure of the tap water. You can stay hydrated without buying single-use bottles.
5. Avoid hidden fees
For some group tours, departures, or retreats, going alone can cost you – it’s called a single supplement rate. So before you book something, just pay attention to the fine print.
6. Divide meals with strangers!
Eating alone is incredibly rewarding and enriching, but it can build up quickly if you need to for every meal. Also, a benefit of eating with a group of people is that you can often share many dishes and try a variety of dishes, and that is more difficult to do on your own. Use apps like EatWith or Meal Sharing, you can find (again, safe and verified) group meals with locals or other travelers, cooking classes or food tours, with prices that can accommodate any budget.
Be aware of security measures
No matter what, taking care of yourself is the first priority. Of course, a big part of solo travel is locating yourself in new environments, which carries some risks, but you can always be smart about it.
7. Be aware when eating alone in a restaurant or bar
When you enter a bar or restaurant, you know that it is a place where you will be fine and you will not be bothered by questionable people; you can read a situation. If you think someone might come up to you and prefer not to, always ask for a table yourself. But if it’s a place where you feel safe, and where you can trust the staff if necessary, consider sitting at the bar, where you can more easily converse with the locals.
One benefit of being alone is that a traveler can only integrate more easily than a group, and not attracting attention as a tourist is a way to stay safe. Don’t wear flashy jewelry or clothing, pay attention to local customs. Finally: act and walk with a purpose. The latter is great advice, stumbling and wandering people are the easiest to identify as tourists.
9. Find well-populated running or walking paths
We’ve talked about this app for walking, running, and biking before, but it really comes in handy: Strava Local is an athlete-curated, data-driven guide that will show you the best routes in hundreds of national and international cities. Essentially it tracks and heals the most popular tracks in a city, so you can trust that your trip will be well busy and scenic. It also shows you the best coffee shops and places for a break in case you need a quick refill, and the best places to take a photo.
10. Share your location or download a security application
If you’re shy about a location, you may want to consider sharing your location with a friend or family member. Some security apps to keep in mind: RedZone keeps you updated on everything from traffic to incidents in your area, and MayDay will instantly share your location with selected people when activated.
Finally, withdrawals are always a great option
There are some retreat-focused booking agencies that have popped up recently, largely due to increased interest. They can help you book a tour or connect you with a retreat. Even if you go to a retreat, if you are going to go alone originally, it allows you to open in a way that you wouldn’t if you had someone you know.
Not to mention that retreats are an excellent option for those looking for something between solo and group travel, as they give you the freedom and experience of traveling alone, but you have the comfort and safety of a group, they are also very Popular right now that there are tons of good options.