Travel is a thrilling way to see the world. If you're considering a solo trip, this can be an exciting way to experience new cultures, sights and sounds.
However, there are some things you should know before going to a foreign country alone. These traveling tips can help you stay safe and get the most out of your experience.
Before Your Trip
Understand Your Motivation
Why do you want to travel alone? Some people want to experience a new country or culture on their own. Other people travel solo to prove their independence to themselves. When you put yourself in a place you've never been with people you don't know, you have the opportunity to grow. Knowing what you seek will help you find the travelers you'll mesh well with and places that align with your mindset.
Budget Your Priorities (and Finances!)
Travel plans don't have to be expensive: Set financial goals before a trip and use a program such as Microsoft 's Vacation Budget Planner to stay on track. Or try downloading a spending app like BudgetBakers.com'sWallet.
Remember, you know yourself best. Are you a foodie? Do you prefer to spend on cultural experiences? Nicer accommodations? Instead of regretting splurges, anticipate them.
Take Time to Plan
You need to sort all of your accommodations by yourself when you're going on a solo trip. Begin by using comparison sites to get the best deal when booking a flight. You should also book your hotels in advance to make sure you have a place to stay; this can significantly reduce stress. When you reserve rooms well ahead, you can even take advantage of hotel transportation provisions to get from the airport to your lodging.
Joining a Facebook group of solo travelers can be your greatest resource. An online group is also the ultimate question bank and provides a virtual support community if you're lonely, feeling unsafe, in a pickle or don't know what to do when you get to your destination.
During Your Trip
When traveling alone, safety is always a concern. Do your research on accommodations and activities when possible (hostel reviews, online travel blogs, Facebook groups), and ask the people around you. Always have travel insurance, and keep money and credit cards in two places so that if one is lost or stolen, you’ll have the other. When you go out in the morning, take one of the hotel’s business cards in case you get lost.
Try Something New Every Day
If you're traveling to a new place to do the same things you did at home, there's no point in getting off your couch. It's easy to play it safe. But you're stronger than you think, and taking one step further than you're familiar with—trying a new food or visiting a new area—will pay off. It will also help you adjust.
Don't Be Afraid to Be Anti-Social…
The beauty of traveling solo is that there will always be people to meet. So if you're feeling reflective or exhausted, it's okay to take some time to recharge. Maybe treat yourself to a private hotel room for one night or take yourself out to dinner.
…But Be Open
Traveling alone means that you might find yourself struggling to make friends in a new place. As simple as it sounds, a smile goes a long way—if you look approachable, you will be approached.
Don't Be Afraid to Engage with Locals
And ask questions! Whether you're in a major city or you're spending the day on a rice farm, everyone has a story to tell. There are plenty of ways for nonverbal communication, and these can lead to surprisingly meaningful encounters.
Accept the Fact That You Will Fall for Tourist Traps
At times, you may fall victim to tourist traps. Local merchants may oversell products or services to you during your travels. Even if you feel you were manipulated into spending your money, don't let this get the best of you as you explore a new place by yourself. Tourist traps happen, so learn from your mistake and don't let this ruin your trip.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.