Taking the step to plan a journey for yourself can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Some people are more comfortable being by themselves than others, and nothing tests a person’s independence more than a solo trip abroad. This guide is for anyone who is considering their first solo adventure but does not know where to start, so read on to learn more and get inspired.
Why is Travelling Solo So Worthwhile?
It might be useful to first elaborate as to why travelling alone can be so valuable. These types of trips offer an opportunity to explore the world at your own pace and your mind and personality in unfamiliar circumstances. Many solo travellers agree that they learn far more about themselves while travelling alone than when travelling with friends or family. If you want the chance to get to know yourself better, going on a solo journey could be just what you need.
How to Enjoy Spending Time Alone While Travelling
Some people are naturally better at enjoying their own company than others. This could be down to their temperament or personality, perhaps the fact that they possess more introverted qualities or appreciate their independence. If you consider yourself to be more sociable or extroverted, you might find the idea of solo travel a bit unnerving or boring. The notion of eating alone at a restaurant or sitting by yourself in a park can truly horrify some people.
To fully enjoy your solo travel experience, it is important to grow accustomed to being content with your own presence and knowing that being by yourself does not mean you will be judged harshly by others.
Ideas for Making the Most of Your First Solo Trip
If you have been convinced that taking a trip by yourself can be worthwhile and fun, you will want to start planning for the journey. Planning a trip alone is very different from planning one with friends or family since there is no collaborative effort when booking transport or arranging accommodation. This is one of the many advantages of travelling alone; you are completely in charge of every decision, from where you want to stay to how long you want to travel. Here are some ideas to inspire you when preparing for your first solo trip.
Keep Your Itinerary Loose
Planning every detail of your trip might seem like a good idea, especially if you are anxious about being alone in a new place for the first time. Still, too rigid of an itinerary can make it difficult to enjoy yourself. Book your travel tickets and your accommodation, but let the rest be guided by your preferences at the moment.
Brush Up on Your Cultural Knowledge
Sometimes travelling alone can feel somewhat aimless if you have no one else’s input to guide your movements. To give some structure to your trip, you could make a decision to improve your worldliness by visiting important and interesting cultural landmarks or places that serve to enlighten you. Visiting art museums in Philadelphia, for example, could teach you more about Jewish art and history. Travel is all about exploring your interests and discovering new ones. This can help you to feel more purposeful throughout your journey as you identify and locate places of interest.
Meet Up with People Along the Way
The idea of being completely by yourself for your whole journey might put you off entirely. To combat this, you could arrange to meet up with people you know along the way so that you have the opportunity to touch base and feel connected before heading out on your own again. Perhaps you have friends who enjoy solo travel too and could arrange to meet in a new city for a brief visit.
Solo Travel Precautions You Should Take
Apart from the regular safety and security measures you should take when travelling with other people, such as protecting your valuables and taking out travel insurance, there are some additional steps that will help to keep you and your belongings safe while travelling alone.
Keep in Touch with Home
Having someone back home who knows where you are and what your next move is can be incredibly important for your personal safety when travelling alone. Make sure you are able to contact someone and let them know where you plan to be and when so that if you don’t get in touch, they can alert the authorities. You can use different apps and features on your phone to share your live location with a trusted individual, so keep yourself connected and online throughout your trip.
Research Dangerous Areas
Knowing about a destination before getting there is essential for protecting yourself from possible danger. Some parts of the world have more crime than others, so do your research before you travel and avoid places where you do not think you will feel safe. Having an overview of the local laws can also help to keep you from unintentionally breaking them during your stay.
Trust Your Instincts
Many people are afraid of being impolite or looking strange when they feel that something is not right, so they do not react how their instincts tell them to. Especially when travelling by yourself, it is vital that you listen to your gut and ignore any potential for social awkwardness your actions might cause if it means removing yourself from a possibly dangerous situation. Feeling slightly embarrassed is much better than being in a threatening scenario. Keep your wits about you, and do not do anything you are not comfortable with, even if it means adjusting your travel plans.
Solo travel can be daunting, even for experienced travellers who have already taken trips alone. By planning the details of your trip, keeping in touch with trusted loved ones, and keeping an eye out for dangerous situations, you can have a successful and memorable solo trip that you will always look back on with fondness.