Secrets to Having the Ultimate Solo Travel Experience
Although some travelers are skeptical about traveling alone, I would rate it as one of the most fulfilling vacation models. It does not matter whether you are an introvert or an outgoing person. Traveling alone gives me complete freedom to experience my destinations to the fullest. It means I will be off my friends and family. I am, therefore, not bound by group decisions about where I go, what I do, and who I interact with. Moreover, it is a chance to make new friends and connections!
If you find yourself wondering whether you are ready to travel alone, you definitely are. The question you should be asking yourself is how best you can enjoy that vacation you have been longing for all by yourself. In this article, I will share a few secrets I have learned that contribute to the ultimate solo travel experience.
I would recommend a small destination that is not crowded with tourist traffic, especially for first-time solo travelers. I always feel at ease and get more meaningful encounters in quiet destinations. Several sites will give you a guide to such destinations where you will find your inner peace alone in a new and calm destination.
This should be your first concern while planning your trip. You are unlikely to enjoy your trip if you are always apprehensive at every turn. Travel insurance is key. Always notify a few contacts- a family or friend about where you’re going and the activities you will be up to. If I’m traveling abroad, I try to notify the embassy when I’m going to a certain destination for safety concerns.
The first time I traveled solo I caught myself stressing about the social side of things. I noticed that I started enjoying myself more after I started making new friends. Hanging out with the locals and new friends significantly improved the solo travel experience. I would advise networking with other solo travelers in their tours or any events that might be happening in your destination.
It might seem obvious but saying hello, thank you, please, and sorry has opened a few doors that might not have opened if I didn’t learn the local dialect. Locals seem to like you more when you talk to them in their local language. Often I will find they are willing to help me with a few things such as directions when they learn that I’m trying to know more about them and their language.
I’m not saying you need to take a language course every time you intend to travel. When making your plans, however, it would add a little excitement if you knew a few formalities. Moreover, learning a little of the local language helps to create a lasting memory of your trip.
Sometimes the ‘alone feeling’ may kick in during your trip. I don’t let this happen to me; I look around the city for things that will keep me entertained and challenge myself, for example, you could try and spend the whole duration of your stay doing what the locals do. You will be made aware of how the locals find tasks easy while you struggle with them because of the cultural difference. Still, the challenge presents a lot of fun.
The photographs I take when I’m traveling are a constant reminder of the fun I experienced. I take pictures of myself, beautiful landscapes, birds, animals, buildings, the streets. I carry with me my tripod and ensure I take as many photos of myself as I can in different places that I visit. I try not to worry about people looking at me because capturing that memory is more important than what any stranger will think of me. If you make new friends, you can engage them in taking photos as you bond.
Being alone, meeting and interacting with new people can sometimes throw you off balance. I try to pre-plan my days although not all the time. I also use common sense and my intuitions in instances where I feel something is not right. Doing a little bit of research on places I’m going to visit gives me ideas of things I should be cautious about and the feelings I should term as paranoia. I’m not trying to instil fear, however. What I’m saying is, during solo travel, you need to have your guard up because one bad experience could make you hate the whole experience.
With these tips and a little creativity, a solo travel experience should be next on your bucket list!