October 3, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Solo Travel: How To Make The Journey Alone


Solo Travel: How To Make The Journey Alone

Luggage and worried woman split image Embarking on a solo adventure can be a deeply enriching and liberating experience, but it's undeniable that it brings its own set of challenges and potential dangers. 

Traveling alone can sometimes mean you're perceived as an easier target for scams or theft due to the lack of a safeguarding group. 

The solo traveler may also encounter periods of loneliness, which, in unfamiliar territories, can sometimes morph into vulnerability, both emotionally and in terms of personal safety. 

Navigating through unknown locations, communicating in a language you might not fully understand, and making all decisions independently can be daunting and, at times, risky. Yet, despite these challenges, many adventurers find solo travel to be a rewarding endeavor – it’s all about finding the right balance and ensuring you're well-prepared to handle any situation with caution and awareness. 

Successful solo travel requires a blend of careful planning, mindful decisions, and a dash of courage. There are definitely ways to stay safe and enjoy the adventure. 

Why You’ll Love Going Solo

A woman taking a selfieNina Lawrenson/peopleimages.com, Adobe Stock

Despite the dangers, there's a unique thrill that accompanies traveling alone. It's a mix of anticipation, freedom, and a little bit of fear, but it all adds up to an exhilarating experience that can truly change your perspective on life.

When you travel solo, you're the architect of your adventure.

Picture this: You're on your own timeline, free to wake up with the sun or sleep until noon, to linger at a museum you love or skip the landmarks that don't interest you, to enjoy a leisurely meal or grab a quick bite on the go.

You decide when to wake up, what sights to see, where to eat, and how to spend each moment. This autonomy allows you to focus on your interests and desires without the need for compromise.

Beyond the flexibility, solo travel is an opportunity for self-discovery and growth. It tests your resilience, forces you to be resourceful, and allows you to navigate the world on your own terms.

Here are 15 practical tips to help you maximize your solo travel experience, while prioritizing safety.

1. Plan But Stay Flexible

A woman looking at a mapauremar, Adobe Stock

Research your destination before you go. 

Understand the customs, study the maps, know the must-see places. 

Having a basic plan can save you a lot of time and trouble. But don't overplan—maintain flexibility to explore unexpected detours or adventures.

2. Tell Someone Your Plans

Woman and man talking with paperworkmangostar, Adobe Stock

Always keep safety top of mind. 

Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. 

Be cautious about sharing your travel plans with strangers, and trust your instincts.

3. Pack Light

A woman packing travel essentialsTimur Weber, Pexels

Traveling light is a rule of thumb for any journey, especially when you're traveling alone. 

You'll be more mobile and less likely to lose your belongings.

4. Learn Basic Local Words

A tourist looking at a dictionaryajr_images, Adobe Stock

Knowing a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in navigating, ordering food, and showing respect to the local culture.

5. Stay Connected

A person using a cell phoneA_B_C, Adobe Stock

Keep a local SIM card or an international roaming plan. 

Staying connected can be crucial in case of emergencies or just to keep in touch with loved ones.

6. Make Copies Of Your Travel Documents

A woman making photocopiesNew Africa, Adobe Stock

Keep digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, and other important documents in case they are lost or stolen.

7. Invest In Good Accommodation

A woman in a hotel roomPattarisara, Adobe Stock

Choose a safe and well-reviewed place to stay. Being comfortable with where you're sleeping can make your trip more enjoyable and relaxing.

8. Blend With The Locals

A woman tourist standing in the streetOPPERMAN, Adobe Stock

Dress appropriately and respect the local culture to avoid unwanted attention. This can also enrich your travel experience by giving you a deeper understanding of the place you're visiting.

9. Use Reputable Transport Services

A tourist on a public busrh2010, Adobe Stock

When traveling alone, it's safer to use reputable and licensed taxi services or public transportation.

10. Keep Your Valuables Hidden

A tourist money beltMichael O'Keene, Adobe Stock

Avoid flashing expensive items like cameras, jewelry, or money, especially in crowded areas. 

A money belt or neck wallet can be useful.

11. Take Care of Your Health

Travel Insurancephotobyphotoboy, Adobe Stock

Carry a basic first aid kit and any necessary prescriptions. 

Don’t forget travel insurance that covers health care.

12. Trust Your Instincts

A woman on a rope bridgeSondem, Adobe Stock

Avoid dangerous activities when traveling alone. If something feels wrong, it probably is. 

Trust your gut feelings when it comes to your safety. 

13. Meet Other Travelers

A group of touristsNejron, Adobe Stock

Consider staying in hostels or joining group tours where you can meet fellow solo travelers.

14. Use Technology

tourist on cell phoneElizaveta, Adobe Stock

Travel apps can make your journey a lot easier. 

Google Maps, translation apps, and hotel booking apps can be life-savers.

15. Enjoy Your Own Company

A woman taking a selfieSoloviova Liudmyla, Adobe Stock

Last but not least, embrace being alone. Take this time to do what you love, reflect, and enjoy your own company.


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