I love being able to travel with friends and family to explore new adventures and destinations when possible. I enjoy the bonding through food, activities, and story telling. With life, I don’t have as many opportunities like I want to. Truth be told, sometimes, it can be overwhelming. Keeping up with social gatherings, compromising adventures, and the many small talks. As an Introvert, having solo time is very valuable. It’s the time to regroup and get back to functioning as normal (or not) as I can be. This motivated me to begin solo traveling. It is an opportunity to explore the way of the world without major compromise. Through my solo travels, it is relaxing but I made faults along the way. Some of the tips I can give to a future solo traveler (not listed by importance):
- Research, Research, Research. Look for news and information about the destination you want to visit. Check out discussions from major review sites. Check out the local news, the State Department websites, and connect with Embassy. You don’t want to be in the middle of a civil war or a Category 4 storm heading towards the location.
- Know The Travel Documents Needed. It is important to know what travel insurance, visa, passport, etc needed to roam the location you are in. It will not be a good experience but a good story to tell being held in a foreign country.
- Reservations. Check Google Street before booking or making reservations. It can be an extra layer foe assessment and looking at photos. Don’t arrive at a destination after dark, especially if it is new. You don’t want to take the risks of offices and stores being closed. More importantly, you do not know the shift in night activities or isolation in the area.
- Some Electronic Commands. Before you arrive to your destination, make sure your have the proper adapters for your electronics. You must keep your phone charged at all times. It is essential to keep the communication open. Avoid using public Wi-Fi without security. Cyber security is a real threat.
- Don’t Like People In Your Business But…. You do have to make yourself traceable to a trusted person or people for emergency purposes.
- Consider Wallet Essentials. Do not leave your temporary housing without identification, having some local currency, accommodation card/key, and credit card balance low enough for emergencies.
- Pay Attention To What Goes In Your Mouth. Are you okay with condition of the food with the vendor? Many locations have different or little to none standard of food regulations. In the States, I look at the vendor’s health grade. Outside the States, I make my overall assessment before I devour. Know what you are eating, just in case you are allergic. Do not consume the water (that includes ice) unless certain it’s safe. Don’t drink too much alcoholic beverages because knowing your surroundings is key.
- Speaking Of Mouth, Don’t Spill Too Many Beans. I like to talk to the locals or regulars of the destination. It is great to learn the culture of the area or find someone to keep in contact with. Beware not to be overly friendly and give out too much personal information. For example, it is not necessary for a stranger (because you are not friends yet) to know your personal address, work information, family photos, where you are staying, or current trip’s agenda. It is small talk for many but a lottery wins for some.
- Don’t Slack About Security. You didn’t find the time to travel and do your proper research, just to get robbed or any other downfalls. Pay attention to what’s going on in your surrounding. It is okay to use your phone for direction on GPS. Don’t try walking and posting/reading stuff on your phone. The purpose is to enjoy your scenery and the natural motion of the people. You told your trusted people where you are located. I am quite sure they can wait on your selfies and other pictures with a story.
- Don’t Be A Target. There is absolutely no need to flash your currency or credit/debit card unless making a purchase. If it is difficult to put items in your pocket, use a money belt, small book bag, or a lanyard type wallet. I prefer an RFID blocking travel accessory. We all have a moment to want to look good and comfortable on vacation. It is not necessary to have all your expensive jewelry or other items on. Key is to blend in and not be the next mark.
- Don’t Ignore Your Instincts. Do speak your mind. If it doesn’t feel right, make your safe exit.
If you have any other tips to share, please do so in the comment section.