So, after days and months of thinking, you have finally decided to travel all by yourself. Fantastic! A good start is all you need to for this kind of experience.
It’s been a decade since I’ve been traveling alone. But, not by choice until recently. Back then it was work or relocation. Several times I waited for the right company and missed on fabulous deals. But now, there is no more waiting. I travel for all reasons, be it experience, fun, work, or sometimes to satisfy the wanderlust in me.
Truth be told, solo travel in not very easy. But trust me, it’s not that difficult too. Even in our country (India), where women are much concerned about their safety.
I’m sure, your mind is wondering where to start from. How to let you family know about it, advance bookings, places to go, etc., etc. Getting to the point, let’s start with making your decision come to life in few easy steps than you think.
Choose a comfortable destination –
Since you are just starting your first solo journey, don’t get too experimental. Traveling alone can be lonely at times. Therefore, pick a place which is touristic with essential amnesties in place and has people around. I started with London as I was already in UK. You can also go to a familiar place where you have been with your family and friends. This time explore it alone and feel the difference.
Research is imperative to your travel. You do not want to get lost and ruin your first experience. Though I have taken wrong trains at times and have paid too much to the taxi driver. Learning will eventually come through experience.
Arrive at your destination before sunset, preferably in the morning so that you have the whole day ahead to rest and look around. Look for B&B to save but make sure you read reviews. If you are not sure of the hotel or its surrounding, book only a night and then change.
Once you’ve rested for the night, plug in your earphones and go for an early morning walk or jog around the place to feel the aura. Simultaneously, check the places of interest to come back in the day to experience them.
Inform your family with a plan in hand –
Women traveling solo could be an alarming news for many parents and family members. Draw a rough plan and let them know where you are traveling, how long will you be there, what will you be doing while you are there and references of friends who have been there. This will put your family in a comfort zone and trust your decision. First timers should also be in touch with their family during their trip. This will make your future trips easy.
Travel Bag –
Traveling light is very essential when going solo. So, pack only what you require most. Mix and match your clothing and carry only a single backpack. Assuming your stay is not in a 5*, carrying your own miniature toiletries would come handy. Wearing layers can keep you on toes for any weather. Don’t forget to carry a torch and pepper spray for unforeseen emergencies, just in case. Add a pair of sneakers to avoid hurting your legs, if you need to walk long distances.
Reaching Out –
There may be several reasons for you to want to travel solo. May be unwind, re-invent yourself, relax- away from hustle-bustle of the city or just to find your mojo back. Make sure at-least one person knows about your plan and your whereabouts. Reaching out to your friends and family through social media can keep loneliness at bay during long travels. Being an Ambivert, I keep a balance between my social life and my ‘me-time’. Sometimes, bringing yourself out, can give you friends on the go. Make sure you have data or free wi-fi wherever you go. Not only this, having data can get you directions, places to eat, user reviews, train bookings and much more while you are on the road.
Get comfortable outside your comfort zone –
Learn to manage your alone time. Look for activities and places you can visit alone. Try reading a book while having your lunch in a café. Try to visit museums, palaces, or art galleries if they are of interest to you. I tried going to Madam Tussad and London Eye all by myself. Check for plays and Theatre acts if there are any. The more you do things alone, the lesser you will feel lonely. Do not feel embarrassed to be seen alone. Most of them are tourists and you may not see them again.
Trust your instincts –
Though traveling solo may bring you out of your comfort zone, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Do not always opt for cheaper options, be careful while traveling at night. If you sense a creepy owner or unsafe location, over-friendly person or anything that whispers trouble, get out of the situation as soon as possible. Trust your heart and don’t try to save money in such situations.
I’m sure, traveling regularly will make you more seasoned and aware. Do not fret over silly issues and be street smart while traveling alone to bring back pleasant memories.
Don’t forget to to click pictures!
So, have you thought about your first destination yet?
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