You don’t have to put off your travel dreams just because you don’t have a partner that wants to travel with you. Consider traveling alone. Cheyenne Coolen, Dutch travel influencer, has made a list with the best solo travel tips for us to share with you. So start packing.
The first tip seems pretty obvious, but I decided to put it in here anyway, because it’s so important. Especially for first time solo travelers. For example, if you go to a country, be sure to know with what valuta they work. If you land in the airport, make sure you know how far your hotel is and how to get there. Maybe even book your transport beforehand, it’s probably way cheaper that way and you don’t have to wait around for a cab after a long flight. If you get to your hotel, make sure you know how to easily get to the places you want to visit, that way you won’t lose too many time figuring it out on your trip itself. Also make sure you know if or where there are ATM’s or if you should take enough cash with you. Not all ‘normal’ cards work in every country, so make sure you have a master or visa card with you in case of emergencies. But be careful, because sometimes you will be charged extra money just because you’re using your master card. If you’re planning on traveling for a longer time, make sure to higher your limit on your master card, that way you won’t come across any surprises. Also make sure you make an itinerary with all the contact info of your hotels or hostels, also with all your flight information and such, this will be your guide! Also leave one with your family, just in case something happens, they will exactly know where you are. In some countries you will need a visa to enter, so look into that. For example: in Bali you will need to get a ‘visa on arrival’. That means that you don’t need to take care of it beforehand, BUT you will need cash (Indonesian Rupiah) to pay for it. In the end it all comes down to this: do your research on the country you’re going to visit! And go there … prepared.
DON’T MAKE YOURSELF A TARGET
There are some places where you just shouldn’t go out wearing all you expensive jewelry or should be triomphing around with your new iPhone or DSLR camera. Just to give an example: I was making my way Down Town Los Angeles, carelessly walking around with my pretty expensive camera in the arts district, looking for cool graffiti to photograph. I noticed that the neighborhood I was in, wasn’t as “pretty” anymore, but I didn’t put too much thought into it. BUT I SHOULD HAVE! After a while a guy went up to me and said: ‘Do you see that police station over there? I work there, I’m off duty now.’ He was just wearing normal clothes. ‘Don’t go further down this street or you WILL get robbed.’ I turned around real quick and I’m super grateful I bumped into that guy! Who knows what could have happened. Long story short: adapt yourself to the neighborhood you’re in and keep a low profile
PARTY, YES OR NO?
When I traveled solo, I decided to not go out and party, and to not drink alcohol. Why? Because I wanted to stay alert the whole time, since I was the only person to protect myself. Of course solo travel should not at all keep you from partying, that was just my decision. If you DO want to go out and party, just please make sure you order an ice tea on the rocks instead of a whiskey on the rocks ;-) Especially if you are a girl. Don’t go around being totally wasted in a place you don’t know, with people you don’t know. And keep at ALL times an eye on your belongings, don’t leave them unwatched. JUST BE SAFE!
DARE TO SAY NO.
The thing is, if you are traveling by yourself, you just are so much more approachable than if you were with a group of friends. So more people will come up to you, sometimes just to have a chat, sometimes to sell you something, sometimes even to ask you out on a date. In some cases you just have to learn to say no if it’s something that you don’t want to. I know quite some people who have a difficulty with this. Learning to say no is a skill and it definitely takes practice, because you need to be confident while you say it. Just don’t be afraid to tell someone to leave you alone, if that’s what you want.
I’m going to keep this one short and straight to the point: pack light! Why, you ask me? Because you are traveling solo … so you, and ONLY you will have to carry all the luggage around.
PARTNER WITH OTHER PEOPLE
The last but not the least tip: don’t be afraid to meet new friends. Solo travel doesn’t at all mean that you have to be alone all the time. For example: I was walking around Venice beach, California. It was noon so I decided to grab some lunch, when I went to sit down to eat my meal a girl complimented me on what I was wearing. I noticed she was sitting alone as well so I asked if she wanted to hang out, so we did! She was also a female solo traveler, and we ended up spending a couple days together until I had to leave. Those were definitely of the best days of my LA-trip. I still have contact with her up to this day and even met up with her after! So don’t be afraid to talk to people, you end up making friends all around the world ! And if you really are scared to go up to people and just randomly make conversation, staying at a hostel can be a cool way to meet new people! And it’s way cheaper than hotels as well.