Traveling alone can feel intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the language where you are headed. However, traveling alone has many benefits. You can go where you please and spend as much or as little time there as you like. You are freer and more flexible to fit things in and plan your schedule as you see fit. The downside can be feeling insecure in an unfamiliar destination. Here are some tips to get by:
- Research your destination and plan out what you want to see. Pay attention to customs of the country and make sure you are comfortable with those customs. The internet and library have many resources for your plan. Highlight notable sights and plan to accommodate them in your itinerary.
- Do you have any friends living in an exotic place where you’d like to travel to? Get their best recommendations of what to see while in the area.
- Make sure your travel arrangements are finalized and confirmed before you leave. Make sure you know how you are going to be getting from one place to another. Many tickets can be bought in advance at a discount.
- Do NOT over-pack if you are worried about taking too much with you. Pack your suitcase as normal and then remove half of the contents of your suitcase out. You really don’t need it and lugging around a heavy suitcase will not make you happy. The rule of thumb is that your total suitcase should be comfortable enough for you to carry for at least 1/4 mile.
- Making friends when you are traveling alone is much easier than you think. Make eye contact and join in if you are on a tour. People are mostly open and eager about their vacation and you can make friendships that last a lifetime while traveling.
- Eating alone is often a difficult time. One can always just eat in the room alone but it’s much more fun while traveling to get out there and mingle with the local flavor. Keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Perhaps there will be a party you can join or find a fellow traveler also taking a meal alone. As a last resort, bring a book or a magazine. One good idea for breakfast is to bring your itinerary and map out your route for the day.
- Keep a journal of your experiences. It takes some discipline to maintain a journal regularly, but writing daily will also fill some time when you are en route to a new location or are by yourself. It will also serve as a future reference for place names and sights after you return home and are relating your experiences to others.
- If you’re going to be in a location for at least a week and the local language sounds like Martian to you, look into taking language lessons while you’re there. You’ll gain skills, meet new people and get invaluable tips from locals.
Enjoy the ride!
Thanks for reading
Ishani Sawant. @adventureishani
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