Most people who have traveled solo have described the experience as almost taking up and practicing a new wholesome religion. Solo travel gives you complete freedom of self-indulgence without any known or unknown company. Although solo traveling has its own sets of cons attached to it, such as safety issues, feeling alone in an altogether different place. Still, none of that should come in the way of your traveling experience.
Why should one travel solo?
Firstly, you are the master of your trip. You can go out whenever you like, rest whenever you want, and go wherever you like. You don’t have to be concerned about other people’s tastes or choices while choosing a place to visit or eating a particular kind of cuisine. Another perk is that you don’t have to regret walking for miles to reach your insisted upon destination only to find it closed.
There is a high chance that when you travel with another individual or a group, they may get offended or upset about putting so much effort and ending up not getting to see that particular place. Imagine that you are an adventure lover and would love to take up a specific adventure sport like rafting, but your friend or partner isn’t a fan of these kinds of adventure. Still, if you are traveling solo, you don’t have to always worry about them having to wait for you while you are having so much fun. These are just a couple of reasons why you should travel solo; there are many more.
Traveling alone safely
Whenever we think about solo travel, the first hurdle that comes to our mind is our safety. Without an individual we can rely on or fall back on, worrying about getting scammed or falling ill comes naturally. But traveling in a group or with some individual doesn’t necessarily mean lesser chances of getting scammed. Here are a few little things that you can do to stay safe while traveling alone:
Do your research – Before going for your solo trip, do thorough research on the place, the neighborhood that you are going to stay in, modes of transportation, and everything else. Get an estimate of the time-span it should take to reach your hotel from the airport or before going from one place to another. It is also essential to know the standard rate of taxis or other car rentals. People tend to charge more if they understand that you are a tourist.
Accommodations – It is advisable to book your hotel before your trip. The location that you choose to stay in is also essential. Try avoiding hotels situated in shady places. Read a lot of reviews on various traveling sites before booking your hotel. Even if you arrive late, make sure that your hotel has a 24 hours open reception counter so that you don’t have to stay outside for the rest of the night. Have faith in your instincts.
Be confident on the streets – No matter how far you are from your home, don’t walk around aimlessly or fear getting lost. Walking with confidence can avoid drawing extra unwanted attention. If you are lost, go to a restaurant or some legit and ask for directions.
Carrying your valuables – Refrain from carrying valuables while you are traveling. Keep your passport and money required for a day inside a theft-proof bag. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, watches, or other accessories that might draw attention. The best way to travel safely is to blend in with the crowd.
Asking for directions – Be a little smart while asking for directions. Do not give people the benefit of the doubt that you are alone; for example, while asking for directions to the nearby sightseeing spot, mention that your friend is waiting right there or you.
Do not forget to leave your itinerary with your friend, family member, or whoever you are close with. Be in touch with them, and continuously keep updating them about your whereabouts. Some state Governments have specific protection policies for their tourists. Check on them and register yourself if there is one. Try arriving during the daytime it is way more convenient in every way no matter where you are going.
Have you heard of the word solomangarephobia?
It is the fear of eating alone. Believe it or not, but this is quite real. Many people hate sitting by themselves enjoying their food; many people may feel highly uncomfortable while eating alone because there is an internalized fear of unwanted eye gazers. But the truth is slightly different no one is judging you for eating alone, and it is a delightful act.
Here are a few things you can do if you hate the idea of eating alone:
Converse with people who are serving you – These people can give you an authentic flavor of the locality of the place that you are visiting. You may even find out about a hidden gem that was missing out from your itinerary from them.
Pick the correct type of place – Bistro or outside eating is highly recommended; sitting alone with a book or watching a movie in a bistro isn’t as uncommon as a table for one at a fantastic eatery. You can likewise choose a counter seat or a seat at the bar.
If you are feeling super uncomfortable sitting alone waiting for your food, get a book, use your phone to capture photographs or watch something engaging. You can easily pass your time without feeling any discomfort.
You may not feel like eating out on all the days of your trip; therefore, you can order your food or visit your nearest restaurant to pick up some food and enjoy it in peace on some days. Try to relish every part of your solo trip. This kind of phobia shouldn’t hold you back from experiencing a coffee inside a cozy little cafe or any other place you would like to try.
Don’t forget the main aim of your solo trip is to find the best company in yourself. Take necessary breaks, travel at your own pace, try out different cuisines, connect with like-minded people. Do whatever makes you feel good.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain