Traveling Solo Tips

Looking to embark on your first solo travel experience?

Whether you travel alone on a road trip across the Midwest or backpacking around the world to places such as eastern Europe, Southeast Asia or South America, there is no doubt that traveling by yourself can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, especially if it’s your first trip alone.

Regardless of the continent, city or country you’re planning to travel solo to, the number one concern for the solo traveler (especially a solo female traveler) is safety.

There is a general consensus amongst travelers that western Europe and the United States are some of the safest regions to be for a solo traveler, and to a certain degree this is true, although from experience places such as Paraguay, Japan, Hong Kong, Cairo are great destinations to experience on your own.

However, as any seasoned solo traveler would tell you, no matter where in the world you go, you need to look out for scammers and pickpockets. Therefore, on this note, the first and the most important of all traveling solo tips will be to:

1) Watch out for scam artists

Scam artists come in all shapes and sizes, and know the oldest tricks in the book to con people (see picture), so you won’t be able to always tell who is and who isn’t one, and whether they're tricking you!

In some cases, you can normally spot a scam artist a mile away, but in most instances you won’t be able to tell, especially when they seem to offer you a helping hand.

2) Research the destination before you go.

As the saying goes…” knowledge is power”. If you do your home work and find out things like how much a taxi ride normally cost, local customs and laws in the area, you won’t run into unwanted troubles.
planning itinerary

Can you imagine yourself in a jail abroad, or being pulled over by the local police for speeding? I rest my case!

3) Trust your gut instinct

This may sound like an old cliché, but as another old saying goes…”if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is”.
trust your instinct

This last tip is one of the best traveling solo tips that anyone can give you since you'll be approached a lot by locals, especially if you stand out somewhat. Depending on how well or not you can blend in; you're bound to be approached on the street by someone claiming that they can offer you a better currency exchange rate.

Of course, this an old scam, but it's truly a never-dying scam, which still works, especially when it’s a female scam artists using her charms!

4) Blend In

By blend in, I mean stay on the tourist trail, and avoid looking like a tourist the best you can (that means no flashy t-shirts, cameras, fishing hats, advertising billboards, etc)
blend in

There is no doubt that one of the trills of traveling solo is the independence and liberating feel of breaking-free from the tourist path. However, if you truly don’t know much about the country, or city you’re venturing off to that’s when you can run into trouble.

5) Plan your itinerary out of sight

Plan your itinerary of things you want to see and do, either before you travel, somewhere indoors or in your hotel room.
out of sight

If you don’t plan ahead, you'll just wonder off anywhere, so you’ll be therefore looking at maps on the street, and appearing to be lost, which is an easy give-away sign scam artists look for in people walking on the streets.

If you do have to take a peep at a map, or your guide book, you ‘d be better off doing this out of the public eye.

6) Be nice

Yes, I’ll say it again, be nice. The last thing you need when you’re traveling solo anywhere is to wrong a local the wrong way!
be nice

This is another of the best traveling solo tips out there. Be polite, respect the local customs and learn the local lingo, or language. Believe it or not, knowing more than the basics will help you tremendously in your travels, especially if you happen to run into unforeseen circumstances (i.e. speeding with your brand new rental car!).

7) Join a solo traveler’s network

Join a solo traveler’s network is another of the top traveling solo tips since you’ll be able to hook up with other solo-like minded travelers.

Another advantage of joining a solo traveler’s network and hook up with other travelers is avoiding the dreaded single traveler supplement!
join a network

You may be wondering right now why I added this last tip to list of solo traveling tips since this would defy the whole point of solo traveling.

Well, this is true to some extent, but when you think about it, having to pay twice the price for a room or activity simply because you’re traveling alone, you'll realise that joining a solo traveler’s network might not be such a bad idea after all!

8) Carry extra Identification

Besides your passport, do carry a driver’s license (if you drive back home), or other form of identification.

Imagine this scenario: you lose your passport or it gets stolen, you don not have any other form of identification on you, and you are traveling by yourself in a foreign country.

Not an ideal situation to be in, right? This is why it’s also a good idea to make photocopies of your travel documents, passport, etc, just in case.

In Closing

I hope this post hasn’t put you off traveling solo at all! All of these traveling solo tips I have just outlined above are designed to inform you and get you thinking, that’s all.

The experience of traveling solo around the world is like no other and, it's an experience which I can only describe as an adrenaline-like rush similar to jumping off a plane (with a parachute of course!).

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