It would be complex to even attempt to encompass the transcendent value brought about on the journey of self-discovery that solo travel can be. Traveling alone tends to most commonly be overlooked for lack of courage, or call it fear, of finding yourself up against unknown, or rather, unfamiliar sceneries.
Inarguably, the rewards of such a learning experience come to outweigh the apprehensions. Surely, single travel experiences will greatly differ for individuals, but there of course are key tips to consider as paramount if you are embarking on a life-changing trip.
Important Tips for Solo Travel
1. Come, Absorb, Conquer
You are giving yourself the great gift of traveling with yourself only, and this is the time when you want to tune into the vibrancy of the surroundings. This feeling tends to get slightly saturated when traveling with a group, so embrace the harmonious mix of local smells, words, sounds and people and be present! Make an effort to learn a few words in the local language; – trying to interact is a natural human trait and will make your more approachable for others as well.
2. Capture from Your Perspective
This point feeds off the previous tip, but it is essential to recognize that no one will experience your trip like you will! You may have done sufficient research if that is your style, read a guide or two, even a novel about your destination, but contemplating a place from your own standpoint is incomparable and something to be treasured.
Make it your mission to capture the odd elements that caught your eye, sketch them, photograph them, write side notes about them. You are the writer and main character in your own travel tales and embracing this, will be something you will also cherish later on when looking back at your accomplishment.
3. Embrace Challenges
It would be unfair to disregard the inevitable challenges that you will be presented with as a solo traveller. For introvert types, communicating and meeting new people may be challenging at times but this may present itself as a great strength for experiencing the intangible aspects of a culture in greater depth.
For those who are all too familiar with making connections wherever they are, not being able to share experiences with another being may be daunting. Remind yourself of the reason, rooted in your motivation for traveling solo in the first place.
From a purely practical point of view, it can be challenging to stay alert while trying to absorb as much as possible. To be on the safe side, get acquainted with recommendations from locals on things to look out for such as popular scams on foreigners and testimonials from fellow travelers who may have had a challenging first-hand experience; – knowing the pits is often best to avoid a fall. Ultimately, when in doubt, trust your instincts, you are your own best companion during single travel.
4. Accommodation Freedom
One of the great perks of traveling solo in a world where we are very connected is that you can easily take advantage of accommodation opportunities on crash-pad networks, room-rental sites and social media groups alike. As a solo traveller, there is a myriad of options to choose from and while a hostel may feel like a natural, fool-proof choice, renting a room directly through a local will help you connect with residents and picks up useful tips along the way. It is up to you to uncover the reason at the root of your decision to travel alone and act up on it, whether this means seeking comfort and luxury for your or lodging with adventurous fellow travelers in hostels.
5. Beat the Clock
Ultimately, the real upside to traveling alone is that you can make and break your own schedule and, undeniably, the freedom that comes with following your own heart’s desires without worrying about pleasing your companion or anyone else but you.
You can decide to get up early and be first in line at a breakfast and coffee spot, nap midday, have an early night or simply decide to extend your stay because you fell in love with your destination.
You are responsible for all the planning and part of the exaltation when traveling on your own, is being able to pace yourself as you please. You would be surprised to find out you may learn more in the process about yourself than the country you’re in.
Embarking on a solo excursion is to experience travel trough a magnifying glass. While traveling solo, considering the practical tips that will make you invulnerable is second to none, welcome the experience with open hands above all.
Take advantage of being immersed in the culture, nature, evening and days wherever you are because you will find yourself in the best seat to experience the show of life during your journey as well as come back to your starting point with a fresh perspective and open mind.