Traveling alone: A guide for a safe journey
There are different types of holidays. Those made for couples, group of friends, group of couples or solo travels. There is a big difference between traveling alone or with a company. As humans, we are programmed to live in community and it feels strange to do activities on your own. It is even stranger when it comes to traveling.
Traveling alone is not as bad as you think though. When I say to people that I travel on my own, I always get a “WOW” reaction. Truth to be told, at the beginning I was scared to even think of going on a solo adventure. However, once I stopped overthinking and took the step on my 4 days solo trip to Spain, I absolutely enjoyed it.
In this post, I will share some important tips that will help your future solo traveling staying safe.
Find your reasons
It is important to know why you want to travel on your own. What is your answer to:
Why do I want to travel on my own?
Billy no mates. Perhaps you have not many friends. Or maybe all of them are all busy and that weekend you are desperate to change scenery. This happens especially if you or your mates work shifts and therefore it is hard to have the same days off together.
Spend time by yourself. We all feel the need to spend a bit of time with ourselves. It is like when you drive back home from a busy day at work with your brain turned ON and the radio switched OFF. This helps us to clear our mind without any external influence.
Break the routine. It is like driving the same route every day to get to work. You might want to use a side street occasionally to stimulate your brain. Routine kills your motivation slowly, that is why is important to take a break from it. This applies to other aspects of your life too, such as work and relationship.
Go on an adventure. Simply you want to feel the adrenaline, which might be hiking a tall mountain or go bungee jumping. Why not?
There are infinite different answers to all your whys and the correct one lies within you.
You set the pace
Contrarily to traveling with others, when you go around on your own you do everything at your own pace. You plan what you want according to your current state of mind. For instance, when you feel tired and want to rest, you just go to your accommodation sleep. With others, instead, you might avoid it not feel a buzzkill.
What about the food? The more people in the group the harder will be to please everyone. I am sure that you found yourself agreeing on a restaurant even though you were not 100% happy with the choice. Well, when traveling alone you do not have to put up with anything like that. You fancy Chinese? You will have some nice spring rolls. You fancy Italian? You get a pizza. You want to starve and die? You can do that too! Jokes aside, you are free to make what you want to happen.
You decide what to visit. Museums, for example, are not for everyone. If you are one of those who can spend the whole day discovering every corner of an art gallery you can do it. No pressure, nobody will puff at you.
When traveling alone, I look online for free walking tours. I do this regularly. Most of the main cities have
I am a big advocate for safety, especially if you decide traveling alone in crowded places or in general. For this reason, an anti-theft
Write both in paper and onto your phone your itinerary. Make sure you know the emergency contacts for the place you go, such as police and ambulance. You might want to include your next of kin details and where you live, just in case. Also, share your itinerary with your family or closest person.
Make sure that your smartphone is in working order. Bring a power bank that will allow you to keep you with
Depending on where you go, you might struggle to find an internet connection. Some providers, for example, allow you to travel with the same internet plan in many places in the world. Make sure you look into that. Extra cost abroad is very expensive.
Trust everyone and no one. There are no set rules to know either a person is reliable or not. So my advice is to follow your gut feeling. Keep your self open-mind but if you smell trouble, go away.
Stay in public places, especially at night. Try also to avoid to wear
Know the place before you go
If your sense of direction is bad, this is perfect for you:
- Go on Google Earth and look at the places you are going to visit. Visual representation helps you to find your way and makes that place look familiar.
- Download an offline map from Google Maps. This is critical in case you do not have an internet connection. This trick helped me in Morocco to find my way.
- Write on paper the bus/metro route that goes to the hotel. In the event you get lost, you know what bus is going to bring you home. Worst case scenario, take a taxi. Make sure you know have information about prices before. In some countries, you need to bargain the price, so it is always good practice to have a rough idea about the price of a 10/20 minutes ride.
- Book a 24 hours reception desk accommodation in case your flight delays. You do not want to sleep on the street. If you cannot find one, make sure you make the host aware of your flight number and the estimated time of arrival.
- Make sure you changed enough money to the local currency. This applies especially in those countries where bank payments are not conventional.
Alone does not mean lonely
I highly recommend no not book a single hotel room on your own. Find a hostel instead. Sometimes during you solo travel, you might feel the need for interacting with other people. And why not, maybe share part of your adventure with someone new. Hostels are fantastic places that give you the opportunity to get to know people.
In my experience, there is always a common area where people gather at night and socialize. You just need to say “hi” to get to know other fantastic people. Before you know, you will end up playing beer pong, playing other games and partying all night. And who knows, you might find love too.
Another way to meet people is to look for events. You just need to google or look on Facebook what you are looking for. For example, I met lots of people during a pub crawl in Budapest. It was an extraordinary meeting people from different countries and cultures.
Enjoy your future experiences. One city at a time. Traveling alone has never been easier!