If you have never traveled alone in your life, you are not alone. Many people are in the same situation, but it is slowly changing – all because of the experiences of people that have already done it. For those who have taken the chance to do so, they always say it is like a religious experience, because they are taking in their surroundings more vividly without distractions. This proves that solo travels are the best way to completely immerse yourself into the whole experience.
Even though there are the good aspects of it, it does have its own issues as well. However, as long as you have some preparation, you will handle it well and it will be a positive memory for you.
Why is it a good idea to travel solo?
This is the best method of indulging yourself, because it allows you to rest while being ambitious with the things you try and enjoy. It also happens to be more forgiving than traveling with others because it gives you room to make your own mistakes and learn from them, and also reward yourself when you accomplish your goals.
For instance, you do not need to start worrying about hopping on a train suddenly and going to a museum to see your favorite artworks – everything you do is entirely up to you.
Tips to help you enjoy your adventures when you travel solo
Because you are alone the whole time, you do not have anyone you trust to watch your back – so safety is always a major concern. You are more vulnerable to various mishaps and unfortunate incidents, but on the other hand, going solo allows you to blend in with the crowd very easily. As long as you know you should not draw attention to yourself as a tourist, you can enhance your safety.
One of the most important things you can find out is the cost and time it takes to get to your hotel room from anywhere you are going, or to and from the city center. It is more likely for a solo traveler to be overcharged when they are searching for a ride back home, so it is important to ask about estimated fare before you leave to go somewhere. In addition, make sure to alert your hotel if you will come late.
At the end of the day, if something does not feel right with you, it is best that you avoid it. Carrying copies of your documentation is also important, and keep to open areas of the public, especially at night.
Trust no one and everyone
Travelling alone allows you to meet new people on your way, but it also increases your vulnerability. While it is good to hang out with new friends, as well as sharing experiences with them, it is important to remember – you cannot trust them too much (especially when it comes to your possessions and money).
Remember scammers can be among the most charming people you will ever find, but they can take advantage of you once they see you are gullible. Maintain your guard while being open-minded with everyone you encounter.
Stay away from single supplements
As a solo traveler, you will realize how common it is to get offers from hotels, cruise lines and tour operators that take advantage of you, since they are not making money from second occupants. You are already paying a lot in terms of your transport and other expenses, such as getting a Uganda visa – so there is no need to be taken advantage of in your accommodation.
These hidden costs will make things more expensive for you – in fact, it can range anywhere between 25 and 100 percent of your cost, meaning you are paying twice as much to cover up the cost of a second partner.
To avoid this scenario, there are several ways. One is to book your trip with tour agents that give you roommate matching orders. This helps them increase their profits from every room while keeping costs lower on your end. The only drawback with them is that you have to share your room with one stranger, so if that is a major concern for you, you can call the tour agency and ask them what procedure they use to select roommates.
Another method is waiting until the last minute and then booking tickets when tour operators lower their prices to sell out the few remaining spots.
In addition, you may not like the idea, but staying at hostels can also help because they charge for each bed instead of each room. The good thing is many of the top ones are clean and safe, and you can use them regardless of your age.
If you are solo dining
It is not a bad idea to eat alone, contrary to what you might think. Having a chat with the service people actually helps you feel like you are a part of the community, and they will also tell you the best foods at their establishment, as well as giving you sufficient advice on the local area. That alone makes them some of the most resourceful people you will ever get on your travels.
Another thing – if you are uncomfortable with the idea of sitting alone at a table, you can select a seat at the bar. Restaurants with booths also give you greater levels of privacy compared to open plan restaurants, and bringing some reading material can help you stay busy without looking too awkward. Just a tip for the last bit though – people are likely to have two reactions when they see you reading something – they either perceive you as too high-minded and ignore you, or they will become intrigued and come to say hello.
At the end of the day, when going out to eat, make sure to eat well. Take the time to sit down, get a leisurely meal or order some beverage, and take your time in taking it. No one is rushing you to go, so do not rush yourself either.
When you are going somewhere alone, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things that you are supposed to do and experience. However, as long as you take the time to enjoy yourself, you will find your trips to be very rewarding – if you commit to your safety.