Back in the day, people loved exploring new places and countries as a group, either with their friends or loved ones. But today, more and more modern explorers are traveling by themselves. While there are some negative reactions and fears surrounding the solo travel movement, it’s undeniable that taking a vacation on your own can be truly transformational.
Traveling solo forces you to meet and talk to new people and not just stay in your cozy group bubble. You can travel at any budget and spend it however you choose without social pressure. And the best thing is, you have total freedom to pick your own path (at your own pace too). However, solo traveling often comes with more risks. You can never be too confident with how you plan your trip. Here are some tips from us on how you can make your vacation much safer.
1. Trust your gut
Your gut instincts can save you a thousand times if you listen to them. Avoid being too confident when traveling to unknown places or meeting new people. Got an uneasy feeling? Say no and walk away. Your gut tells you something is not right. Listen. Trusting your intuition is something you should get used to when it comes to traveling, especially if you’re doing it solo. You’d be surprised by how many times your gut can steer you in the right direction.
2. Put thought in accommodation
One of the most important decisions you’re going to make when traveling is finding a good place to stay. If you’re someone who’s on a limited budget, only book credible and affordable hostels. A lot of providers out there offer their spaces for less if you’re staying for a longer period. Of course, for further safety, you’d want to book in a place that has proper security measures, such as CCTV cameras and 24-hour security.
3. Make copies of your documents
The last thing you want to happen is to be unprepared for the worst-case scenario. Don’t assume that nothing will happen. Make copies of all your important documents, including your identity card, insurance cards, and passports. Moreover, put at least one copy of each in every bag you have. Having digital or electronic copies would be much better. Experienced travelers also recommend taking photos of your electronics or devices and upload them in the cloud together with your documents. This allows you to easily prove you own everything in case you have to make a travel insurance claim.
4. Talk to your loved ones
For most solo travelers, explaining to their families about their plans can be a bit tough. Some understand it better than others. Still, remember that it’s common for parents, siblings, friends, or partners to be concerned about you taking a trip on your own, especially if it’s a long one. If you think any of your loved ones are likely to talk you out of your solo travel, it’s best to plan the conversation ahead and assure them. While traveling, be sure to let your loved ones know where you are. If you’re going off-grid, inform them how soon it’ll take you to message or call back.
5. Dress like a local
It’s a common thing for any traveler to dress like a local. This is not just for the purpose of feeling or experiencing their culture or tradition, but it’s for your safety too. Be sure to do your research about the customs of the locals in the country you’re visiting to avoid any disrespectful or inappropriate attire. Dressing like a local enables you to blend in and not make you a target of street crimes, such as theft.
6. Don’t overshare
In today’s digital age, many of us love sharing our adventures and experiences on our social media accounts. However, you need to be extra careful about doing so since you’re traveling on your own. If you want to share your travel photos online, don’t post them in real-time. Give it a day or two or until you’ve left the attraction or location. You don’t know who’s following or watching. And you’re not being paranoid. You’re just being careful.
Traveling solo can be a game-changer for you. It allows you to gain amazing personal growth, social benefits, and even survival skills. However, remember that taking safety precautions should always be on top of your list. Accidents or bad people don’t care if you look like a guy who can fight for himself. There will always be dangers that come with traveling, solo or not, and the only thing you can do is to minimize the risk by being prepared.