A solo trip may just be the adventure you have been craving for if you wish to test your self-sufficiency in enjoyment. It should be pointed out, though, that heading off into the unknown does require a certain additional amount of preparation and caution as opposed to doing so with a travel partner. Here are a few invaluable pieces of advice to carry with you when you decide to go solo-traveling.
Forget about everyday worries
Once you step out the door of your home, don’t forget to leave your everyday life inside. So many people make the mistake of thinking that their regular obligations and responsibilities cannot wait even a single day to be dealt with. Therefore, instead of feeling like they’ve temporarily abandoned everything and stepped into an entirely different reality, they end up spoiling their trip. Make it one of your aims to ban anxiety and stress from entering your thoughts and instead teach yourself to make more room for joy in your life by fully focusing on your new surroundings.
Don’t impose expectations on yourself
Chances are you are about to or you already have created your things-to-do and things-to-see lists. It’s even more likely that you have made it your goal to pile as many items on them as you can think of. This in itself is not a bad thing. However, it starts growing into an issue, or rather, a rather bothersome detail when/if you start treating those lists as an imposition onto yourself. It’s easy to slip into the train of thought where one convinces themselves they haven’t accomplished their “mission” unless they’ve crossed everything off their lists.
The truth of the matter is unless you end up traveling longer than you’ve planned, you probably won’t succeed at it, as it often happens for one reason or another. So, instead of seeing your lists as a must-do, treat them more like a rough plan or course line, a draft of what you would like your trip to look like, and leave a bit of room for spontaneity or changes of heart as well. You will notice that this way you won’t feel like you are putting pressure on yourself.
Think extra safety and caution on the road
A solo road trip is a fantastic form of self-exploration and expressing independence too. If you do decide to go for it, then you need to think in advance about some practical details and possibilities. Before your adventure begins, there is something you absolutely must do, and that is to get professional car repair and service to make sure your vehicle is ready for the challenge. This way, you can avoid your car breaking down in a foreign country or having to fix or push it all by yourself since you will be traveling alone. Why ruin your new experience with such problems when you can act preventatively?
Moreover, acquaint yourself with the traffic laws and regulations of the country where you’ll be driving. Knowing their do’s and don’ts on the road can keep you out of trouble and could save you a decent amount of money that you might otherwise be giving for your fines because of unnecessary ignorance.
Careful with your personal possessions
When you are traveling with someone and, for instance, you need to go to the restroom, you can always leave your personal belongings to that person to take care of them. But, when you’re alone, that luxury goes out the window. However unavoidable or harmless it may seem at any moment to leave your possessions unsupervised while you tend to other business, DO NOT do so. That particularly applies to your wallet, passport, cell phone, and keys. By taking this advice very seriously you will be sparing yourself a great load of possible trouble and stress.
Be prepared for emergencies
As has been mentioned, it’s far better to prevent than to tempt fate. In case of any kind of emergency, you need to be adequately prepared. That means save the phone numbers to any existing national emergency lines so you can reach doctors, fire departments, the police, etc. Additionally, write down your bank’s phone number in case you lose your credit cards or your entire wallet. It is also more than wise to get good health or travel insurance before you set off on your solo adventure.
Always have your phone with you
Imagine that you end up stranded in the middle of nowhere or get gravely injured and there is nobody with you to help you? However excited you are about the solo trip you are about to take, you need to bear in mind the fact that (smaller or bigger) misfortunes do occur as well. Because of various unpredictable scenarios that could take place, you need to carry your phone with you and keep it charged at all times. Thanks to this safety measure, you will be able to reach your friends or family, or the national emergency lines and require their intervention or advice, any time, day or night.
Careful who you trust
It could happen that you meet someone and seem to click with, and they ask you to go to a place you haven’t heard off or do something you are not sure you want to do. However tempting it may seem, fight the urge to grant your trust right away to persons you’ve just met. Though it is a noble idea to have faith in people and look for the best in them, you need to remember that, unfortunately, some of them are willing to abuse that nobleness and get you in trouble for the sake of their own benefit.
Learn some language phrases beforehand
You’re alone and don’t speak the language? Make your stay in the chosen country even more pleasant by taking language classes or trying to learn a few useful phrases. Getting familiar with a new language will help you connect with locals even better and perhaps open the door to new acquaintances and friendships.
Dining alone means no company
You may have gone to a bar, restaurant, or fast-food place by yourself, but it does not imply you need to spend that time alone. Especially if you have learned a bit of their language, use this opportunity to chat with the staff or with other guests. Ask them to tell you more about their town, what landmarks there are for you to see and if there is something you absolutely shouldn’t miss as a tourist. An insider’s tip can be immensely valuable.
To sum up…
Though one truly needs to be more careful when traveling by oneself, don’t let this suggestion intimidate you to the point of talking yourself out of this decision altogether. If planned well and with a little bit more caution, solo trips can be the most amazing thing for a person to experience.