4 Insights That Solo Travelers Often Learn
Solo travel, to anyone who hasn’t partaken in this type of travel before, often seems somewhat intimidating. Heading to a country all by yourself and making your plans alone can sound rather overwhelming, as you only have yourself to rely on. Of course, there’s comfort and safety in a group, and so that’s why most people prefer to head to new locations with a friend or relative.
That said, there can be a tremendous amount of value in heading to a country and enjoying it alone for a time. Solo travel is an inherently personal experience that can help you grow and develop as a person, interfacing with your adventure on a direct, engaged basis rather than being misdirected by distractions or solo events.
For some people, solo travel is a lifestyle, such as those who commit to digital nomadism. For others, solo travel can serve as a personal rite of passage, a means of disconnecting from their current life and reconnecting elsewhere, or even a purpose-driven adventure to test their risk-taking and personal tolerance for stepping into the unknown.
Solo travellers who do make this type of travel a success learn many worthwhile travel and personal lessons. We’ll leave the (highly unique) personal lessons to you, yet can provide you with the travel insights which can be useful for anyone hoping to travel this fantastic wide world alone, for your first trip, and many more.
Communication is Key
Learning how to communicate with assertiveness and the ability to listen is key when travelling solo. This is because you may need advice from a tourist board, directions from the locals, or to make complaints where appropriate if a service you’ve paid for hasn’t been rendered.
When you’re abroad alone, then you are your only ambassador. This means that learning how to communicate with clarity, as well as learning some phrases or the basic conjunctions of the main language you’re surrounded by is key. But it’s also important to come across with respect, to ask pointed questions that can provide you with a competent answer rather than a vague retort.
This tends to be something you get a feel for after a while, but a phrasebook, the willingness to speak to people as practice in getting out of your comfort zone – all of this can help.
Safety Precautions Are Crucial
When you’re traveling abroad or even closer to home, it’s important to make sure that you commit to safety. Again, you will likely be the only one looking out for yourself at all hours of the day, and so it’s essential to make sure you take all precautions necessary.
Make sure that at least two people know where you are at all times, or where you plan to be. Plan your routes. Vet services you use. Know which areas to avoid in a given place, and where you may wish to visit. Be mindful of people targeting tourists. Do your best to hide your wealth, spending money, expensive accessories, and more.
You can also use additional safety equipment such as a belt that hides cash, or make sure to keep a spare mobile phone with a spare SIM card around. Know how to contact the emergency services in an area, and where the medical clinics are. All of this can make a tremendous difference.
Those who travel for some time gain a sixth sense for how to save money after a while. For instance, it might be that negotiating with given accommodation owners can help you get a spare room at the last minute.
The one thing that solo travel has going for it above all other forms of travel is the flexibility you get to enjoy. You can direct yourself anywhere. This might mean that changing plans on a whim, opting for those last-minute deals, and applying cheap travel hacks can make a tremendous difference.
When you have no one with you to help fuel the engine of your exploration, it can be easy to fall back and get a little lazy. Find one bar you love, one resort you adore, or one town you enjoy, and it’s easy to stay there for as long as you can afford to.
But if you have goals for your travel, you’re much more likely to schedule your days in the best way. This can give you the authority to move forward with confidence, and it allows you to ultimately trust yourself, which is essential in such a self-directed effort.
With this advice, you’ll be sure to make a success of solo travelling for the better.