A survey conducted in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia reveals that almost 50% of solo travelers plan to travel even more. Somehow, these results aren’t surprising. After all, traveling is freedom, especially when you do it alone.
It’s a time to reposition your social senses and embrace the bigger world around you. Each new city or country is a delight, and everything comes down to what you’ve learned from your trips, the people you meet, and most importantly, the memories you’ll have for a lifetime.
Whether you’re considering solo traveling this 2023 as a lifestyle or an occasional treat for your hard-grind life, here are tips to help you craft experiences for the books:
This is the most common practical tip you’ll learn from travel bloggers, magazine writers, and whatnot. When you travel, it will be a whole different universe out there, so be sure you have everything you need when you need them. Your beauty essentials, inhaler for your asthma, contact lenses – everything should be neatly packed and accessible.
On the other hand, be careful about overpacking and carrying all that weight on your shoulders. You’ll have a lot of moving around to do, and jumping from point A to point B should be a breeze. Otherwise, what’s the point of traveling? Packing light gives you more energy to enjoy your trip.
Do Your Research
They say the best trips are spontaneous, but there’s a lot of wisdom in preparation too. When you prepare, you know exactly when to go, where to go, what to bring, and how to enjoy yourself the most. Imagine going to a city whose weather you don’t know enough about. You may not enjoy your trip as much as you want to.
Solo traveling means being responsible for yourself. If you don’t know how life goes in your chosen destination, you might have unpleasant memories on your flight home. This can be particularly crucial if you have a medical condition, such as a pollen allergy. To avoid hassles during your trip, know enough about where you’re going and what it can be like for you.
Learn the Local Language
Here’s another biggie in your arsenal of solo traveling tips. It would help if you learned a bit of the local language, so you can deal with the locals appropriately and help yourself. For example, if you meet someone, you can at least learn how to say “hello” or “how are you doing?” If you need directions, you’ll want to be able to say, “where can I find this?” or “how do I get there?”
Learning a little of the local language also enriches your experience. It deepens your interactions with the people and the place itself. If you ever decide to come back, you’ll feel more familiar with the people and more at home somehow. You’ll have more confidence to converse with a new friend or join local activities, such as fruit festivals and other cultural events.
Have a Backup Plan
While you travel having the best expectations, you should always prepare for the worst. You’ll never know what happens. There are many ways to create your travel safety net, such as getting travel insurance, remaining in contact with your family and friends back home, etc.
The idea is always to have a plan. For example, bring at least two phones with you. If one stops working for whatever reason, you’ll have the other to keep you connected. Think of it like buying clothing for your little niece or nephew. You’ll want to get a slightly bigger size so they can wear the dress or shirt for longer. It’s the same logic with solo traveling. You’ll want that extra leeway, so you’re covered, no matter what.
Traveling alone shouldn’t be taken literally. It only means you go solo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new friends. Whether these are other travelers or locals, it doesn’t matter. It would be great to share fun times with other people.
Even if you go about a city with a new pal, you can still take it all in as a personal experience. Who knows, you may even find a new love! Your interactions with others add a great dimension to your travels, so don’t be afraid to let them in.
Behave Yourself and Be Safe
Another essential tip to remember when traveling alone is simply to act with prudence and stay on the safe side. It’s easy to forget yourself in the moment, especially when you’ve gained new friends. But always remember that you’re in a different city or even country. You won’t have family or friends to clean up your mess. You’ll be looking after yourself, You’ll be looking after yourself, so you have to be capable of doing that.
When going out, practice self-restraint. Only drink or eat what you can handle. Always pay attention to the people around you, whether partying or just strolling around a park. If someone makes you uncomfortable or afraid, walk into a public area, such as a restaurant or a police station. And, of course, make sure you have a whole directory of people to call, just in case you need help.
Spontaneity makes the best trips, and planning puts a lot of sense into them. However, flexibility is where you can make the two meet. Picture yourself planning to see a spiritual master after reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. If this master turns out to be snotty and nothing like Gilbert’s sweet and charming guru, don’t pack up and go. There will undoubtedly be more to see.
Everything boils down to being flexible and staying open to whatever changes may be necessary during your trip. Who cares if your plan didn’t go as smoothly? Besides, solo traveling also means self-discovery. Get out there, be willing to step out of the box, and just enjoy what you can.
Finally, make your solo travels your own – your own escapades, your own time, your own choices, your own life. It’s nice to listen to tips, but at the end of the day, you must decide what to do with your time. Don’t feel compelled to follow some solo travel rulebook.
Picture a backpacker friend who’s been doing it for years. He recommends walking up along the Great Wall of China, which, he swears, is a fantastic experience. Friends can have the best intentions, but it doesn’t mean they’re always right.
If your idea of a solo trip is a romantic campout on a beach with a bonfire under a sheet of stars, go for it. Otherwise, you’ll wonder why you even went in the first place.
Make 2023 Your Year to Travel Solo
There’s no hard-and-fast rule on how you can enjoy your solo travels. But all these tips can put you on the right path as you set out to the world this 2023. There’s so much to do and so many people to meet. And, of course, the world has so many colorful cultures to explore.
After all, the pandemic can no longer impact the travel scene significantly this year. That means more peace of mind and more reasons to finally give yourself that gift of a trip alone!