TOP TEN TIPS FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS

crossing5oceans.com | Published January 3rd, 2021 | Last Updated January 4th, 2021

Self photo with windswept hair in the dunes of the Arabian Desert

Solo Travel to The Arabian Desert - February 2019

In April of 2010, after a stressful period at work, I decided it was time to get away. I wanted to travel somewhere, anywhere, and within 24 hours, I had decided on Iceland. Since it was a last minute decision I decided to go alone. After ten years, almost 30 countries and countless cities, I know it was the best decision I have ever made. If you want to give solo travel a try, read through the tips below to make your future journeys a great success!

Your Own Backyard

1 - WHY NOT TAKE A TRIP IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY? If you've never travelled solo before, or the idea of foreign travel is worrisome, why not see how you'd fare on your own by picking another city, state or province in your own country to start? Baby steps are sometimes a good thing! This is an easy way to see if you would enjoy the experience of solo travel and how you respond outside of your surroundings.

Standing at the wall overlooking stunning lake Moraine, mountains in the background

Moraine Lake, Alberta - A Beautiful Journey Through my own Country


Keep Family in the Loop

2 - MAKE AN ITINERARY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS - One of the most important things you can do before travelling solo is to give your family an itinerary or at the very least let them know where you're staying. If you don’t find accommodations until you reach your destination, make sure to connect with someone at home to let them know where the accommodations are located, and update them whenever your plans change.

Stay Connected

3 - KNOW HOW YOU'LL GET IN CONTACT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY - Whether you choose to have a plan on your phone from your carrier, use a SIM card from your destination country, or use apps like ‘Skype’ and ‘What’s App’, knowing how to get in touch is essential. Not only is communication with loved ones a safety issue, but it’s also good to have people to reach out to when you're away from home on a solo adventure.


Woman with pink lipstick talking on the phone

Stay Connected with Family and Friends While Travelling Solo


Safety at Night

4 - DON'T VENTURE OUT ON CITY STREETS LATE AT NIGHT - This is probably true for your own city or town also, but it’s especially important when you’re in a foreign destination. Not knowing the area well and simply being on the streets alone in the wee hours is potentially asking for trouble. It’s best not to put yourself in a situation that could put you in harm's way.


Join a Tour

5 - JOIN A TOUR GROUP UNTIL YOU'RE MORE COMFORTABLE BEING SOLO - If you're venturing out on solo travels for the first time and you’re nervous, why not book a city tour when you arrive? Not only will this help you get accustomed to the city, but you'll be walking around with other people until you feel comfortable. It’s a great way to see the sights, make friends and get used to the surroundings at the same time.


Large walking tour standing in front of buildings in a foreign city

Joining a Tour Helps you Explore the City with Others if You Are Nervous About Solo Travel


Enjoy Wandering

6 - DON'T WORRY ABOUT GETTING LOST, YOU'RE ON VACATION - (as long as you're in a safe area). You’ll find your way back, and some of the best discoveries are made while wandering. I keep this attitude while driving solo, as well. Having GPS is a great help, but if I make the wrong turn or take the wrong exit I can go back and make the right one. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, stay calm and remember you're not on a clock, and the best part of being away is exploring new surroundings.


Valuables

7 - KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE AND OUT OF SIGHT - If you have any jewelry or valuables, be sure to keep them locked up. If you have a safe in your room, stow the items before heading out for the day. If you're in a room without a safe, lock these items in your luggage. It's also a good idea to keep photocopies of your passport, insurance, tickets and such locked up as well.

Hotel safe with important documents and money sitting in front

Have Valuables Locked up When You're Out of Your Room


Hotel Safety

8 - TAKE A FEW ACTIONS AT YOUR HOTEL TO MAKE YOUR STAY AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE - When travelling alone, safety should be your number one priority so consider doing the following when you check-in:

  • Cover the peephole in your room or, at the very least, make sure it has not been tampered with and it's not inverted.

  • Ask for a room on an upper floor, so your windows are not at street level.

  • Check website reviews before booking to ensure the hotel is in a safe area and the hotel itself is safe.


Don’t Over Schedule

9 - HAVE A PLAN BUT DON'T BE STRICTLY TIED TO IT - I've come to realize that my best-laid plans are never followed to the letter. While I have the best intentions to see everything I had on my wish list, it doesn’t always happen. I may visit a site one day that I loved and realize that I didn’t have much planned for the next day, so I’ll go back and revisit or perhaps I may spend more time in an area than I initially thought. The bottom line is, soak up every minute of your time. If you don't get to scratch everything off your list at least you enjoyed what you did get to see.

World map with numerous pins, a camera, compass and iPhone

Make an Itinerary for Yourself, but don't Over-Schedule


In the Moment

10 - TAKE A MOMENT TO REALIZE YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT - This also means eating whatever you please and there’s no one there to tell you not to; I'm looking at you Italy and our 10am Gelato indulgences. This is one of my favourite aspects of solo travel. The point is, you're on a great adventure and should do whatever you please while exploring foreign lands.


Hopefully, these ten tips will give you inspiration and a bit of knowledge on how you can take on the solo travel game yourself. When travelling solo, you learn about yourself; gain confidence, become stronger, and best of all, you are left with memories that will last a lifetime!


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