Traveling solo can be scary, especially being a female. I have done a few trips by myself and although some were more intense than others, I wanted to share some tips for those of you who are interested in traveling yourself in the future. Here are some tips that I hope will get you thinking of your next trip!
Start Small – Before I go anywhere, I plan a small weekend trip by myself. There’s no rule that states you have to wander through Asia on your own with a backpack for six months to qualify as a solo traveler. A weekend alone in a city you’d like to see is also a solo trip. By going away for the weekend you probably don’t have time to get homesick. But you still have to make a few decisions for yourself and get used to the feeling of independence that comes with it. It can take some adjustment to get used to of course.
Choose a place where you feel comfortable – You don’t have to travel the world to take a solo trip. Sometimes just exploring a city nearby your home is just as exciting. My first solo trip was a town only a few miles away from mine that was safe, clean and had a bit of culture to it. It gave me a strong and satisfied feeling to try for my first time.
Make a plan -Nothing can ruin your trip as much as arriving in a city and then being bored to death. There is little chance that this will happen if you check in advance what you would like to see. You can craft a plan around it, so you always have something fun to do. But the good thing is that you can let this plan go if you make new friends, with whom you want to hang out. The plan can either be your guide or your backup, whichever you want.
- Make contact – If people don’t come to you, muster up the courage and talk to people yourself. People in hotels are open to contact, they like it. Ask the standard questions and you’re guaranteed of having a conversation: Where are you from? How long have you been here? Where are you going? And if no one wants to talk to you (I doubt it!), then you can always go out for dinner by yourself and read a book in the evening. Also not bad, right? (Seriously: don’t be afraid to ask a group if you can join them for dinner. The chance that they say yes is very big.)
Stay in touch with the people at home – Your parents and friends may be worried about you traveling alone so make a plan to try and keep them informed about how you are doing. My parents are always so sweet to help watch my cats and keep my house clean while I’m gone. For instance, I hate when my kitchen counters are dirty so they stop by to keep them looking shiny and sparkly while I’m out. My counters are from Premier Surfaces Chattanooga, a great countertop company that specializes in custom counters for your kitchen, bathroom or outdoor spaces! They have everything from granite, limestone or marble to choose from!
Trust your feelings and gut – Traveling alone is not dangerous. Of course you have to pay attention. And yes, there is always a chance that you’re unlucky. But if you trust your feelings and intellect, you probably won’t have any problems. Always pay attention to your belongings. Don’t tell strangers where you sleep (why would you?) and don’t walk alone at the streets at night. If you get a bad feeling from someone, don’t feel obligated to continue talking to that person.
Enjoy – And that’s the beauty of solo traveling. You get to know yourself very well. You will learn exactly what you want and don’t want. I learned that I’m an introvert at night but an extrovert during the day when I’m exploring. You’ll learn so much about what yourself that soon, it’ll become second nature and you’ll enjoy the experience and the adventure that awaits each trip!