Media report and news from all over the world is enough to make even the most wanderlust soul sit at home and cave into the dangers of the outside. But life is only lived by those who are willing to break free, and live their dreams. Travelling alone can be intimidating, but it can also be one of the best experiences of your life. With a little caution and planning you are sure to get some of the best vacations you have ever had.
Research your location
The first rule about traveling alone, be a within your country or outside, to some exotic location, you cannot underestimate the power of research (seriously). Researching your destination, be it the place you would stay, or likely to stay, affordable accommodation, places you can eat or where to go to in case of an emergency (like a police station, embassy etc.), it always helps to be a little more prepared. Researching about local transportation, language, apparel and weather so that you can be a better prepared and keep notes of all this in a bag or on your phone which is always accessible.
This is probably one of the most difficult parts of travelling – taking just what you need and nothing more. Curb the urge of taking excess, and remember you are going to be carrying all that yourself, and the last thing you need is your experience being bogged down by a sore back. Remember essentials like medication, basic clothing with scarvesand best footwear for all terrain, documents, basic gadgets like a smartphone and their chargers are all the essentials – the rest is just extra baggage.
Be observant and try to blend in
Different places have different customs. While drumming up a casual conversation may be very normal in the western countries, the same can’t be said for other countries as well. Take for example a simple the act of making eye contact with a stranger. While this may be a polite gesture in the western countries, say in the Middle East, making eye contact with a strange man, is taken as an invitation; you may not want to be a part of.
If you still cannot resist staring, try putting on really dark shades so that the opposite person can’t tell if you are staring or not. Another great tip is to be mindful of the local customs and apparel. One sure shot way to attract unwanted attention (apart from the gaze you already have because of you being a tourist) is to wear something totally inappropriate for the place. If you are visiting a more modest country, try blending into what the locals wear. If modesty is the code, try sticking to that as well, so that you can enjoy the country without having to worry about other things.
Remember the camping trips when mum would hide away extra stash in a secret place, for emergencies, well that practice pays well when you are an adult too. Having a secret stash of emergency money is always a good idea, no matter whether you are travelling solo or in a big group. This just helps you stay prepared for the worst case scenario – say getting robbed, or losing your wallet. Your secret stash should also contain copies of important documents like you passport, visa, doctor’s prescription for any drugs you carry, etc. you never know when those things may come handy.
Make notes of your trip
Writing down your experiences on a trip is a great way to make memories last. Not only are you consciously penning down what you feel and experience, you also get another chance to relive it. It does not really take much. May be a book and a pen. If you have internet access then a phone or a tablet. You can also blog while you travel and look back at your blog as a travelogue. Web hosting and other things can be handled with ease these days and your travel blog can even make you famous.
Don’t forget to have fun
Last but not the least, don’t forget to have fun. Looking at every person with suspicion may ruin your vacation, so sit back and relax and don’t forget to have fun.