Travelling alone can be daunting if it’s your first time. Although you will soon discover plenty of advantages, here are some tips to get you started with solo travel. Taking these on board will help you to feel more prepared and confident heading out on a trip by yourself, and in turn, to have a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
Look for Tour Groups
If you’re visiting a new place alone, it might get lonely, or it can be helpful to get an insider’s guide to the area. By joining a tour group, you will get inside knowledge and connect with other tourists. Some of them may be travelling alone too and may be glad to find a fellow solo explorer to connect with. Even if you prefer your own company, it’s useful to know some people.
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Reading reviews before you go gives you an insight into the good and bad points about your destination. It can help you know which places are best avoided, and give you a better idea of the safest places for a lone traveller. These are likely to be highly populated areas, and well-run venues that take care of their customers.
You should read both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced opinion. If all the positive reviews sound like they were written by the same person, they probably were. Equally, similar-sounding critical reviews could all be from one disgruntled individual.
Keep in Touch with Family or Friends
Keeping in regular contact with friends or family stops them from worrying, and helps them keep track of you. If there are any problems, they will know the last place you were going. Although checking up on the places you go beforehand and being careful should be enough, it doesn’t hurt to stay on your family’s radar. If nothing else, it makes you feel safer, and they won’t worry as much.
They’ll also want to hear about your adventures and see your photographs. Sharing your travel stories and impressions with them as you go will help you to maintain closeness despite the distance and will give you a sense of sharing some of the experience with your loved ones even when you're out and about on your own.
Research Before You Go
In addition to looking at reviews, you can search for news reports for the area you’re travelling to. You shouldn’t let this put you off if there are some negative reports. A similar search into your own local area will probably reveal just as many negative reports. The important thing is to be careful, in the same way that you would at home. Try to avoid areas which have the biggest problems, and don’t go into isolated areas alone, especially at night.
Use reputable public transport or taxis, and reliable accommodation search services and booking engines, such as Booking.com. Researching all your options before you go will reveal the best choices for getting around, and recommend trustworthy places to stay.
Travelling alone gives you a different kind of freedom from holidaying with friends or family. Providing you do plenty of research and take the same precautions you would at home, you’ll have a great time.