There are many reasons to love solo travel – it brings the freedom to do what you want when you want, for an exciting and liberating experience. It’s a great way to boost confidence and perhaps relieve some stress after a major life change, like buying a new place among Manhattan real estate or getting a divorce. You won’t have to worry about accommodating someone else’s needs, and it brings more opportunities to meet new people too.
More and more people are discovering the joys of solo travel – according to phocuswire.com, it makes up approximately 18 percent of global bookings. But when traveling alone for the first time, it can also bring some anxiety.
By following these tips, you can calm your nerves and increase the odds of a fun and enjoyable experience.
Pick the Right Destination Keeping Safety in Mind
While it’s always important to do some research about the safety of the destination you’re planning to visit, when it comes to solo travel, especially for those embarking on the experience for the first time, choosing a place that ranks high on safety is key. Without the safety net of having a travel companion, you might start envisioning all sorts of possible scary scenarios – a wise pick will allow you to feel more comfortable about going from the start.
If you aren’t sure where you want to go, start Googling rankings of the world’s safest countries to visit alone. The Global Peace Index is a great place to start – for example, the ranking for 2020 lists the top five most peaceful countries, based on factors like violent crime and terrorism impact as Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark. While researching accommodation options, look into which areas are best avoided, if any. Before you leave, be sure to give a friend or family member a copy of your itinerary, and keep them in the loop periodically while you’re gone.
Learn at Least a Few Phrases of the Local Language and Now How to Use Google Translate
Traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language can make solo travel more daunting. Making an effort to learn some helpful phrases can make a big difference, especially when you don’t have someone else there with you. Simple things like hello, please, thank you, excuse me, etc. can go a long way. It also shows locals that you’re generally interested in their culture, opening up doors to new friendships too. As the basics of a language won’t get you out of every situation, knowing how to use Google translate can be a lifesaver, too – take time to practice before you go so that you’re comfortable using it.
Connect with Someone Before You Go and Seek Out Connections While You’re There
For those not used to solo travel, loneliness can be one of the most challenging aspects. Before you go, you might want to try connecting with a local through travel forums or sites like Couchsurfing. In fact, booking at least a night or two with a Couchsurfing host can be a great way to get to know the locals along with insider tips. Airbnb experiences are another great way to take part in a unique activity that will allow you to get to know the place and its people, often providing the opportunity to meet other travelers.
Once you’ve reached your destination, you might use a site like Meetup to find local activities and events to join that will allow you to meet others. Just about every city across the globe offers a long list of opportunities.
Believe in Yourself
Traveling solo can bring some challenges but the rewards like boosting your confidence, increasing happiness, and perhaps even changing your perspective on life, make it well worth it. Believing in yourself, knowing many others have done it, and you can, too, will help ease those doubts allowing you to experience one of the greatest pleasures in life.